NEWINGTON, Conn. – "For everything my community has given to me over the years, it is important to give back to the community," Quinnipiac men's basketball assistant coach Scott Burrell said Wednesday.
On December 18, 2013, The REACH Foundation introduced its newest program, "Shop with a Cop", in which Burrell was proud to lend his services as a special Connecticut guest for the evening. The one-on-one experience was designed to have uniformed officers spend a day with underprivileged children while socializing, shopping, and providing guidance during the holiday season.
The children shopped for their family as well as a children's organization from the community where the police officer or special guest serves. The unique shopping experience for the children is an opportunity that deters them for choosing a life of crime or violence. The participating children are identified by schools, youth organizations, and social services agencies.
After interacting with the children for the first time at The Hawthorne Inn, everyone made their way over to the Target down the road. Upon arrival to the store, police officers and celebrity guests were presented with a calculator in preparation for the shopping spree. Burrell partnered with New Haven Police Officer Jennifer Mancini to help a four-year old boy, David, around the store. David picked out everything from clothes to toys, while Burrell and Mancini assisted with sizes and styles.
"David was awesome," Burrell said with a smile when asked about the afternoon. "I hope that this event makes a positive difference in kids' lives. I have had the opportunity to work with The REACH Foundation numerous times in the past. It is nice to be invited to participate in 'Shop with a Cop' and make a difference in the community."
At the conclusion of the evening, everyone met in the front of the store to take pictures with Santa Claus. Burrell, Mancini, David and President and Co-Founder of The REACH Foundation, Mark Wilson took a group picture with Santa for a photo that will summon a memory for a lifetime.
The Quinnipiac men's basketball team is back in action against Lehigh on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The game will take place at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa. with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.
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