Police officers in South Bend, Indiana, responded swiftly on the morning of Christmas Eve, after a “true-life Grinch” broke into one family’s home and stole their food and gifts from under the tree.
“After talking to the homeowner, officers learned that Christmas gifts had been taken, leaving the children with nothing for the holidays,” the South Bend Police Department explained in a post shared to Facebook.
Thankfully, the officers on duty quickly contacted the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36. The group’s “Santa’s Elficers” program told the deputies they had leftover gifts to share with the family in need.
“Officers then came back to the residence with several boxes of Christmas presents and food for the family,” the SBPD explained. “This is what serving our community is all about.”
In the video, four police officers can be seen surprising the mother and her three children with a brand new pile of Christmas gifts. “Oh my goodness,” the overjoyed mom exclaims before telling her kids to thank the officers for their kind-hearted gesture. She, too, thanked them for their generosity.
During an interview with WNDU-TV, Patrolman Brian Meador compared the thief to “The Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ popular Christmas story.
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“They found out that the house had been burglarized and, in the process, the individual had taken all the gifts and even some food out of their refrigerator,” he said. “So, they really left this family with nothing much at all.”
Meador, who works with the “Santa’s Elficers” program, said he was contacted by the officers on duty at the time of the burglary report. While the FOP Lodge members had already delivered toys and food to more than 400 local families, he shared whatever was left over with the family in need.
“[The officers] asked if we had anything extra, and we keep items here at the station for just an instance like this,” he explained. “And when you see the kids — this morning I was able to go out and deliver the food and the gifts — and to see those little girls’ faces when they saw the presents under the tree and started playing with them, that’s why we do what we do.”
“That’s the positive part, and that’s what keeps us going as officers,” Meador added. “And so, I hope it’s a memory for them that’ll last a lifetime. Maybe someday, they’ll be in a position to give back.”
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