Shopping cops brighten holidays for kids

Irvine police Cmdr. Matt Mahony and Lt. Frank Andersen shop at a Target store to find gifts for children attending the Shop With a Cop holiday party.
(Courtesy Human Options)

Irvine Police Department staff members played Santa Claus on Thursday for Shop With a Cop, a holiday party at the civic center for 50 needy children and their families. Officers then headed to a nearby Target store to shop for presents on the kids’ Christmas wish lists, returning in Santa hats to distribute the gifts.

For eight years, Irvine-based nonprofits Team Kids and Human Options have partnered with Irvine police to provide such parties for people in Human Options’ emergency shelter and transitional living programs, which help women, children and families affected by domestic violence. The Irvine Police Department assists those seeking to enter the shelter.

For more information about Human Options, call (949) 737-5242, Ext. 211, or visit

Team Kids helps organize youth-led school and community service programs. For more information, call (949) 861-4887 or visit

—Rob Vardon