Police officers often have a bad rap (especially as of late) and the good that they do often goes unnoticed, but not this time. This week I am featuring one of our long time clients, The Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (OKC PAL).
PAL is a juvenile crime prevention program providing educational and athletic activities for all children, primarily those in high-risk neighborhoods. OKC PAL brings youth under the constructive influence of responsible adults and police officers that volunteer their time as positive role models. OKC PAL is dedicated to reducing crime by providing safe, healthy alternatives for children from high-risk neighborhoods. PAL exists with the belief children can stay away from negative lifestyle choices such as gangs and drugs when offered positive, healthy alternatives. PAL is not like any other program. It is driven by a philosophy of teamwork, fair play, courtesy and consideration for others.
Every year, PAL receives a grant from Target that allows them to take 20-25 of their PAL kids Christmas shopping. Target gives each child $100 and they’re accompanied by a member of the Oklahoma City Police Department for a 1 on 1 shopping spree (a man in uniform pushing my shopping cart around? YES PLEASE). It’s a great event called Shop with a Cop. It’s Catchy AND it rhymes. Cute. This year it took place on December 11th and Epic Events was lucky enough to get to be a part of it. We doubled as paparazzi of the event and part of Santa’s workshop in the back wrapping everybody’s presents when they were done shopping.
I had the pleasure of wrapping Angelica’s presents (we were doing the “unicorn power” pose in that picture) for her parents and 3 siblings. She even remembered to get a little something for her dog. Every kid we talked to said they were shopping for gifts for their family members. If they had money left over, then they would buy themselves something. HOW SWEET IS THAT?!
This wonderful organization is always looking for volunteers! If you’ve been looking for a way to get involved in the community and give back, PAL will be starting their basketball season and they are in need of volunteer coaches for 6th grade boys and girls basketball. The season runs from January 9th – March 5th, 2016. They practice at least once a week and they have a game every Saturday morning.