CAMDENTON, Mo. -- Nearly 300 kids in Camden County are celebrating Christmas a little early this year thanks to the annual "Shop with a Cop" program.
Thanks to community donations and fundraisers throughout the past year, the sheriff's office was able to raise $27,100.
That allowed 271 children to shop for whatever they wanted to buy with a budget of $100 each.
Sheriff Tony Helms says he looks forward to this day every year.
"I'll tell you what, my favorite part is seeing everybody come together. You see these officers, every one of them is smiling. Look at the kids here. They've got huge grins on their faces, they're leaving with some stuff they're going to have fun with before Christmas. Just...to see the smiles and the reaction of the people," Helms said of the event.
The sheriff's office says in the past three years, the program has grown from just 70 kids being able to participate.
Helms said he hopes to be able to have 500 children shop with officers in the future, and potentially expand the Shop with a Cop program to two days instead of one.