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Christmas trees help make merry holiday for families in need

One hundred families in need are able to celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree this year, thanks to an initiative led by Las Vegas police.

It began with the Metropolitan Police Department ‘s Bolden Area Command and a desire to bring “holiday cheer” to families heavily impacted by COVID-19 this year.

Metro reached out to local churches and distributed tickets to 100 families they felt needed extra help this year. Metro then joined forces with the churches, Home Depot, Star Nursery and Three Square to make it all happen Thursday evening.

In front of Metro’s Bolden Area Command, a line of cars filled with bright-eyed kids and families passed through as an assembly of volunteers handed each family a case of water, meals from Three Square, kids’ holiday decorating kits, hand sanitizer and a Christmas tree.

“A box of food may not be much to most of society, but to those who are struggling to put food on the table or waiting for their next paycheck, it’s a big thing,” Metro Sgt. Ryan Rafferty said.

As Christmas music played, families in cars drove by a live nativity scene along with llamas, bunnies, chickens, geese and donkeys. Along the sidewalk, Santa pranced around to greet excited kids in their cars passing through.

“This is a true blessing from the lord,” recipients Eddie and Cleo Coleman said. “We have a great-grand baby at home, we’re excited to decorate the tree for our baby.”

The donations were especially meaningful to one Las Vegas woman.

“It means a lot because I was burglarized in October,” said Ronny Flowers, a member of Victory Missionary Baptist church. Burglars took her TV, clothes, oxygen tank, nebulizer, family pictures, and all of the food in her refrigerator, according to Flowers.

Vic Vegas, executive chef for Nicholas &Company, said the outreach demonstrates that Las Vegas is a caring community.

“When stuff like this happens in Vegas it shows that we’re more than a Strip,” he said. “There’s communities and there’s people that care to make sure these families are cared for.”

Contact Mya Constantino at mconstantino@reviewjournal.com. Follow @searchingformya on Twitter.

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