First Responders give early Christmas to seniors

Posted: 8:42 AM, Dec 11, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-11 08:42:37-05

For one day of the year, a Lansing fire house turns into Santa's Workshop, full of police officers and firefighters filling up boxes.

"It's wonderful what you can do. You can go down the line here on the tables, you'll see everything," said volunteer Wilma Kitchen. "Everything that somebody could possibly need. From detergent to personal items to towels to socks."

The Tri-County TRIAD is an organization with law enforcement agencies, fire personnel, and senior citizens to help promote elder quality of life through advocacy, assistance, education, and training.

The group makes it its mission to make sure senior citizens in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties aren't forgotten.

"When the holiday season comes, everybody remembers kids and families, but people often forget senior citizens," said Lt. Traci Ruiz of Lansing Police and Tri-County TRIAD member.

Lt. Ruiz says during the holidays, senior citizens are usually forgotten.

"Often time they are not thinking of the senior citizens that are home bound, who truly want to remain living independently and are physically capable, but financially it is very difficult for them," said Lt. Ruiz.

Just like Santa's elves, officers, firefighters, and volunteers worked down the assembly line before loading everything into cop cars.

"This is the nice part of the job. You get to get out, know that you're helping the community and keeping the seniors in mind. These are the added perks to our jobs," said Sgt. Sean Mills of Lansing Police.

On his day off, Sgt. Mills is using that time to show the community just how much first responders care about the community.

And for Denise Shepherd, the help couldn't have come at a better time.

"I don't have a whole lot. I don't have a whole lot of money," Shepherd said. "Very thankful that somebody is thinking about you and you can get what you want. Something from somebody else. It's really neat."

It's always good to know that someone cares.