EAST STROUDSBURG—Santa came early for one family in East Stroudsburg this year, complete with a police escort.
Stroud Area Regional Police Officer Chris Shelly came up with the idea.
In 2006, one of his fellow officers, Jeff Olsen, died.
So Shelly and others at the police department started collecting money for Olsen`s sons.
This year, Shelly wanted to do that and more.
He wanted to help a local family in need and he found one while on the job.
He met a grandmother who is raising a young granddaughter.
“Her car was broken down, when I bumped into her, it popped into my brain. Real good people. Why don`t we help out and give this little 7-year-old girl a good Christmas to remember?” said Officer Shelly.
Dozens of people donated and helped make the donation of gifts, a 700-dollar gift card, a turkey dinner and even a Christmas tree possible.
That grandmother and her husband said they are touched by everyone`s generosity for them and little Emilia.
“When we saw the parade and I think I saw something red and it was Santa. It was overwhelming and I am very blessed and I am very thankful. I am very thankful,” said Brigida Persia Colon, wiping away tears.
“I`m very humbled now and it`s very emotional for me. I`m not crying but inside I am,” said Luis Colon.
Jeff Olsen`s sister said she knows her brother would love how his department is giving back and what they are doing in his memory.
“He`s going crazy. Wherever he is, he`s going crazy,” said Patty Olsen Muller.