It's became a staple of the holiday season, "Shop with a Hero."
Meijer and the Mishawaka Fraternal Order of Police teamed up for the program to make the holidays merrier for underprivileged children in St. Joseph County.
The kids each got a $100 gift card to buy Christmas presents and they got the company of a cop to shop with. But for one family, this event was about more than having presents.
"It means a lot to me that the Mishawaka Police had the time to put this on for them," said parent Kelly Martindale.
Martindale's son Joseph was one of 35 area kids chosen for the "Shop with a Hero" event.
"It makes me very happy inside," said Martindale.
Joseph's shopping partner was Lt. Tim Williams with the Mishawaka Police Department.
"Because that's the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas isn't just going out and buying gifts for each other, it's being able to help somebody out in their time of need," said Lt. Williams.
Once inside the store, the family and Lt. Williams immediately went for the toy section.
It wasn’t long before Joseph's baby brother, Casey, found what he wanted: a fire truck. Joseph is a little pickier. After perusing the aisles, he eventually picked up some DVD's, a football and more.
"[I'm excited because] I can like pick a lot of stuff even though it's really expensive," said Joseph.
Martindale is strapped financially, partly because of medical bills. Last November, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. One of her kidneys had to be removed. She also has lymphoma.
"Chemo is the only thing keeping me going and it's wonderful that my kids. I just want their Christmases to be special because I don't know how long I have with them," she said.
Lt. Williams knows what the family is going through. His sister passed away from cancer. He met Joseph through the Dare Program and has been supportive all along.
"It's a very tough time for a lot of people because of our economy and because of family situations and I know that in the life of the children I'm with today, this is a very big deal and it could make a long lasting impact to help them through the situation that they're going through," said Lt. Williams.
"Today is a big blessing, that I got to do this, well not me but my kids," said Martindale.