Twice each year, for more than five years, the Rotary Club of Pasadena and the Pasadena Police Department have partnered to provide ‘Shop With a Cop’ for 20 Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena members. The kids and cops shop together at Target for back-to-school supplies, and later for Christmas gifts.
This year, due to COVID-19 and the need to stay safe, the partners decided that rather than shopping together in groups at Target, they would hand-deliver Target gift cards to all the kids attending summer session at the club. Parents and kids can then shop when they feel comfortable to get out to the store.
Pasadena Police Chief John Perez spent Thursday afternoon at the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena’s Mackenzie-Scott Branch on Fair Oaks, greeting parents in the pick-up lane, and handing out gift cards to the kids. He was sometimes met with surprise, then realization of the gift, and always smiles.
“The chief has always shown up in a big way with ‘Shop With a Cop,’ making it a priority to interact with the young people, and now also with their parents. We’re happy we found a way to adapt the program during the pandemic. In reality, the need for such an event is greater right now than ever,” said J.P. Harris, co-chair of the Rotary Club’s Shop With a Cop Committee and a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.
“We are so grateful to the PPD and Rotary Club for helping our families in this way each year, especially during back-to-school when costs can soar. And our kids really enjoyed hanging out with the chief!” said Lisa Cavelier, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena.
The Pasadena Rotary is the oldest and most active service club in the Pasadena community, with more than 200 members and 35 committees. It meets weekly, now via Zoom.