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Spreading the Christmas spirit: Law enforcement officers distribute gifts to McKinney family
Bill Conrad / Staff Photo: Mike Rumfield, left, presents Tosha Gibson with a gift card as Vernon Chinn, center, watches. Chinn is holding Patricia, while Vernon Jr. also looks on.
For some people, the presence of law enforcement officers can be unwelcome since it may mean they have ran afoul of the law.
For one McKinney family, however, the presence of sheriff’s deputies at their home on Christmas Eve was a welcome sight. Members of the Collin County Deputies Association visited the home of Tosha Gibson and Vernon Chinn, bringing holiday cheer and gifts for the couple’s five children.
“We’ve been going through a lot of hardships to try and find space for the kids and making sure they are in a good school system,” Gibson said. “I am still in shock – I just can’t believe this happened.”
While the gifts are nice, Gibson said even the little things the association has done for her family, such as purchasing cleaning supplies for their house, have a huge impact.
“We kept praying every year that if we could just get a little help to get us started, we would get back on our feet,” she said. “God finally answered our prayers.”
While he didn’t say much, the smile on 3-year-old Vernon Jr.’s face spoke volumes. Gibson said Vernon Jr. took a special liking to the family’s Christmas tree, which the Deputies Association surrounded with presents wrapped with bows and colorful paper.
“His face lit up when he saw the tree,” she said. “He makes us sing ‘Jingle Bells’ directly in front of the tree. Every morning he plugs in the tree and he screams if you turn it off. It just warms our hearts because we see how happy he is that we have a Christmas tree this year.”
Chinn said he had no doubt this is going to be the best Christmas his family has ever had.
“The kids didn’t know they were going to be getting presents this morning and they are ready to open them right now,” he said. “They don’t want to wait.”
Mike Rumfield, the Deputies Association president-elect, first met Chinn and Gibson in August. One of his first acts after being elected was adopting the family and doing what he could to ensure they had a happy holiday.
“This has been a huge success,” Rumfield said, adding that donations were also received from people who were non-members. “We were able to ensure a family got a whole bunch of stuff they needed. Hopefully the cash and gift cards will help them out if something unexpected comes up.”
Rumfield’s wife, Lailani, was along for the delivery, and said helping out Chinn and Gibson made this Christmas memorable.
“This was so much better then opening up your own presents,” she said. “It was amazing.”