For more than a decade, Amigos en Azul’s "Shop with a Cop" has touched the lives of thousands of children. The program pairs up an Austin police officer with a child to help pick out Christmas gifts they may not otherwise get.
The idea is to help kids get to know officers on a more personal level to show students the community cares.
“There's so much more to law enforcement -- we try to interact and make a difference and make a positive influence in their lives,” said senior officer Aaron Brown.
Brown has been part of Amigos en Azul for more than 10 years. He said the shopping spree offers a bridge to build bonds.
Officers and students meet one-on-one to shop for holiday gifts, and the tab is picked up entirely by "friends in blue."
Around 50 students were chosen for the program this year and each child was able to spend more than $100 in value for items either for themselves or for their loved ones.
Officers even volunteered to wrap the gifts, making the experience extra special.
"We just want to share our love and support for those who are in need,” Brown said.