Heroes and Helpers 2023

Published on December 12, 2023

cop posing with child

Gainesville, Florida - In a display of community and holiday spirit, the Gainesville Police Department teamed up with local partners for the annual "Heroes and Helpers" event. Police officers paired with deserving children from the community for a Christmas shopping spree at the Butler Plaza Target.

Gainesville's Heroes and Helpers event has become a tradition, fostering relationships between law enforcement and the youth they serve. The event began when police officers picked up their helpers in marked patrol vehicles and were brought to Butler Plaza for pre-event photos. The helpers then hopped in their assigned officer’s police vehicle for a convoy to the Butler Plaza target with lights and sirens on!

Local businesses and charity organizations rallied to support the initiative, providing funds that enabled each pair to make the most of their shopping experience. The helpers were given the opportunity to select gifts for themselves and their loved ones.

The Heroes and Helpers event is not only a celebration of the holiday season but also a demonstration of the commitment of Gainesville's police force to strengthen community bonds. By fostering positive interactions between law enforcement and local youth, the program aims to create a foundation of trust and understanding.

A special thank you to all who made this wonderful event possible!

  • Target
  • Basketball Cop Foundation
  • Service First
  • A+ Biorecovery
  • Butler Plaza
  • The Freeman Family