Cop Sponsored Christmas for Kids in Taylorville Still OnPosted:
"Our police department, I think, pretty much everybody was heartbroken because it's our one time to get out and help the kids. And we were all kind of saddened that this happened," Taylorville police officer Amanda Olsta told WAND News.
Olsta said that when there appeared to be little hope of a shop with a cop program this year, it was the Taylorville Explorers, a group of high school and college students looking to pursue a career of law enforcement, who came through.
"Always brainstorming, how can we save it? I spoke with a bunch of the kids, the youth leaders in my program, and they're like we can't let this program go away because when they become police officers, they want to do this, and be the cop on the side helping the kids shop," said Olsta.
For explorer Josh Sutton, becoming an officer isn't just about protecting the community, it's about serving them, especially in their time of need.
"We knew that they weren't going to have a Christmas, possibly not even have any clothes or toys on Christmas, so we wanted to make sure that they get presents underneath their tree so that they at least have something," said Sutton.
As for Olsta, she added that this is a miracle that wouldn't have been possible without community support.
"It's just been a miracle, everybody has just been so supportive in the community. We couldn't have done it without them," she said.