Following last year’s successful Shop with a Cop program, the Alaska State Troopers worked with local fire departments to conduct a Shop with a First Responder program this year. Troopers worked with Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department and the City of Delta Junction Volunteer Fire Department to raise money during the past month to help kids bring a merrier Christmas to their families. Children were selected from nominations from the community for families that needed assistance with Christmas gifts.

With the support of local individuals and businesses over $4,000 in cash and merchandise was donated to help 10 children shop at local shops to purchase gifts for other family members and make sure the families had food for Christmas. Some of the kids had as many as 12 siblings.

The kids got to ride in fire trucks and trooper cars to go shopping for about two hours on Saturday, then return to the Rural Deltana Fire Department station on Clearwater Road where volunteers helped them wrap the gifts.

The activities ended with everyone enjoying pizza and snacks.

Sgt. Jason Pugh with the Alaska State Troopers said, “It was really enjoyable to get to spend time with the kids and we are thankful for the support from the community.”

The author is also assistant chief of the Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department.

Michael Paschall is the editor and publisher of Delta Wind and can be reached at