LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Some area kids will have a brighter Christmas this year, thanks to the efforts of Louisville Metro Police and local businesses.
Excitement built as dozens of children arrived. They were greeted with a handshake, then some pizza and cupcakes, served up by some of the LMPD 8th Division’s finest.
“Everybody's kind of apprehensive and don't know what to think, but by the end of this two hours, they're gonna be sitting with us and laughing. That's the main thing,” LMPD Commander Maj. Todd Felty said.
“I'm having a blast,” Demariae Ray, a fifth grader from Middletown Elementary School said.
The children were selected from Hite, Chauncey and Middletown Elementary Schools.
Part of the purpose of the party was to make sure they all got goodies.
Area businesses like Meijer and Brown-Forman contributed enough money to give more than $100 worth of gifts to each child.
There was also a bigger purpose to the party. .
Demariae says most of the kids see police officers, “when something goes bad. When there's a shooting in the neighborhood."
He lives on Greenwood Avenue, where six people were shot one day last summer. Four of them died at the scene.
That event helped convince Demariae to be a police officer one day, so he can help his struggling neighborhood.
“I guess that's the only reason to be a police officer is to protect people and they care about the community and their country and stuff,” he said.
The 8th division is home to nine JCPS elementary schools.