Del City police are rallying behind a family that could use some help for the holidays. Officers are providing Christmas for a grandmother who is raising her four grandsons, which is a family dynamic that is becoming more and more common in the metro.
The sheriff's office reports that Oklahoma County ranks second in the nation for grandparents raising grandchildren. Sherry Ward, who is the mother of one of Del City’s officers, takes care of four boys by herself. This is the third year the department has raised money to buy them gifts, but the people helping her this Christmas are also getting something in return.
Del City police officer and fundraiser organizer Kyle Preston is giving donors a return on their investment that goes beyond the feeling of doing good for a deserving family. He hosted a weapons class Sunday evening for those who stepped up to help Ward and her grandsons.
“It’s so easy for us as Americans just to throw money at a problem,” Preston says. “I want people to actually reach out and have the accountability of what they’ve done.”
The money will provide Christmas presents for the boys, who range in age from eight to 12, and any left over money will be turned over to Ward herself.
Preston says, “Even if she can use some of that towards rent or an electric bill this month, that’s such a huge relief this time of year.”
Preston says the Del City community never disappoints, rallying together for each of the police department's special causes like this one. That bond also led Del City voters to approve a sales tax increase last month that will help hire more officers and give them raises.
Preston says despite some hardships within the department recently, his faith in the ability to help others is never wavering.
“I feel like God has always put me where I need to be at every time,” he says, “and that’s what happens is, we just show up, and as long as we just show up and we’re willing, everything that we need always comes through.”
The gifts will be delivered next weekend. Anyone who still wishes to donate to the Ward family Christmas can reach out to Officer Preston on Facebook. To connect with him, click here.