Monday, December 29, 2008

Nice story: 911 staff saves Christmas for poor kids

Chicago's 911 dispatchers rescued Christmas last week for a family whose distraught grandmother had called for help. Shirley Bell called 911 on the day before Christmas for her very upset 8-year-old grandson, Malik Parish.

"It was something about that grandmother's voice, and that child and his candidness. He said, 'I don't have any toys for Christmas,'" said 911 dispatcher Pamela Jenkins.

Bell, who has custody of five children, said she recently suffered a stroke and a heart attack, and support checks from the state had not arrived. Jenkins alerted co-workers and dispatched police officers, who found a nice, clean home without a single sign of Christmas.

Within hours, the 911 dispatchers and their families had gathered $200 for new presents to go with toys and clothes donated by their own children. Malik got a G.I. Joe and a PlayStation, and groceries were delivered on Christmas Day.

"There are countless times we want to help," Jenkins said. "I enjoyed it, and I wish we could help people more than we do." (info from UPI)

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