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Elementary school students provide care packages for Ottumwa Police during Thanksgiving Shifts

By Jefferson Tyler, Multimedia Journalist

OTTUMWA, IA (KYOU) – While many people are hitting the stores for their Thanksgiving shopping, some children in the community are taking the time to do Thanksgiving shopping for those who serve and protect us every day, including Thanksgiving. We spoke to a teacher and her students who are bringing a different type of Thanksgiving meal to the officers who may be too busy, to sit down to a home cooked meal on turkey day.

“Basically we’re going to figure out what we are going to do for the day. And what kind of calls we are going to have,” said Ottumwa Police Officer Lt. Jason Bell.

Ottumwa Police Officers seem to always be on the move. And getting something to eat is not as easy as you think.

“You go out to a food establishment and you buy it. And as luck may have it. The calls may come in. So you may not touch that food for an hour or two. Or you may be on the way to get the food. And you may be hammered with calls. So it would be nice to grab something at the PD and take it with you,” said Lt. Chad Farrington.

Especially on Thanksgiving.

“They may not be able to go home on Thanksgiving Day. Obviously we work 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So someone has to be on call those holidays,” said Lt. Farrington.

Ottumwa Christian school fifth and sixth graders came to the rescue.  The classroom took up a collection of 106 dollars to pay for a thanksgiving meal for officers.

“I know the police department cannot eat mashed potatoes and gravy during that holiday because they are on the go. So it was more about we’re going to provide snacks and things that they can eat on the go,” said Ottumwa Christian Teacher Roxanne Anderson.

Snacks and cookies are replacing green beans and stuffing. Believe it or not, it’s just what they could use.

“You can’t just give them ice cream or doughnuts got to be on the healthy side. They are trying to protect us as much as they can,” said Ottumwa Christian School Student Simion Hendricks.

The class even added a special message to keep the Police going, when time are tough.

“The label we put on the baggies. Just says thank you for keeping us safe. For risking your life. For serving our community. And for protecting our homes. Everything you do,” said Anderson.

“It really makes the officers realize what we’re doing this for. And why we pinned on the badge in the first place,” said Lt. Farrington.

Hopefully making Thanksgiving a little safer for everyone.

Fifth and Sixth graders at Ottumwa Christian are hoping to do a similar type of donation during Christmas time. If you’re interested in dropping off some snacks for officers to keep them going on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve, contact your local law enforcement to see if this is possible.

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