Winfree Academy Participates In 1st Annual Journey To Dream Shop With Cops Program
|Lewisville| Journey to Dream kicked off its 1st Annual Shop with Cops Program on Thursday, December 17th. Ten students were selected to go shopping for an evening with ten police officers from the Lewisville and The Colony Police Departments. Six of those lucky ten students who were selected to participate this year were from our Winfree Academy Lewisville Campus.
The event began with each student partnering with a police officer and getting to ride in the front seat of the police car. All 10 police department patrol vehicles departed from the United Methodist Church in Lewisville where the event was held and drove through the City of Lewisville with sirens and lights blaring. Once the cars arrived at Target, each of the students were each given gift cards to shop for themselves and their families. Students were assisted not only by their partner police officer, but also by special elves provided by Target.
Among the students selected from Winfree Academy Lewisville was Shelby. She expressed how much this event meant to her. “I was able to shop for my 4 year old daughter which was a blessing. I shopped for movies, toys and clothes for my family. My new (cop) friend helped me pick some great gifts out for myself as well,” Shelby says. “Winfree has taught me respect, but today I was able to have a different level of respect for the cops after seeing how nice they were to us.”
Retired federal agent and teacher Michelle Deaver, who serves on the Board Directors for Journey to Dream, loved tagging along with the students and police. “This event was created to bridge the gap between police and the community. We focused on kids that were older, who might be nervous, or have been on the other side of law enforcement because we want them to understand the police better and for the police to understand that these kids have a heart. They are not just someone to discount,” Michelle says. “After all, people have a heart but they don’t always know what to do with it.” The event concluded back at United Methodist Church in Lewisville where over 170 kids and over 300 family members gathered to shop through a number of free gifts, clothes, and pre-filled stockings. Santa Claus was also there to take pictures along with games, food, and lots of fun activities.
The entire evening was filled with fellowship, the spirit of giving, and gratitude. This holiday season was made a bit brighter for all of the students selected, especially those from Winfree Academy. The event may have only lasted one night, but the memories and friendships made will last a lifetime. Winfree Academy is honored to have been invited to partner with Journey to Dream in their inaugural Shop with Cops Program.
Journey to Dream is a non –profit that was founded in 2004 by two mothers who witnessed firsthand how devastating addiction affects families. They provide a safe haven for young people to feel accepted and understood and teach students to use their experiences to help others and live with purpose.