Tyler Police Department coordinates Christmas shopping spree

Families got to shop with Tyler police officers during a Christmas shopping spree at Academy Sunday morning.
Published: Dec. 11, 2022 at 1:13 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Three Tyler families each got a $1,000 holiday shopping spree at Academy in Tyler Sunday morning. Academy donated $5,000 to the Tyler Police Department’s Blue Santa program and officers went around with families to shop.

After a presentation of the gift cards to families, they got to hit the aisles and browse for whatever they wanted or needed. This included clothing, shoes, apparel and more. Shanadia Surall is a mom to nine children, and they began in the shoe department.

“That was a blessing today for us to get help. I really thought that it was going to be a bad Christmas, but God blessed them to help us, and I thank God for everything they did for us and my kids,” she said.

Fallen Smith County Sheriff’s Deputy Lorenzo Bustos’ family was part of the day. They spent time looking at baseball bats for one of the sons and finding the right bicycle for another. Tyler Mayor Don Warren spent time with their family.

“It’s like the old saying goes, ‘Love thy neighbor,’ even if you don’t know them. And, that’s the thing that’s special today. For me, it’s emotional, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it,” Warren said.

Chuck Boyce is a sergeant for Tyler PD and oversees this program. He said as they go on calls they interact with the community and see the needs.

“It’s an awesome time of year, and it’s good to be in a position where we actually have opportunities to make a difference,” Boyce said

Warren said it was a fun morning and reminded him of just how tough it can be for some families.

“It’s real. One of the little boys came in with a pair of socks and the very first thing he went to was the shoe aisle and found a pair of shoes and he was just ecstatic,” Warren said. “Another little girl found a pair of pink shoes with a matching pink top, and just seeing the smiles, that’s what Christmas is all about.”

Boyce said their connections in the community have helped make this day possible.

“Due to our relationships with a lot of our retailers and stuff, we’re able to connect pieces and help and assist and become part of,” Boyce said. “So we get to fill a lot of needs, especially during the holidays.”

“(We) see needs. Due to our relationships with a lot of our retailers and stuff, we’re able to connect pieces and help," Tyler Police Sergeant Chuck Boyce said.