Officers deliver holiday cheer to those in need

Springfield program provides complete Thanksgiving meal to city families.


For the past month, Laura Bates hasn’t had a job, money or a place to call home. But none of that was as heartbreaking for the single mom as knowing she wasn’t going to be able to give her son a real Thanksgiving dinner this holiday.

“It’s the little things,” she said. “It’s never quite been like this, where I’ve hit rock bottom and can’t even afford to eat Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a really bad feeling when you have kids, and this is a family time, and I couldn’t provide.”

So it was very unexpected when a Springfield police detective who met her at the hospital when she was with her son recommended her for the department’s annual Operation: Thanksgiving. When she got a phone call telling her the department would provide her a holiday meal, free of charge, Bates said, “It actually made me cry.”

“I’ve had my bad times with the cops, but I’ve never been on this side with them. They are really there to help you,” she said. “It just touches my heart.”

The program delivers holiday dinners to needy families identified by Springfield Police Division officers and Catholic Charities.

This year, officers helped 10 area families with a turkey dinner along with all the fixings: stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetables, bread, milk, eggs and, of course, pumpkin pie.

With the help of the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Springfield Command Officers Association, Meijer and Walmart, volunteers and police officers assemble the meals and then make door-to-door deliveries. It’s one of the most positive experiences the department has all year, said Sgt. Joe Tedeschi.

“These folks live in our community, and it is still very tough economic times, and our police officers come into contact with them every day,” he said. “We’re just fortunate that we’re able to go and help them.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Ohio set to resume executions this week, child killer awaits appeals
Ohio set to resume executions this week, child killer awaits appeals

Ohio is moving toward carrying out its first execution in more than three years. The last time that happened was January 2014 when a condemned inmate repeatedly gasped and snorted during a 26-minute procedure with a never-before-tried drug combo. Executions have been on hold since because the state had trouble finding new supplies of drugs, and death...
Baptist pastor charged in prostitution sting, resigns from Texas church
Baptist pastor charged in prostitution sting, resigns from Texas church

A Texas pastor was arrested after deputies said he paid $80 to an undercover sheriff’s deputy for sexual activities.  Eddie Hilburn, of the Woodland First Baptist Church in Montgomery County, Texas, was arrested Wednesday and charged with prostitution, according to KTRK.  “I can tell you now that Eddie has resigned and his resignation...
Butler County wants to help dads be more engaged with their kids

Butler County social service agencies are working to create a “father friendly” atmosphere to encourage deadbeat dads and other non-custodial parents to become more engaged in their children’s lives. It is a critical effort for the children, according to Bill Morrison. “When you talk about heroin and all the issues we&rsquo...
Cheerleader buried baby alive in backyard, Ohio prosecutor says
Cheerleader buried baby alive in backyard, Ohio prosecutor says

An infant whose remains were found buried in an Ohio backyard last week died more than two months ago, but was alive at birth, not stillborn, court records and prosecutors revealed Friday. Brooke Skylar Richardson, an 18-year-old mother now charged with reckless homicide, spent just over two minutes in a Warren County courtroom Friday. Warren County...
Congressmen Jordan, Davidson pushing welfare reform plan
Congressmen Jordan, Davidson pushing welfare reform plan

More than 20 years after Bill Clinton, John Kasich and Newt Gingrich reformed “welfare as we know it,” two Ohio lawmakers are vowing to do it again, saying the government must do more to encourage people to work rather than live off of federal largesse. Reps. Jim Jordan, R–Urbana, and Warren Davidson, R–Troy, want to start by...
More Stories