Christmas came early for more than 600 metro kids, who are all being raised by their grandparents.
Law enforcement officers from Midwest City, OKC and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office took time Saturday morning to help the grandparents who have taken on the job of raising a second family.
Jacqueline Hildreth has been raising her 10-year-old granddaughter Nene for more than seven years. The two have a close bond, but Hildreth pointed out she and other grandparents face unique challenges in raising their grandkids.
"I thank the lord that I am here and able to raise her," said Hildreth. "You've worked. You've retired, you know. You budget yourself and all of a sudden you have another child. You're starting all over in your 60s, 70s, some grandparents are even in their 80s."
OKC Police Chief Bill Citty said that all of these grandparents deserve the recognition because the work they are doing now by stepping in and raising children, improves a child's chances at succeeding.
"It's making sure the kids get to school. It's making sure they're clothed and fed, healthy. It does, you know, the grandparents step in where you may not. The parents are not able to help raise the kids in the way to be productive citizens," said Citty.
"If it wasn't for the grandparents, I don't know where half of the children would be this day," added Hildreth.
Each grandparent submitted a specific Christmas list for their grandchildren. The kids received $30 worth of gifts.