DANVILLE — Shoppers at Kohl's this morning might notice several more smiling facing running around the store.

That's because 48 kids will be going on a bit of a shopping spree, thanks to local police officers in this year's Clothes for Kids program.

"I reach out to social workers at all Vermilion County and District 118 schools and have them select three kids that they feel would benefit from (the program,)" said North Ridge Resource Officer Josh Long. "We send a form home to find out what they need."

Each student selected is matched up with an officer and gets to spend $100 at the store.

"We go through Kohl's and go off of what their needs are," Long said.

The program — once known as Shop With a Cop — is put on by the Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 11.

The students get to shop for themselves, though parents or guardians are welcome to come along and help, making sure the items are something that is needed, and that would be appropriate for home, school and/or church.

"If they need a winter jacket, and that's top priority, that's one of the first things we will go get," Long said.

A list might consist of a jacket, shirts, pants, underwear, socks, shoes, gloves, hats, scarves, etc.

"We don't typically go out and buy toys."

The PBPA pays for the program out of pocket. It doesn't host any fundraisers for Clothes for Kids.

Long said that while no money is being sought from the public, he did want to mention the Don and Deanna Witzel, owners of the local McDonald's restaurants, have donated a free breakfast sandwich to each child chosen for the program.

"The Witzels are always great to work with," Long said. "I appreciate all the help they give us."

Vermilion County students will get their chance to shop beginning at 9:30 this morning at Kohl's, 3707 N. Vermilion. District 118 students will be ready to go at 10.

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