FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Shoppers at the Apple Glen Walmart received an early Christmas gift and Santa was Fort Wayne’s Fraternal Order of Police Legacy Foundation (FOP).
Wednesday, FOP officers, which included Fort Wayne Police officers and Indiana State Police troopers, walked through Walmart giving $100 gift cards to Walmart shoppers.
“It’s really nice of the police to be out in the community and giving back like that. They already do so much and I feel very grateful for it,” said Adrianne Brooks, a shopper who received a gift card. “It’s nice to see that. It’s nice to see the face of police individually and what they do for us. Not only do they protect and serve but they are also out giving back for the holidays.”
One hundred shoppers received a $100 gift card, totaling $10,000, handed out by the police to people in the community. The FOP was able to do this because of a donation from a local businessman. The business owner chose to stay anonymous but donated the money for the officers to give back to the community.
“The gift cards were an easy way for us to give and it affects so many different people in different locations. Officers took batches of them and as they were out in the community. They might show up to a house where someone doesn’t have enough food or they don’t know where Christmas is coming from,” said FWPD’s Deputy Chief Mitch McKinney.
While officers walked through the store, many people thanked them for what they do for the community. Many recipients were surprised when they received the gift. Kecia Williams told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that she felt amazing and she loves seeing local law enforcement in the community and giving back.
“I am a single mom of five so it’s going to truly, truly bless them,” Williams said. “I love it. They are here to protect us. I know everybody has their own different feelings about it, but I love them.”
McKinney was pleased with the support the officers received while in Walmart. He said encounters like these help drop the “us against them” stigma.
On Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, FWPD held its annual Kops for Kids, when local police officers partner with children to go on shopping sprees for Christmas presents. Kops for Kids has been an annual event for more than 20 years but was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.