During the holidays, the holiday spirit was in the air in El Segundo. Though, an unconventional, quite amazing thing happened… People were getting pulled over while driving the streets of Gundo. While frightened at the possibility of receiving a ticket, they were surprised when the police instead gave them gifts as part of a Secret Santa program funded through a local El Segundo business, which donated $5,000 to fund the program.
The El Segundo Police must have taken acting classes because residents were not expecting to be given gifts. Residents would be driving down Mariposa while police officers would pull them over and asking them in a serious tone, “Do you know why you were pulled over?” Then, the officer would hand out a gift. These gifts included $100 bills and gift cards. They did this to drivers, local shuttles, approached people at bus stops, senior citizens, and random residents walking around. As officer Chris Cameron says “we try to bring happiness to strangers.”
When was the last time you were truly overjoyed because of a gift? Maybe when you were eight? The El Segundo Police (thanks to the generous donations of the El Segundo business community) recreated this feeling of overwhelming joy. The joy that young children feel at Christmas.
The El Segundo Police Department proved that giving is truly better than receiving, as evidenced by the hugs and happy tears of thankful El Segundo residents.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or something else, this holiday story is about the spirit of giving and receiving. So whether you celebrate Christmas or not, celebrate with me this Christmas and surprise someone with a good deed, a deed rich in the spirit of giving to others just to bring them joy. Even a smile will do.
Thank you to the El Segundo Police for not only keeping the citizens of Gundo safe, but also for reminding us the true meaning of the holidays. By the way, I drive a cream-colored Volkswagen bug, please pull me over!