On December 23rd, Orange County Deputy Justin Neal and his trainee Deputy Eric Peterson were dispatched to return a phone call from a citizen. When they contacted the male caller, he stated that he was unable to provide presents for his three children for Christmas and wanted to know if the Sheriff’s Office could help. The deputies made several suggestions as to organizations he could contact for assistance, but the caller stated he had already tried many of those over the past several days and they were unable to help. The deputies told the caller they would attempt to assist but were not able to promise anything and asked the caller if they could touch base later in the afternoon.
Deputies Neal and Peterson called Deputy Ron Kesner, TRIAD Coordinator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and asked if TRIAD knew of or had any resources to help. Deputy Kesner stated he was not aware of anything other than what had already been tried, but he assured the responding deputies that he would make some phone calls.
Deputy Kesner reached out to a pastor in the area and one of his TRIAD Volunteers. Within the hour $700 had been raised to assist the family. At 1720 hrs. Deputies Neal and Peterson left the Sheriff’s Office to meet the family and transport the parents to a local retail store so they could shop for the children. During the shopping trip, they purchased clothing, presents, and food to prepare a Christmas meal before the deputies transported the parents back home. Deputies Neal and Peterson reported that the family was overjoyed and shared hearty hugs for all that had been provided to them.
The deputies resumed answering calls as they headed back from their Christmas Journey.