OKLHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The holidays are known as a time to spread a little cheer and give to those in need.
On Saturday morning, local law enforcement officers did just that. They helped grandparents who stepped up to the plate to raise their grandkids.
“They have been very helpful to us in raising our great-granddaughter,” said Dedra Ray, who is a great-grandmother.
“It’s so important because, sadly, Oklahoma is number 7 in the nation for having more grandparents raise their grandkids,” said Sheryl Presley, TRIAD coordinator for the Oklahoma City Police Department.
This December marks 20 years of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Holiday Party.
This year’s event was done drive-thru style to help with social distancing.
Grandparents lined up their cars to pick up some holiday goodies.
“With those vehicles, we are going through each station. And with the stations they get to get wrapping paper, stockings, earmuffs or even hats that are handmade,” said Evelyn Morales, OKCPD cadet.
They also gave out gift cards for Christmas gifts.
“To be able to help them is such a blessing and to be able to give back, to take that stress [where] they don’t have to worry about Christmas gifts,” Presley said.
“This means that I am absolutely getting support and help from other people,” Ray said.
There was a special appearance by Saint Nick himself and there was someone looking to steal Christmas.
“The grinch, you have to really watch him because he’s always trying to steal our thunder,” Presley said. “We won’t let the grinch get in the car. We’ll make sure. If we have to, we’ll arrest him.”
The event was rewarding for those helping out, hoping to make things a little bit easier for those in need.
“Personally, it’s very touching because if we didn’t do this for them, a lot of these families wouldn’t be able to do anything for these grandchildren because they’re on such a fixed income. To have to buy school supplies or Christmas gifts, they’re not able to do it,” Presley said.
Saturday’s event was made possible by members of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Sunbeam Family Services, TRIAD and the Oklahoma Recyclers Association.
It started out 20 years ago by helping 50 children. This year’s event helped nearly 350 children.
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