HAVERHILL — One hundred children selected by their school resource officers each received $100 for a Christmas shopping spree at a local Target store.

As part of the Heroes and Helpers program hosted by Haverhill police along with firefighters from Local 1011, the roughly 50 participating first responders served as the children’s personal shoppers Dec. 11, helping them select gifts for family members, including toys for siblings.

And as they checked out, each child received gift bags.

The event was coordinated by team leader Sgt. Kevin Lynch and school resource officers Gillian Privitera, Milady Figueroa and Nicole Donnelly.

The children were chosen by the school resource officers and each given $100 gift cards to purchase gifts for their families. The event ran for approximately six hours, but each child had about an hour to shop for gifts with officers, firefighters and Trinity EMS paramedics.

Police Capt. Wayne Tracy said the school resource officers feel personally invested in helping children and it is an amazing thing to see.

“They’ve given up a lot of their personal time to organize this event months in advance,” he said. “They treat these kids like family during the hour they help them walk around and choose presents.”

He said his department looks forward to this event each year as a way to put smiles on children’s faces so they can help make the holidays merrier for their families.

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