Police department collecting donations for families in crisis

Photo by Sharon Brooks

Beaumont Police Department Chief Jimmy Singletary said he is grateful for the generous volunteers who decorated the downtown station’s tree this year, and to people who continue to donate gifts for local families in need this holiday season.

Debbie Rogers and Amy Hymel volunteered their time and services to make the lobby at the police station more festive in celebration of Christmas.

“These two women came in on their own time and did this for us, and we really appreciate it,” Singletary said.

And what’s that under the tree? It’s a plethora of presents donated by the public, explained Officer Carol Riley. The gifts will be handed out to families “in critical need.”

“Officers going out on calls sometimes encounter families with no gifts under the tree, and those with no tree at all,” she said. “One woman reported a theft from her car. An officer went out there, and there were these little girls. They were really sweet. The officer noticed there were no gifts or Christmas decorations, and the girls’ mother said she just couldn’t afford anything at the time.

“Santa in Blue had already been done, and the presents distributed. People are nominated for that earlier. She didn’t call for help with presents, and she wasn’t making a big deal about it. She had just called to report the theft. But we still wanted to help. So, we brought them Christmas gifts a day or two before Christmas. The girls squealed; they were so excited.”

Riley said officers give the reserve gifts currently collecting under the department’s Christmas tree to people who would otherwise have none, like victims of house fires.

“We don’t ever want a child to be without a Christmas present,” said Riley. “We wanted to make Christmas brighter, share our Christmas spirit and bring a little joy to people.

“These gifts could change a child’s whole outlook on life.”

Seeing generosity in action inspires generosity, Riley asserts.

She said people are welcome to bring by gifts for officers to distribute as Christmas approaches. She is hoping to collect more gifts for youth in the 8 to 14 years age group.

“We get a lot of baby gifts, but we don’t want to leave out the 8 to 14 age group,” stated Riley. “They get asked at school about Christmas gifts, and it has a big impact on them.”

Stop by the station at 255 College St. in Beaumont to make a gift donation. The items are being collected under the tree.