Fairfax Police take 30 children on shopping spree

BURKE, Va. (WJLA) – Seven-year-old Jose was one of thirty children who teamed up with Fairfax County sheriff deputies to go on a shopping spree.

"Whatever you like, just let me know."

What child wouldn’t want to hear those words? On Thursday, it was their job to fill up their empty carts, and Deputy George Hovahnnisyan with the Fairfax County Police was Jose’s buddy. This is the third year he has participated in the annual event.

"We tell them that they can have everything they want and that just creates such happiness," he said. "Just makes me feel like I can give these kids something they can use in their lives."

Aside from the happiness, it’s a sense of stability for these children who are living in homeless shelters. In Jose’s case, his mother had no choice but to send him there after Jose’s father was deported back to Honduras.

These families have minimal resources, so shelter officials tell ABC7 that something like this helps tremendously by refocusing the resources they have on more important things like finding housing and jobs.

"When they come back from this event, not only are they ready for the first day, they're ready for the first year," says Victor Dooley of Shelter House Incorporated.

By the time these kids are done shopping, they will have spent more than $300. The sheriff's department has been doing this for{ }about 20 years.