by Jim Walker
On December 14, 2007 my small car was burglarized while I was inside the supermarket buying baby food with my daughter Audrey. Audrey was 11 months old, totally blind, and had just had surgery for five heart conditions two months before.
A Santa Clara County, California, firefighter named Gina witnessed the break-in. When I returned to the car after shopping Gina was already on the phone describing the two suspects to the Campbell police department. Officer Gracie responded to the call and started the investigation.
Both Officer Gracie and Gina fell in love with Audrey, and were moved when hearing of her health situation.
I was so impressed with their help that I gratefully sent commendation letters to the chiefs of both their departments. Ten days later, Officer Gracie called and asked if I would be home that afternoon, as she had a thank you card for the letters. I laughed and said I didn’t need a thank you card, but would be home by 3:00 p.m. if she wanted to drop by.
My two sons had been looking at our Christmas tree for a few days, asking when they were going to see some presents under it. We could only tell them that Santa would surely bring something. The answer came in the form of our public safety Christmas angels.
That afternoon Gracie, Gina, and Gina’s boss all showed up… and surprised us with five bags of gifts.
Unknown to us, the policeman’s association and the firefighter’s association had gotten together and purchased gifts for our whole family, including a different car seat for baby Audrey and toys designed for a blind child. They brought a tool set for me because, the police chief said, “A man has to have his tools,” and mine had been stolen from the car.
What had been a nearly bare Christmas tree was now filled with gifts from these wonderful women and their departments.
While there, Gina’s boss took baby Audrey right out of my arms and said, “My 13-year-old son is blind. I know every agency and every person in this valley to get Audrey all the help she needs! There are camp trips and tons of resources for this special little angel.”
Who would have thought this would come out of a car burglary? These public safety officers give all day in their jobs, and still find time to do things like this. I am truly amazed at the giving nature of these wonderful women and their departments; they are commendable examples of the true caring heart.