Gautier police help two families have a Christmas to remember - - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier police help two families have a Christmas to remember


The shop with a cop program came to Gautier for the first time Monday. Officers have spent the past few weeks raising money to help two families in need.

The day begins with a cheerful hello. Then it's time to load into the police van for a ride to Walmart. Blue lights help speed up the mission. Each family member has $250 to spend.

The teens know what they want: An X-Box for Joseph Hall, toys for little brother Jacob, and a feeling of the true holiday spirit for mother Christina. 

"I'm happy about it, but the only thing I think about is my kids. As long as my kids have something, that's all that matters to me." Hall said.  

Ayla Lollar is getting a new cell phone, thanks to these badge wearing Santas. Her father, Heze, knows it's a present that will make Christmas day very special.  

"We're very blessed to have it because I didn't have a lot this year," Lollar explained. "You know it's been a hard economy and all that everybody knows all that's going on so it's a good thing she needs and I wasn't going to be able to give her everything she wanted." 

For the police officers involved, they are usually dealing with the seedier side of life, dealing with the bad guys. However, a program such as this gives them a whole new perspective on life. 

Officer Diane Schmid took part.  "It's a lot of fun to watch their faces and the excitement for these kids and for the parents too because they probably wouldn't have a Christmas if this was not available," Schmid said. 

Officer Derrick Welton also went shopping.

"It brings me back to a point where I can be like I was when I originally started policing. Just genuinely wanting to help other and be more Christ like," Welton explained. 

Time to check out and head home for the holidays, a holiday that will be remembered by the two families for years to come thanks to the efforts of those who protect and serve, and now shop. The two families also received $100 to spend on food.

Gautier officers are hoping to expand the program next year with even more community support. That would mean more families could be adopted. As an added gift, J.C. Penny donated warm winter coats for both families.

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