Ten-year-old Lily knew exactly what she wanted for Christmas.
She selected a Kindle Fire and a bicycle when she participated in the second annual Shop with a Sheriff event Saturday at Kmart.
“I think it’s cool,” Lily said as she pedaled her bicycle out of the store.
She was one of 26 children chosen by Rutherford County Schools to shop with Sheriff Robert Arnold and school resource officers. A fund-raiser at Toot’s South and private contributions funded the shopping event.
The children ate breakfast at Shoney’s, then went to Kmart where Santa met them outside. Bill Shacklett of Shacklett’s Photography took pictures of each child with Santa.
Sheriff Robert Arnold said it was heart-warming to watch the glow, smiles and joy on the children’s faces.
“It was awesome to see the Christmas spirit with Santa and the other SROs,” Sheriff Arnold said.
Deputy Jim Noe, who coordinated the event, said some of the children who didn’t have many material goods were overwhelmed by the opportunity to choose their own Christmas presents.
“What was impressive was some chose gifts for others before they picked their own,” Deputy Noe said.
For unemployed mother Diane Harrison, the event meant her 12-year-old son, Timothy, could have Christmas presents such as a Nintendo, skateboard, socks and boxer shorts. He shared with his 11-year-old brother.
“I only get $274 a month in disability (for Timothy) from his dad,” Harrison said.
The mother and her sons live with her fiancée’s family because they don’t have a place to stay. She borrowed a car to pick up Timothy.
Shop with the Sheriff is “real important because they want everything and I can’t afford it,” Harrison said. “This is his Christmas and his baby brother’s Christmas.”
The Sheriff’s Office thanks the sponsors, the contributors and everyone who supported the event.
Photo: Korbin, 6, smiles at Sheriff Robert Arnold who helped the youngster select toys during the Shop with the Sheriff event.