The Demopolis Police Department played the role of Santa Claus for two local families Wednesday when it presented a sleigh’s worth of gifts.
Crystal Williams was tearful as she received the gifts on behalf of her daughters Camrion Scarborough (9), Alexi Williams (7) and Caitlyn Harris (5).
“For them to have something when they wake up means a lot to me, especially when I can’t do that much for them,” Williams said. “The police department went way over my expectations with the bikes and everything. They’re going to be excited.”
For Williams, the moment was born of the time she has spent at the Demopolis Public Library seeking information to help cope with her medical condition.
“I go to the public library a lot to look up information. I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and I have seizures real bad. Mrs. Connie Lawson has helped me out a lot with that and she has helped me find places to help with my disease because I’ve lost my license and other things like that. Mrs. Connie is really a good person,” Williams, who moved from Meridian approximately a year ago, said. I’ve got three girls: 9, 5, and 7. “They go to Demopolis here. We love it here. We love the people here. It means a lot to me and the girls. They know who Mrs. Connie is and they treat her like she is their grandmother.”
“An individual in town said this family had been through a lot. They have some kids and it looked like Christmas was not going to be good for them,” Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese said. “We wanted to do something to show that we appreciate them and to show the spirit of Christmas this time of year to people who don’t have a lot.”
The department also presented a bevy of gifts to Monroe Richardson Jr., 12, who tragically lost his mother in October when she was shot and killed at her home.
“It means the world because right now he is trying to get past his mom’s death. It means the world to him,” Canary Howard, Richardson’s aunt, said of the Christmas gesture.
“We wanted to do something for that child because Christmas is kind of tough with his mom having passed away. We wanted to do something to show the spirit of love,” Reese said.
The initiative became possible due to the work of John Scales and West Alabama Charity Clays, who held a skeet shoot to benefit the DPD and Demopolis Fire Department in May.
“We used those funds to be able to bless two families,” Reese said. “This represents the whole department. They wanted to be able to give back to the community.”