Milwaukee police officers' holiday tradition lights up local family's Christmas
Cynthia Thomas was determined to make a way out of no way this Christmas.
"I was gonna get something, may not have been what they wanted," she said.
But her five grandchildren got what they wanted and what they needed.
"They just wanted the basics, things that you and I would go and get because they're things we need," said Milwaukee Police Officer Lori Lammers.
"I got two sweaters because I'm a sweater freak," said 12-year-old Courtnie Thomas. "I love sweaters and I was really happy about the sweaters."
"They're going to wear that Frozen CD out," said Cynthia.
District 5 police officers willingly spend their own money to buy the gifts and know they'll mean a lot to this family. They handled the case that removed the children from their mom and that's why grandma is taking care of them now.
"We come into these really tragic scenes and this is a way for us to heal and help the family move forward and have something really positive," said Officer Lammers.
It's a positive experience grandma will use as a holiday lesson.
"If ya'll see somebody in need, help them like ya'll was helped," she said.
But for now, the family has one heck of a Christmas miracle to tell.
"I'm going to say, 'girl, you just don't know how they blessed us on tonight,'" said Cynthia.
"We're never going to forget this," said Courtnie.
The Thomas family is one of two adopted by District 5 officers this year. Community partners refer the families to them for the annual event.