Benton Township Police Department give gifts to families in need

NOW: Benton Township Police Department give gifts to families in need

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The Benton Township police are using this time of year to donate gift baskets to families in need.

Families including Carolina Gray, the mother of Jessica Gray who first went missing December 2nd and has yet to be found.

When gifts were given to each of the ten families, all you could see were smiles and how thankful each one was to receive a Christmas miracle.

“Thank you,” Carolina Gray said, still searching for answers in her daughter’s disappearance.

“He’s called and he’s said that they’re still doing the best they can. I understand that now better than I did in the beginning. I know it takes time so he’s working on it that’s the best i can do just wait,” she said,

And tonight, she was surprised with an extra special gift right from the hands of the people helping search for her daughter.

“Wow I am actually so shocked like wow. I’m glad that they care,” she said,

The Benton Township police are using no-shave November and December to give back to the community for the first time ever.

In November, officers paid cash to grow beards or mustaches and gave the donations to the Berrien County Children’s Advocacy Center.

This month they kept it going raising another $550 and putting it into gift baskets full of food, toys for kids and other necessities.

“I met with many families through cps cases and i saw different needs at different levels and i thought at that point, why not use no-shave December to meet those needs,” Greg Abrams, a Sgt. at Benton Township police said.

Each family also gets a $15 gift card from Walmart to buy a turkey or ham for a Christmas dinner.

 “I think this is going to be a really big deal today,” Abrams said.

Sgt. Greg Abrams said it’s all in an effort to build a better relationship with the community they serve and protect.

“This is definitely them giving back to us showing support to the people in need.” “it’s something different and it’s something the community might need,” Prinston Joseph, one gift recipient said.

“For me it’s a blessing to receive anything is a blessing and i appreciate this with all my heart,” Gray said.

“Right on the money cause i pretty don’t have anything for this Christmas yet so this is right on time,” Domonique Smith, another gift recipient said.

These gifts help but for Gray, the one gift she wants this year is to get her daughter back.

“Right now I am just hoping to get her home,” she said.  “That would make me 100% better.”

The man last seen with Jessica Gray, Willie Lark Junior was arrested in Ohio but he has not been charged in her disappearance.

As for the holiday giveaway, officers say they plan to do it every year.

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