Delivering Christmas joy
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent December 19, 2012 3:44PM
Officer Jim Bisacky of the Porter County Sheriff's Department checks his supply of ornaments and garland to be delivered to Porter County families. The county's Fraternal Order of Police organized the annual giveaway. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 21, 2013 3:15PM
Santa Claus had lots of helpers out on a recent Sunday, making special deliveries in advance of Christmas.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 165, which includes the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana State Police and representatives from about 20 other area law enforcement agencies, spent the afternoon of Dec. 9 delivering Christmas trees and decorations to 25 families in Porter County.
Gary Gear, president of the lodge, said this was the third year for delivering the trees. The FOP got the names of the recipients through the American Red Cross of Porter County.
Most of the recipients were in Portage Township, though some were in Valparaiso, Hebron and other parts of the county. The FOP has delivered 25 or 30 trees each year of the program, Gear said.
Families received a 5-foot pre-lit Christmas tree, as well as garlands of tinsel and boxes of ornaments.
“Holy mackerel! We almost have as many people as we have trees. Sweet!” Gear exclaimed, as volunteers to make the deliveries showed up at the Porter County Sheriff’s Department garage on Indiana 2.
In all, more than two-dozen people arrived to help load and deliver the trees. That included Dave “Trooper Stumpy” Miller, a master trooper with the ISP, who arrived with a red, light-up Santa hat.
He decided to help for the first time this year because he heard it was fun.
Rick Bonesteel, a retired ISP detective, told Miller about the effort. Bonesteel said since he’s retired, he has the time to pitch in around the holidays, and also helps his church prepare food baskets around the holidays.
“For me, it feels good at Christmastime,” Bonesteel said.