Fairfax County kids go shopping with the sheriff

Rising fourth-grader Dontay Scott shows off his Tae Kwan Do skills and receives a congratulatory high-five from Fairfax County's sheriff, who says "He's one of our Junior Deputies now." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Motor Unit Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Wancik checks the pants length for Antonio, who will be in the first grade this fall. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Josh Hyatt's child, who prefers not to be pictured, says Hyatt is a good helper because "he knows how to pick good clothes." adding with a giggle, "he has good style." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Josh Hyatt’s child, who prefers not to be pictured, says Hyatt is a good helper because “he knows how to pick good clothes.” adding with a giggle, “he has good style.” (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Julie Smith with Joeline Laguna Delgado, who is a rising second-grader. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Julie Smith with Joeline Laguna Delgado, who is a rising second-grader. While giving each other a high-five, Smith exclaimed, “girl power!” (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Nazariah Galloway will be in the fourth grade. She's showing off a bold dark patterned dress, but says, "I like colors." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Nazariah Galloway will be in the fourth grade. She’s showing off a bold dark patterned dress, but says, “I like colors.” (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Pictured with his helpers, Captain Sean Whitmore and PFC Ulsh, rising fourth-grader Dontay Scott like movie themes -- he chose 'Star Wars' high-top sneakers and socks depicting Minions characters. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Pictured with his helpers, Captain Sean Whitmore and PFC Ulsh, rising fourth-grader Dontay Scott like movie themes — he chose ‘Star Wars’ high-top sneakers and socks depicting Minions characters. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
Just some of the 40 homeless children being treated to a shopping spree pose with Sheriff's deputies and community leaders, including Fairfax County Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor John Cook, Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaide and Nathan Cooke of Target. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Just some of the 40 homeless children being treated to a shopping spree pose with Sheriff’s deputies and community leaders, including Fairfax County Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor John Cook, Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaid and Nathan Cooke of Target. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
At the Burke, Virginia, Target, 40 children being treated to a shopping spree are from Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Falls Church and Next Steps Family Shelter in Alexandria. (WTOP/Kristi King)
At the Fairfax, Virginia, Target, 40 children being treated to a shopping spree are from Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Falls Church and Next Steps Family Shelter in Alexandria. (WTOP/Kristi King) (WTOP/Kristi King)
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Rising fourth-grader Dontay Scott shows off his Tae Kwan Do skills and receives a congratulatory high-five from Fairfax County's sheriff, who says "He's one of our Junior Deputies now." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Josh Hyatt's child, who prefers not to be pictured, says Hyatt is a good helper because "he knows how to pick good clothes." adding with a giggle, "he has good style." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Deputy Julie Smith with Joeline Laguna Delgado, who is a rising second-grader. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Nazariah Galloway will be in the fourth grade. She's showing off a bold dark patterned dress, but says, "I like colors." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Pictured with his helpers, Captain Sean Whitmore and PFC Ulsh, rising fourth-grader Dontay Scott like movie themes -- he chose 'Star Wars' high-top sneakers and socks depicting Minions characters. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Just some of the 40 homeless children being treated to a shopping spree pose with Sheriff's deputies and community leaders, including Fairfax County Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor John Cook, Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaide and Nathan Cooke of Target. (WTOP/Kristi King)
At the Burke, Virginia, Target, 40 children being treated to a shopping spree are from Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Falls Church and Next Steps Family Shelter in Alexandria. (WTOP/Kristi King)
November 29, 2019 | Shelter House CEO Joe Meyer 'This is hope today' (Rick Massimo)

FAIRFAX, Va. — Dozens of needy children will be starting the new school year in style after a free shopping spree with the Shop with the Sheriff program.

“Each year it seems to get better and better,” Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaid said of the annual charity event.

More than 40 children from area homeless shelters spent Thursday with sheriff’s deputies, enjoying lunch at Paisano’s before being treated to a $250 shopping spree at the Fairfax Target on New Guinea Road.

Program sponsors also include Montessori of Chantilly, Oracle America, the Sheriff’s Benevolent Fund, the Fairfax Sheriffs’ Association and SEIU Virginia 512.

The event helps bring a sense of normalcy to the children. This year’s group comes from three emergency shelters in Fairfax, Falls Church and Alexandria.

“Shop with the Sheriff means a lot — for the families, and for the dignity it brings to these kids, who are able to go to school on their first day and have the same types of supplies as all the other children,” says Joe Meyer, executive director and CEO of Shelter House, which serves homeless families in Fairfax County.

“This is hope today. If we didn’t have programs like this, if we didn’t have partnerships like this — there wouldn’t be that hope,” Meyer says of generous community support.

Beyond the benefits of back-to-school clothes and supplies, Sheriff Kincaid says the program builds relationships. “It’s about us being role models (to the children).”

Deputies interacting with the children encourage them to do well in school and urge them to be confident.

“They can be anything in the world that they want. That’s really important,” Kincaid says.

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