Redondo PD, Target, help families shop
by David Mendez
As 9-year-old Saúl wandered the toy aisles of Target with officers from the Redondo Beach Police Department, he thoughtfully eyed the Hot Wheels track already in his cart. After a few moments, he asked the officers if he could put the track back.
“I’m getting something for my sister,” Saúl said, smiling.
Saúl was one of a handful of kids whose families were selected by the Redondo Beach Police Department to get some help for the holidays, as the Redondo Beach Police Foundation and Target helped purchase and wrap gifts for families in need of a little extra help during the holidays.
“It’s unbelievable, are you kidding? These kids are so appreciative. I wish we could do it every day, and I wish we could do it for a lot more kids,” said RBPD Lt. Wayne Windman.
The department, he said, has a history of charity, both helping with Christmas shopping and in delivering holiday meals.
“We try to do this stuff quietly,” Windman said. “But for all the things we have to deal with every day, some of the people we deal with, this is a dream come true. This is the other side of the world for us.”
The day of shopping came from a $1,000 total in gift cards granted by Target and RBPF.
“We want to help highlight the community and what our law enforcement agencies do within the community,” said Target spokesperson Ashley Leonard. “It’s about bringing the holiday spirit this time of year, and we want to help bridge the gap.”
Back in the toy aisle, Saúl led his police escorts around while he found the perfect gift for his sisters.
“He’s the little brother, and I’m so surprised that he worries more about his older sisters than him,” said Edith Jaime, Saúl’s mother. “I guess they see it because of me.”
She’s a single mother with four children in Redondo schools. Jaime is currently working two jobs — one full-time, one part-time — and she’s admittedly still having trouble making ends meet.
“I’m really thankful,” she said tearfully. “It’s really hard for me to buy what they want.”
Jaime is currently working toward her own schooling, on the path to a GED, then looking forward to a four-year degree, to better things for her and her family.
“For me, it’s really special looking at him, seeing the police officers going back and forth with him…but it’s breaking my heart, because he’s thinking more about his sisters than himself.”
Saúl didn’t seem bothered though; he wore a large “Holiday Helper” crown and a larger smile as he walked around the store.
“The families are so appreciative,” Windman said, as he watched Saúl shop. “These kids will never forget it, nor will I.”