Each year, the staff at Central Market contact me at the Detroit Lakes Police Department with a special request to identify a family or two who are a little "down on their luck" and could use some help during the Christmas season. They prepare presents and gift certificates valid at their store for the various family members and I delivered the Christmas presents. This year, I was accompanied by our student intern, Chelsea, as we set out on our deliveries.
At the first residence, we were met by mom, Chrissy, and a toddler. Chrissy had no idea why we were there or what we were lugging with us in those two large garbage bags, but readily invited us inside so we weren't left to stand in the cold. The home was very modest and the saran wrap replacing the broken rear door window was evidence of just one of the many things they are probably doing without right now. I explained the source of the generosity and the fact that she had been "nominated" by an unknown police department employee. Chrissy was at a total loss for words, but the expression on her face conveyed an understanding that someone had just extended their hand to her as a gesture of the season. She cried and hugged me for what seemed like eternity, it was apparent a Christmas wish had just been granted. Chelsea dang near cried and we left before I began getting all snotty-nosed and teary-eyed.
Our second delivery was to Jennifer. We tracked Jennifer down as she was leaving work and met her in the parking lot. Once again I explained the source of the generosity and told her that a couple of us just knew she could use a little help right now, and we wanted to make sure she and her 5-month-old baby had Christmas gifts. The same look, the same hug without words exchanged but this time I couldn't hold it in. What a wonderful emotion.
Today started as just another day of complaints, petty bickering and dealing with people who just don't seem to get it. Thank God for the opportunity to bring a little ray of sunshine into my day by delivering these presents to someone whose problems are real. I appreciate the Central Market staff not only for allowing us to be involved, but for being the source of the joy these people will feel when they open their presents on Christmas day. My hat is off to your gang for their thoughtfulness!