SIDNEY — “Operation Jingle Bells” helped make Christmas brighter this year for area families.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office participated in the morning of giving Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, after being approached by two businesses wanting to support a family for Christmas. According to Chief Deputy James R. Frye’s press release, Russia Local School District nominated a family from Russia and Botkins Local School District nominated a family from Botkins.
Owners of Best One/Sidney Tire, Jeff and Heather Pollard, of Sidney, supported the Botkins family. The family includes parents Adam and Jamie Leugers, of Botkins, and their three children, first-grader Brielle, sixth-grader Adam, and eight-grade student Aiden.
Brian and Michelle Mantor, owners of Mantor Auto & Truck Repair, of Sidney, along with each of their children, Bailey, Madison, Andrea and Blaine, supported the family from Russia. April Miller and her six children, kindergartener Hunter, third-grader Addison, fourth-grader Saige, seventh-grader Cooper, ninth-grader Corbin and 11th-grader Colt, are the members of the Russia family.
Both families met with the sponsors on Friday at Walmart. The sponsors and the parents Christmas shopped for each of the children and put the items away for Saturday morning. The sponsors spent $200 on each member of the family, to include the parents.
On Saturday, the sponsors, along with the parents and children, told the children they could spend $25 on a toy of their choice. The sponsors took each child and picked out their toys. After picking out the items, the children were taken to the checkout, where they were then surprised by the sponsors and given the carts full of the items that were picked out on Friday. The faces of these children were priceless, and you could see the heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the parents.
The Pollards and Mantors then surprised the parents with their own family holiday food basket. The sponsors then took the parents to build their own holiday food basket. The Mantors had their children participate, all along teaching them to give back, the release said.
Michelle Mantor, when thanked by April Miller, said, “We are pleased to help, because there was a time we were provided with help.”
“It was great to be a part of this and to see what the Pollards and Mantors did for these families,” Frye said in the release.
The Sheriff’s Office also received $2,000 worth of gift cards from a local church to give to citizens in the city and county. The church wanted to remain anonymous and all they asked was that we keep track of the number of families and children who were given the gift cards.
“It’s amazing to see the support our community provides throughout the year and especially amazing to see what they do during the holiday season” Frye said in the release. “A quote by Mother Teresa, ‘It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.’ — You could see the love these amazing people have.”
“We want to thank each of these great businesses for what they give back and to also thank the church for what they did,” Frye continued. “God bless and Merry Christmas.”