A 'Secret Santa' donates $50,000 for the Cleveland Police go on special assignment

Posted: 9:49 PM, Dec 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-23 02:49:14Z

One by one, officers rolled out.

"It was a shock, we were shocked," said Officer Roger Jones with the Cleveland Police Department.

Surprised by his assignment this morning, when he found out he wouldn't be fighting crime, instead, he'd be warming hearts.

“It gives us a chance to not be the police," he said.

He and nearly 30 other officers were given a bundle of 100 dollar gift cards to give out today to anyone of their choice, as a random act of kindness.

“You can see it in their face, when we walk up, they're like, 'what did I do, oh my God,' so it was good to take that away," expressed Officer Jones.

Daves Supermarket, Save-A-Lot, and Target were just some of the places the gift cards were from.

“You got dinner plans this weekend? Well now you do," said Officer Roger as he passed out one of the gift cards to a woman and her son in a wheelchair.

The idea came from a "Secret Santa" of sorts, an anonymous donor, who had a recent encounter that changed his life.

"We were trying to reach for a coin to feed the meter, didn't have any coins on me and don't you know, a lady that was living in the street, comes over and feeds the meter," said the Secret Santa who did not want to give his name.

And in true chain reaction fashion, he wanted to pay it forward: by donating $50,000 to the Cleveland Police.

“The force knows where the need is, we don't, they're able to spread it," the donor said.

And as we rode around with the officers, that mission was accomplished.

“Oh it's very very much of a help because I'm telling you, I was at the end," said one recipient of the cards.

This event worked as a twofold, touching not only the residents but the officers too.

"That was great, that was worth coming in today," said Officer Jones.

Precisely the idea according to Commander Johnny Johnson with the Cleveland Police Department.

"Events like this, help us to let the community know yeah we have some issues, but we care, we're part of this we're going to do what we can to make things better," he said.

The two officers we went out with today gave out all 20 cards, worth 2 thousand dollars total. They told us they hope they'll continue to do this in years to come.