“We’re just blessed to be here," Wells said.

He says the main goal of shop with a cop is to make sure kids feel confident on their first day because school is stressful enough.

“We’ve got school supplies already waiting for them and backpacks, and we just want them to feel good about their first day of school so they’re not worried about anything but just learning," Wells said.

The deputies at Bealls aren’t strangers to the families.

“These are families we have dealt with throughout the year who need a little bit of help," Wells said. "Some of these deputies today have been helping these families out of their own pocket throughout the year, assisting them with food and other items.”

He says days like this just make him proud of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

“I know how hard they work each and every day to help people out, and I know they really care about these kids, and that’s what I want the community to know - that they really care about making a difference," Wells said.

Manatee County schools begin August 12th.