Chandler officer spreads holiday cheer, gives gifts to special family

Dec 20, 2019, 4:45 AM | Updated: 11:45 am
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Chandler police officer Jose Hernandez pulled up in front of an apartment near McQueen Road and Galveston Street.

Before walking up to the front door, he opened the back of his police SUV that was filled to the brim with presents.

He was there to deliver toys for 7-year-old Daniel, 4-year-old Mackenzie and 2-year-old Zachariah.

“Daniel, I’m going to start with you, buddy,” Hernandez said as he handed Daniel a football. “But that’s not it.”

He also handed Daniel an air hockey table. Mackenzie got a bike and large pink unicorn. Zachariah got dolls from the movie “Frozen.”

The toys came from the 911 Police Toy Drive, a local non-profit that collects toys for police officers to give to families.

Officer Hernandez said he has a special connection to this family.

“The mom in this family was a child back when I used to deliver [toys] to her and her brothers and sisters,” he said.

Davida Percy said Hernandez has made a big impact in her life ever since she was little.

She added she wasn’t going to be able to afford presents for her children this year, but that has changed.

“They went from no Christmas presents to now having presents under the Christmas tree so that’s just the best thing, like, seeing my kids light up with smiles,” Percy said.

Hernandez has been bringing smiles to families like Percy’s for about 20 years.

“When you have a passion for this job, it’s to help people,” he said. “It’s not how many people you take to jail, or how many people you write tickets to. It’s [about] helping the public. That’s why we’re here.”

W. Steven Martin, president and founder of the 911 Police Toy Drive, said this is the 34th year his nonprofit has been giving toys to police officers. Between 85,000 and 140,000 toys are collected and given away each year.

Police officers from all across the state participate. They identify up to two families they want to give presents to, fill out a form listing the toys the kids would like to get, and they pick out the toys at a warehouse.

Dozens of police officers were set to pick out the toys on Friday.

“These toys come from a police officer who wants to make a difference,” Martin said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Stage 2 fire restrictions set to begin this week across Arizona due to wildfire threat

Stage 2 fire restrictions are set to begin across Arizona this week due to heightened wildfire activity and dry conditions, officials said.
1 day ago
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona appeals court says ban on per-signature initiative is illegal

A 2017 law that makes it a crime to pay people for each signature they collect to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot violates the First Amendment and the first criminal case filed using the law must be dismissed, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Suspect in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Phoenix police

A suspect was in custody after allegedly exchanging gunfire with police in north Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.
1 day ago
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 2...

Arizona politicians react to mass shooting at elementary school in Texas

Arizona politicians reacted Tuesday to a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two adults dead. 
1 day ago
FILE - Water drips from a faucet near boat docks sitting on dry land at the Browns Ravine Cove area...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How cities in the West have water amid drought

Major Western cities like Phoenix have diversified water sources and boosted supplies through infrastructure investments and conservation.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)...
Danny Shapiro

Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says

Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines said the border community continues to deal with an influx of migrants that want to come to the U.S.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Chandler officer spreads holiday cheer, gives gifts to special family