PORTLAND – Christmas came early for 60 Gregory-Portland elementary students.

The 22nd annual Shop with a Cop (SWC) event continued on Tuesday at Portland’s Walmart with G-P students receiving $130 for clothes, shoes, blankets and, of course, toys.

“All these children been picked by the school counselors at the local elementary schools, and these are the kids that are in the most need of Christmas supplies and, honestly, this will probably be their only Christmas – what we provide them with Shop with a Cop,” Portland Police Chief Mark Cory said.

“That’s why it’s so important for us to do this every year.”

Chief Cory said that the Portland community was  able to raise more than $5,000 which they donated to SWC. That allowed them to give the kids a little more this year.

In total, the organization will help more than 600 area students celebrate Christmas this year alone.

“This is the day that we that we look forward  to the most,” the police chief continued.

“When you can help 60 kids that are in need of having a Christmas, nothing’s better than this. 

“This is the best day of the year.”

Paul Gonzales is the editor at the News of San Patricio and can be reached at 361-364-1270 or at mathisnews@mySouTex.com.