Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Virginia, Kara, Josh and 10 other local kids found out Saturday that there was a Santa Claus - in fact, more than one. In this case, there were eight of them. And they wore blue, not red and white.
It was the annual "Shop with a Cop".
"I like Powder Puff toys," one girl said, while another boy said he liked anything with Scooby Doo.
Police officers, spouses and dispatchers helped the kids find that special gift at a local department store.
Officers were scurrying up and down the aisles at the store, trying to keep up with the children.
"This is my first year, but I will do it again and again. This is what Christmas is all about," said Sgt. Dave Archer.
Josh immediately went for the gloves which was something he needed this winter. Next he got a coat and then to the toy department where he scanned the rows of toys for that special toy.
The two boys with Brazil Police Chief Terry Harrison, Matt and Zach, went to get new watches. From there, it was to the electronics department for their favorite music and a computer game.
"This makes my job worthwhile," said Officer Clint McQueen, before he was beckoned to another aisle with his charge. The cart he was pushing was full of toys, clothes and art supplies.
By the way, most of the officers were donating their time to do the shopping. And none seemed to mind the extra duty. The kids were escorted all through the store by the volunteers, who checked their lists and helped the children locate special toys, coats or that special something they had always wanted.
Two young girls knew what they wanted and they headed for the shoes. In no time at all, the sales person had brought out box after box of shoes for the girls to try on. After trying on several pairs, they decided on the ones they wanted and they were put in the shopping cart. On to the clothing section!
Kara wanted a Dalmatian coat, socks, shoes, and a Fashion Puppy and a Fashion Kitty. When she finally found the toys she wanted, she squealed with joy.
"The community really came through this year," said Brazil Police Chief Terry Harrison. "It is really great what the community did this year. We had twice the kids this year than we had last year."
According to Harrison, one child didn't spend all the money on herself. She asked if she could buy presents for other family members - and she was told yes.
"That says a lot about the character of the young people, which we seem to take for granted or we overlook," Harrison said.
Finally all the children had finished their shopping, their gifts loaded into cars for the trip home. These children would have a good Christmas after all, thanks to the generous people of Brazil and to the cops that helped out.
"I want to thank Wal-Mart and the people that donated to the program," Harrison said. "Unfortunately, we know that we didn't reach all the families that could have used some help this year. But, this year was bigger than last, and I hope that next year will be bigger yet."