Monday, 23 December 2019 18:42

Hamlet Police Department adopts family for Christmas

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Siblings Zarya Rardin and Dasan Boone each open one of their gifts from the Hamlet Police Department, Water Department and City Hall on Monday. See a video at the bottom of this post. Siblings Zarya Rardin and Dasan Boone each open one of their gifts from the Hamlet Police Department, Water Department and City Hall on Monday. See a video at the bottom of this post. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — The Hamlet Police Department made one family’s Christmas a little merrier Monday morning.

The department, with the help of Richmond County Schools, adopted a local family to provide presents and needed household items.

The gifts were set up in the Hamlet City Council chamber at 11 a.m. when Tammy Miller walked in with her grandchildren, 10-year-old Zarya Rardin and 14-year-old Dasan Boone.

Miller and her husband, Charles, gained custody of the kids several years ago after they were abandoned by their mother in Kentucky, she said. 

Their household also includes a disabled adult son.

As they followed Chief Tommy McMasters into the chamber, they were greeted with a boisterous “Merry Christmas,” by City Manager Jonathan Blanton.

“Santa Claus coming to town?” he asked.

The table featured several wrapped presents, in addition to unwrapped household items, including deodorant, body wash, dish soap, paper towels and a Christmas turkey.

Miller allowed the children to open one gift each - Dasan got a pack of pencils, which he said he really needed; and Zarya received an LOL Surprise doll. The rest would have to wait until Christmas.

“Got to have some surprise,” Miller said.

The funds for the gifts came directly from employees and not from municipal coffers.

McMasters got the idea in October and said the department began collecting money last month, when he sent an email asking the command staff to donate $20 each from their own pockets. He also asked for $10 from the sergeants and $5 from the patrolmen.

When Shannon Fowler heard what the police department was doing, McMasters said she took up money from staffers at the water department. The administrative staff also chipped in when he told Blanton.

“We just rock and rolled with it from there,” McMasters said.

To pick the family, McMasters started with the Division of Social Services, but all the names were families who lived in the county, outside the city limits.

Being a city department, McMasters said they wanted to pick a family in Hamlet.

He then turned to the school system, which suggested a family with students at both Hamlet Middle and Monroe Avenue.

“It worked out well,” the chief said.

Blanton said the city got a list from the family of the things that they wanted or needed.

“I’m very excited we were able to do that,” Blanton said. “We were able to raise a lot of money, get a lot of stuff for them, so hopefully, that’ll help them out some.

“I wish we could do more,” he added. “It’s just very heart-wrenching to see people that have so little and so many people that need help and it’s hard to kinda single people out and just pick one.”

McMasters said he plans to add funds to adopt another family next year to the department’s budget and he and Blanton said they hope to continue next year and expand the project in the future.

“It means the world to us,” Miller said after the presents were loaded up in her pickup truck, adding that this Christmas has been worse, financially, than in years past. “We really appreciate the school system and Hamlet Police Department and we wish everyone a merry Christmas.”

 

Last modified on Monday, 23 December 2019 18:55

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