Redmond police, firefighters and other city workers chaperone shopping at Target; annual Salvation Army event helps kids in need

If you drove by the Redmond Target store at 17700 NE 76th St. on the morning of Aug. 10 and spotted a fleet of Redmond Police and Fire vehicles, rest assured it wasn't due to a crisis. The officers and firefighters, joined by other employees from the Cities of Redmond and Kirkland, were happy chaperones for young back-to-school shoppers at a special outreach event.

Redmond Police Officer J.R. Lipana

If you drove by the Redmond Target store at 17700 NE 76th St. on the morning of Aug. 10 and spotted a fleet of Redmond Police and Fire vehicles, rest assured it wasn’t due to a crisis.

The officers and firefighters, joined by other employees from the Cities of Redmond and Kirkland, were happy chaperones for young back-to-school shoppers at a special outreach event.

On the same day, hundreds of Target stores nationwide hosted opportunities for children and teens to shop with police, firefighters or other civic representatives while using gift cards provided to The Salvation Army.

The youthful guests enjoyed a breakfast donated by Starbucks, shopped for school clothes and supplies and got close-up looks at fire trucks, police cars and motorcycles. They also received a free lunch at the Salvation Army’s East King County headquarters in Bellevue.

The fun and philanthropic event was one of many that the Salvation Army coordinates throughout the year, for low-income kids in communities “from Bellevue through Bothell,” said Kalvin Bizek, an officer in charge of the Salvation Army’s Eastside Corps.

Along with the back-to-school shopping sprees at Target, they have a school supply drive through Fred Meyer and offer Christmas gift assistance.

Plus, the Salvation Army offers after-school programs, day care and teen programs, said Sierra Wagner-Mygrant, social service director for the local Salvation Army.

Brandon Gonzalez, youth director for the local Salvation Army, explained, “All this is done through social services.”

For the after-school programs, children are transported at no cost to the Salvation Army center. Their parents are responsible for picking them up, but while the kids are on-site, they have access to homework help and supervised activities.

For more information, contact Brandon Gonzalez at (425) 452-7300 extension 206 or brandon.gonzalez@usw.salvationarmy.org.

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