Cobleskill cops help kids fulfill Christmas wishes

COBLESKILL – This is a police call that everyone welcomes. Officers and deputies picked up students at school and took them for a big Christmas shopping spree.

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For the first time, Cobleskill police partnered with the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office, adding Radez Elementary to Ryder and Golding.

This year, police didn’t even have to do any fundraising for the event because so many generous people and businesses donated.

"Everybody loves this program," said Cobleskill Police Chief Jeffery Brown. "Everybody contributes to it. It’s through the generosity of the community, not just Cobleskill, but the whole county. We had people walk up to us today, donating money to the program just in the store.

We have some businesses that give us generous donations every year. We can always count on them to help us out."

The Cobleskill Walmart rolled out the red carpet and the children got to work, checking off items on their lists and working side by side with their enthusiastic police partners.

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Fifth-grader Ryan was busy shopping more for his family than himself.

"The things that they asked for and also the things that I know they need," he said. "That is because I am considerate of my family."

His partner, Deputy Terry Minton, volunteered for this event.

"It’s stressful for everybody this time of year, especially with everything that’s going on," said Schoharie County Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Minton. "Gives them some hope. Not everybody’s so fortunate, and that’s what we’re all about, making the kids happy."

It’s not just about putting presents under the tree, but also building relationships early on.

"We love to make their holiday season more special than it might have been otherwise," said Chief Brown. "We get to hang out with the kids, we get to develop those relationships with them at a younger age, and I just think it’s one of the best things, if not the best thing that we do all year."

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After shopping, it was time for a break. The students headed over to Little Italy Pizza and Pasta to have lunch with the officers and deputies, with some new memories and maybe even some new friendships.