CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former Chicago Bears player Israel Idonije held his annual Shop with a Cop holiday event Thursday for the 18th year running.
It's a way to help young people build relationships with the police officers who serve their communities.
There was plenty of holiday cheer as Santa and a special group of helpers made some Christmas wishes come true during the 18th annual Izzy's Shop with a Cop Day event.
Everyone had something on their Christmas list from toys to slippers to clothes and more.
Greeted by friendly Officer King, around 100 children from across the city who attended Chicago Public Schools and neighborhood enrichment programs converged on the South Loop Target on Clark Street Thursday morning.
The kids were paired up with at least on Chicago police officer to shop for presents.
Each kid gets a $100 to spend. The only conditions are that they buy a gift for themselves and something educational.
Former Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije came up with the idea nearly 20 years ago after a young boy he met during a school visit told him he hated police officers.
"Getting to know police officers themselves, getting to know there are a lot of great officers out there, people that care out there," he said.
This year, roughly 70 officers from various police districts participated.
"It's really important that they can see us for the people we are not just the badge we wear or the uniform we wear," said Commander Melinda linas.
Linas said she's had no shortage of volunteers for duty, like Officer Cameron Moore, whose shopping cart overflowed with both toys and a new fan of CPD.
"They good. They help people, duh!" said nine-year-old Jason Edmonson.
And as the gifts of trust and acceptance were shared, so was the holiday spirit.