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Portage kids Shop with a Hero on Tuesday

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Portage kids Shop with a Hero on Tuesday.{ } (WWMT Zack Lawler)

Kids from the Portage area spent their nights picking out the perfect Christmas presents for their family alongside heroes from the community.

Police officers, firefighters and military members helped them navigate the aisles to find toys and other items that will end up beneath the tree on Christmas day.

Kalamazoo Army Recruiting Team Staff Sgt. Richard Pharr said, “I know if my kids were in a situation where they couldn't do this on their own, it would be a humbling experience to have someone offer that to them. That's humbling in itself."

The Portage Community Center partnered up with Meijer to give eight families a special shopping experience.

The kids were all given $150 to pick out gifts for their family.

Portage Police Officer Robert Gibson said, “It's a great thing to get out here and interact with the community. Kids are having a great time, just a great turnout from all the departments. It's a great way to show our support because we love our citizens and love being out here."

For the police, firefighters and military members taking part in events like this are also an important part of building relationships with their communities.

Vicksburg Police Officer Henry Kite said, “It gives them a sense of security. If they see us in the road, they can stop and say hi and if something's going on they can confide in us and tells us."

The kids who took part got to have a pizza dinner and talk with the heroes they shopped with and their family will also receive a food basket for the holidays.