SPRINGETTSBURY TOWSHIP, Pa. -- Patrolman Thomas Wales pulled out from the station Friday and onto Mount Zion Road to start his shift. He was looking for suspects, as he drove towards two spots where two homeless men are known to hang out. He couldn't find either of the men, so he moved on. He then spotted a woman walking in a shopping center with handfuls of bags, clearly without a car.
"Hello, I'm Officer Thomas Wales with Springettsbury Township Police," he said to the woman, who talked to him cautiously. As the conversation progressed, the woman eventually gasped at what the officer had to say: "Would $100 help you?"
The woman could barely speak as the officer handed over the crisp bill. The woman said she had prayed the night before to be able to get her children something for Christmas. "Thank you, Jesus," she said as Officer Wales got back in his cruiser to find his next target.
A family who lived in Springettsbury Township donated the money, but chose to remain anonymous.
"A family called and told me they wanted to make a donation of $1,000 to the police department," said Springettsbury Township Police Chief Dan Stump, who invited FOX43 along for the special sting operation. "Their only request was the money be given out by the officers to people in the community."
Chief Stump split up the money so more than one officer would experience the joy of handing it out.
"The reason I stopped you today, is I noticed you didn't have an inspection sticker," said Officer Wales to the next unsuspecting person.
Luckily for this operation, he isn't writing any tickets, and that's what makes it so special.
"Would $100 extra dollars help you?" Wales said out of the blue to the woman, who had a young child in the backseat. "Oh my god yes!" she replied.
"On behalf of a very generous township resident and the Springettsbury Township Police department, here is $100," Wales said. "Oh my god thank you so much! Thank you!" she said with pure joy on her face. "A cop just gave me $100!" she said to someone on her cell phone as officer Wales walked away.
In total Officer Wales handed out the cash and extra holiday cheer to five unsuspecting people, all of whom were very grateful.
Springettsbury Township Police were so inspired by the generosity of the anonymous donor family that they created a "Community Care Fund." Money raised will be used by the officers to help people in need. Stump said officers sometimes use their own money to buy people a meal or gas. The money from the fund will go to help members of the community with items like this.
"All of the money will go to the community," said Chief Stump.
To donate you can drop money off at Springettsbury Township Police Department or the Metro Bank located at 1400 Mt Zion Road York Pa, 17402. Checks should be made payable to "Springettsbury Police Community Care Fund"