BPS members to help youth with Christmas shopping

“Coppers Shoppers” program seeks to develop positive relationships between law enforcement officers and youth through mentorship and camaraderie.

Several Brandon youth will get a particularly special Christmas elf helping them do their holiday shopping on Saturday.

Brandon Crime Stoppers, the Brandon Police Association, the Brandon Police Service, the Shoppers Mall and other sponsors are introducing “Copper Shoppers” in the city this week. The program will see 20 local youth aged 12 to 15 accompanied by a member of the Brandon Police Service as they make gift purchases for their family and friends from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Shoppers Mall. Each participant will get a $200 Shoppers Mall Gift Card to use during their shopping trip.

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“Coppers Shoppers is a brilliant program that will allow our officers to provide leadership to youth at an influential time during their journey of life,” Brandon Police Constable Grant McKay said in a press release announcing the introduction of the program. “Our officers look forward to fun and festive elements of the event.”

The mission of “Coppers Shoppers” is to participate in the spirit of the Christmas season while providing mentorship to youth in the community. The participants have been chosen based recommendations from their school, their contributions to the community and academic achievements.

“Brandon Crime Stoppers is excited to be involved with ‘Copper Shoppers,’ as it is such a feel good initiative that will have a life-long impact on the youth in our community, plus bring smiles to many faces on Christmas morning,” said Rick Thomson, board chair for Brandon Crime Stoppers.

Besides the $200 gift card, youth will receive a bag containing about a dozen items from participating businesses. These sponsors include Bath and Body Works, Bootlegger, the Brandon Wheat Kings, Cherry Hill Photo, Coles, DAVIDs TEA, East Side Mario’s, Hair Today Mall Barbers, Landmark Cinemas, Manitoba Public Insurance, Sport Chek and Tim Horton’s.

“The more organizations that come together, the more expansive that ‘Coppers Shoppers’ can be and the more benefits that our youth can receive,” said Brandon Police Association president Darren Creighton. “Brandon is such an amazing community and this program demonstrates how easily local businesses or organizations are willing to come together for the greater good of others.”

Members of the Brandon Police Service will help youth choose gifts, carry parcels and provide camaraderie during the shopping excursion. Once the gifts are purchased, they will be wrapped and addressed.

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