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Cops 'could not allow' homeless mother and child to wake up in a car on Christmas Day

Pooler police officers are interviewed by WSAV-TV's Stassy Olmos about helping a mother and her 8-year-old boy found sleeping in a car behind Lowe's on Christmas Eve. Her story is expected to air Thursday night, the police agency posted on Facebook.
Pooler police officers are interviewed by WSAV-TV's Stassy Olmos about helping a mother and her 8-year-old boy found sleeping in a car behind Lowe's on Christmas Eve. Her story is expected to air Thursday night, the police agency posted on Facebook. Pooler Police Department on Facebook

Pooler police have their own Christmas story to share.

Twas the night before Christmas, the story begins, when three Pooler police officers on patrol found a suspicious vehicle behind Lowe's Home Improvement on Pooler Parkway.

Officers Jude Alberts, Jeremy Hillis and Chris Dotson discovered a mother and her 8-year-old son asleep in the car. The mother and child had been been living in their car since becoming homeless the previous Monday.

"These officers could not allow the child to wake up on Christmas morning in a car behind a business," the agency posted on Facebook.

A quick call was made to police Chaplain John Fender, and a church member stepped up and sponsored a hotel room for the mother and child for two nights.

"Members of patrol that night pooled together from their own pockets approximately $100 and gave it to the mother, along with a gift card or two," the post said.

Church members also provided a meal for the mother and child.

"I believe that this is the exact meaning of the Christmas spirit," the post said. "Thank you officers of C watch for your compassion shown during this Christmas season, and thank you Chaplain Fender for your kind parishioners."

Ashley Brown commented on the post, "A great example of the huge hearts that hide behind the badge ... great job, guys!!!"

Since posting their Christmas story, Pooler police have been inundated with kind words and donations from the community, according to a newer post on the agency's Facebook page.

"We would like to extend a huge thank you to Trisha Cook Realty for their monetary donation and assistance in finding the mother and son a place to stay, Fatz Cafe for meals, Chick-fil-A for meals, Royal Cinemas for passes to allow a fun movie night, and Gateway church for their generosity in toys and monetary donations," the post said. "This is truly why Pooler is such a great place to live. "

Police Chief Mark Revenew said the mother and son were displaced when mold was discovered in their apartment.

They'll be able to stay in a hotel thanks to Trisha Cook Realty until the mold is removed, and they can move back into their apartment, Revenew said.

They expect to watch "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" at the movies, Revenew said.

And of course, there were Christmas gifts, he said.

Revenew said his officers weren't expecting publicity about their actions, but word got out when their supervisor, Sgt. George Wilson, was sharing the story one day in the office.

The chief's administrative assistant, Lindsey Butler, thought it was a feel-good story that needed to be shared and she posted it on the agency's Facebook page, Revenew said.

"These guys do this stuff every day," Revenew said. "They just don't tell us, and every once in awhile, it leaks out."







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