DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) – When you hear the words 'Merry Christmas' many things come to mind but it's probably a safe bet images of police officers are not at the top of your Christmas list.
Many times a police officer is the last person you want to see at your front door because most of the time it spells trouble. "They get to see these officers in a different way. Most of the time you see an officer when things are bad coming to your house, you never see an officer coming to your house when things are good," Chief Kent Havard said.
For a few hours Wednesday in Diboll an officer's visit brought cheers and smiles to local residents. It was the Diboll Police Department's annual toy run. Chief Havard has been involved with the project for 12 years. "It's worth it. These kids mean a lot. They're our future. This is who we need to make sure they have a good Christmas."
The gesture adds new meaning to service for the police department. Despite a challenging year, they were able to provide toys for 75 families, including 400 children. All thanks to generous donations and the help of Toys for Tots. Much of the work on the project like the long hours spent collecting donations, making purchases, bundling the gifts and distributing them all is behind the scenes and goes virtually unnoticed.
Officers who helped with the project agree that it gives local youngsters something they wouldn't have if it wasn't for Diboll police and they receive a gift in return. "Just to be able to be a part of this is really touching." "Made me thankful that I have what I have."
"My whole vacation has been spent getting this ready and going. Sure, I put in some long hours but when you see these officers deliver these toys to these kids and be able to see their faces it's worth the work," Havard said.
Work that the officers said they will gladly do again next year, just to hear words like "thank you" from the grateful adults and "Merry Christmas" from the little ones whose eyes light up at the very thought of someone giving them a Christmas present.