ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Christmas came early for 9-year-old Kiny D’haity, who got to take home a brand new, purple bike as an early present.
“I was really excited,” D’Haity said.
D’Haity wasn’t the only child that went home with a Christmas gift, dozens of children who attended the Orlando Police Department’s 33rd annual Parramore Holiday party received a special gift this Christmas, hand-picked by an officer.
“When the officers buy the presents, all they know is the child’s first name, and how old they are and their gender, so I picked two 5-year-old boys and I bought them some scooters with of course helmets,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina.
Nearly 80 children and their families attended the holiday party complete with face painting, food and of course a visit with Santa Clause.
“Everybody’s so joyful and cheerful,” D’Haity said.
Chief Mina said the annual event is also about facilitating community engagement between officers and residents.
“To be in these situations in the non-enforcement type situations, where we’re not here to arrest anyone, we’re not here to break up a fight, we’re not here to take anyone to jail , there no disturbance, this is just a fun time for everyone to get involved so it allows us to get to know the resident and the resident and kids to get to know officers,” Mina said.