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Silver Santa: GPD officers reach into their own pockets for senior citizens

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Some Gainesville elders answered a knock at their door Thursday and found officers on their doorstep.

The Gainesville Police Department paired with Eldercare of Gainesville to find senior citizens that have needs, but no friends or family around who can help them.

Many GPD officers happily reached into their own pockets to bring some joy to their elders.

“The money comes from the public to pay our salary, and for us to be able to give some of that back to them is priceless,” said officer Ben Tobias, Gainesville Police Department spokesman.

This mission was called Silver Santa, and GPD was determined to fulfill the seniors’ Christmas wish list.

“I thought that was just so sweet they would think of us seniors enough to do that,” said Mary Woods, a Silver Santa recipient.

“Most people asked for slippers, some nice robes,” said Kyler Hutchinson, a GPD cadet. “Someone asked for a washing machine…which was awesome. We still accommodated those needs. ”

Mary woods actually asked for an oven, and that wish did not get turned down.

“I love to bake. I have all of these recipes in my head that one day I will write down…it will be Mary’s cookbook,” Woods said.

“My favorite part is to just see the joy on the people’s faces as the receive the gifts,” said Jeremy Menini, a GPD academy recruit. “I mean, it’s truly enlightening to see how thankful people are to receive the gifts.”

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