White City, ore.– Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Gabe Burchfiel was out on Christamas Eve patrolling the streets and he took a break to play the role of Santa.
It started 20 years ago. A deputy saw too many families doing without on Christmas day. So he insisted the department take matters into their own hands.
Burchfiel said, “It makes us upset that there’s families out there that are hard working families that are working one or two jobs both parents and they don’t have that extra money for gifts for their kids.”
Deputy Burchfiel went to two homes on Christmas eve. One to a man who goes by the name “Bear” and another to the Misty Bixel and her four children.
Bixel said, “I am really happy.”
Her son Julian Garcias said, “I’m excited because these are the only gifts I’m getting.”
Terri Baldridge makes that dream come true every year, she works out of their White City facility and organizes the gift giveaway. This year they are gifting $15,000 worth of toys to more than 200 families.
And she says every single one is deserving
“That’s what it’s all about there’s a lot of tear and a lot of emotions.”
Even though he doesn’t have the big white beard and reindeer, Deputy Burchfiel is happy to play that role for this season.
This year the Sheriff’s office teamed up with Jackson County Mental Health. Most of the toys were donated by local organizations and SEARS.