WOODLAND, Wash. — Six-year-old Faith Stanchfield curiously scanned the toy aisles of Woodland’s Walmart Saturday morning before letting out an excited squeal when she found the perfect present: A pink, winged unicorn nearly twice the size of her.
With the help of Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputy Craig Murray, Faith hauled the plush animal into the cart and showed off her new friend over video call to her father Joseph Stanchfield, who is serving with the National Guard in Africa.
Faith was one of nearly 200 local children participating in Woodland’s 9th annual Shop with a Cop event, which partners with Kalama, La Center and Ridgefield police departments and other law enforcement agencies.
The program matches children from low-income families with local law enforcement to shop for holiday gifts and clothing, which is paid for by community donations. Woodland Sergeant James Keller anticipated this year’s Shop with a Cop purchased about $23,000 worth of gifts, which makes the local event the largest in Walmart’s Northwest region for the second year.
“(Shop with a Cop) gives us the opportunity to build a positive relationship with the kids,” Keller said. “They also get some good things out of it. The event builds self-esteem.”