Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year.

My husband works in law enforcement, a profession where he sees hurting people every day. He meets them in their darkest moments. People with shattered lives, deep loneliness, and filled with despair—he is with them daily. While these hurts happen year round, it feels harsher at Christmas time. We desperately wanted to do something. But what can we do?

While pondering these thoughts, some friends approached us with a request. This couple wanted to invest in hurting people, but didn’t know how to do so. An idea was born! Their financial backing, combined with my husband’s interaction with the public, provided the perfect solution.

He arranged for several officers to partner with him in this effort. These are some of our Christmas stories. Moments where hope stepped in, and love won.

Coming to the United States from his home country across the globe was supposed to be better than this. Driving a car that threatens to fall apart at any moment, he wonders how he’ll make ends meet. It’s Christmas, and he just lost his job. He sees flashing lights in the rear view mirror, and thinks the night can’t get much worse.

The officer steps up to his window and asks him for some ID. Expecting a ticket for a broken tail light, imagine his surprise when he’s handed a cash gift instead. “Is this for real? Why are you giving me this money?”

The officer replies, “This is the message of Christmas. God loves you, and He wants you to know that.”

A young man can’t believe he’s spending Christmas planning his mom’s funeral. The grief is so thick, and the celebrations all around him seem to mock his pain. How can he feel anything but sorrow? Will every Christmas bring back the pain of his loss? Flashing lights shine in his vehicle, and he pulls over. Great. Now he can add a ticket to the medical bills left behind from his mom’s hospital care.

The officer steps up to his window. He hands over his license and registration, and just wants to get this over with. He hears, “This is the message of Christmas. God loves you, and He wants you to know that.” Looking at what the policeman hands him, he finds a cash gift on top of his registration. He looks at the officer, and tells him all about his mom.

A brother and sister are on their way home from college for Christmas break. Times are really tough, and between the two of them, they have $10 on a debit card. Wouldn’t you know it, their car breaks down on our city’s interstate exit. Needing a ride home, a meal, and a way to tow their car, their $10 wasn’t going to get them anywhere.

A police officer drives by and sees them on the side of the road. After making some calls, connections are made for a friend to pick them up. The officer drives them to a restaurant and hands them a cash gift. “This is the message of Christmas. God loves you, and He wants you to know that.” This brother and sister will make it home for Christmas after all.

There are many more stories like these. We are humbly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, one person at a time. To provide a chance for hope to step in, and for love to win. Merry Christmas, from law enforcement officers everywhere, and their families.

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