Weird is the new cool.
That's what Rob Kreider found out as he helped 5-year-old Travis Kornbau pick out Christmas gifts at Target in West Manchester Township during Shop with a Cop on Tuesday.
As Kreider, an officer with York County Juvenile Probation, pulled an animatronic toy dog from a shelf, Travis said the same thing he said about most toys, "That's weird."
Nonetheless, the smiling West York boy wanted the dog, and it quickly went into a shopping cart.
"I think when he says, 'That's wierd,' he means it's cool," Kreider said to Travis' mother, Tana Dellinger.
Helping out: Travis was one of 23 unprivileged children to be treated to a shopping spree organized by the West York Block Watch.
Each child had a budget of $125, and Tyler Leed, 7, was keeping close tabs on how much he had left to spend after he picked out a couple of toys.
But then he had to do some subtraction. When Tyler saw an Iron Man toy that flies, he figured out if he put back a remote controlled car, he'd have enough for the newfound toy.
"You'll have to take it outside. I don't think your mom would want you to play with it inside," Sean Hightman, a West York patrolman, told the young boy as he put the toy into a cart.
After finding a blue light saber to go with a Darth Vader mask, Tyler ended his shopping spree and made his way to front of the store to check out.
Yearly tradition: Throughout the toy section, West York's police officers, firefighters and members of BARK -- which stands for Borough Animal Response Krew -- as well as a U.S. Army soldier, York County probation officers and sheriff's deputies and other volunteers helped the children select their perfect toys.
"It's really nice we can put our differences aside," said Ken Welsh, vice president of the volunteer-run block watch. "It's all for the kids and the families."
Through its Toys for Tots program, the U.S. Marine Corps made bicycles available to children who took part in Shop with a Cop. Each family also received a Christmas dinner with all the fixings, Welsh said.
Families that have pets also received pet food from BARK.
Welsh said generous donors, many of whom help out during the event, made the eighth annual event possible.
"People that donate, we try to get them out to help to see what they're donating for," Welsh said.
-- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.