Earlier this year, Tyson Nauyuq was critically injured in a hunting accident.
The eight-year-old, who is a resident of Pangnirtung, Nunavut, wasn’t expected to survive. But with the treatment he’s been getting at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, he’s on his way to recovery.
While he’s seen little of Ottawa since he got here in August, Nauyuq got a treat yesterday when he — and about 30 other children — went on a shopping spree.
Armed with Christmas wish lists, 33 children from the national capital area were paired with 33 Ottawa police officers — who volunteered their time to act as personal shoppers — for the second annual CopShop event in Ottawa.
The Billings Bridge Shopping Centre supplied each of the children with a $200 gift card, so that the participants — chosen by community groups and police because of need, or in recognition of academic, sports or volunteer achievements —could do their Christmas shopping.
“They’re deserving kids who have done good things through their community,” said Const.
Walter Duhme. “This is a way of rewarding them for what they have given through their communities.”
“There are so many deserving children out there who may not otherwise get to celebrate Christmas,” said Greta Bloskie, marketing director at Billings Bridge.
When asked who he was shopping for, 10-year-old Dylan Nicolitisis pulled out a list and studied it.
“My brother, my baby brother and my mom,” he said. He also had a few things for himself on the list, including a walkie-talkie, a big colouring book and some crayons.
Nicolitisis’ shopping buddy Const. Jon Trudeau was hoping that this event would give kids “a different perspective on police officers, and put them in a positive light.”
“You want to make sure you leave impressions on everyone, especially young kids,” agreed Duhme. “They’ll know that if they ever need an officer, they can trust us and call us at any time.”