Riverside County firefighters to take underprivileged kids Christmas shopping

RIVERSIDE – Underprivileged children will experience the joy of Christmas shopping with Riverside County firefighters thanks, in part, to a $1,400 allocation approved by Riverside County supervisors today.

Supervisors Bob Buster and John Benoit will disburse money for the “Shop with a Firefighter'' program from their community improvement budgets.

Each supervisor was allocated $500,000 in community improvement funds for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The funds are required to be spent on events or programs beneficial to the public.

The Riverside County Professional Firefighters Union sponsors the “Shop with a Firefighter'' program every year to help needy children. The county's Department of Public Social Services selects children ages six to 12 years old,

many of them in foster care, to go on a two- to three-hour shopping trip with a uniformed firefighter.

According to county fire Capt. Brad Moore, firefighters generally have about $200 to spend and begin by purchasing necessary items like clothes and school supplies. After that, they look for toys the youngsters crave, he said.

A shopping trip is planned Saturday at the La Quinta Wal-Mart, 79295 Highway 111, and Dec. 19 at the Perris Wal-Mart, 2560 North Perris Blvd. Each event is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

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