Maryland-National Capital Park Police surprise struggling family with gifts, new car

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Santa made an early stop in Maryland as he worked with a group of first responders to help out a family going through a very difficult time this year.

The Morris family has had a rough time after an accident left their 4-year-old daughter seriously injured. The family was chosen out of a pool of dozens for Maryland-National Capital Park Police’s Secret Santa family.

A parade of police officers on motorcycles followed by fire trucks with sirens blazing were on a special mission Wednesday evening.

Ashley Morris, her 4-year-old daughter Angela, and her 9-year-old son Allen all believed they were just going to be treated to a holiday dinner on this night. But they stood there stunned as they slowly realized this was actually so much more as Maryland-National Capital Park Police officers delivered gift after gift to the trio.

“We know you had a tough time this year and we wanted to make the year end better than it started,” Maryland-National Capital Park Police Chief Stan Johnson told the family.

But the man who led the charge in this heartwarming effort was Cpl. Randy Green.

This past summer, the kids were playing in their front yard as their father was backing up his car in the driveway. The unthinkable happened when he didn't realize that little Angela was behind the vehicle.

“He thought the back of the truck just bumped her, so he went ahead and pulled forward,” said Ashley Morris. “At that time, she went in front of the tire and that is when he ran her over. And he was so heartbroken because of that.”

The 4-year-old girl had a ripped bladder, fractured pelvis and was in a full body cast at one point.

“From that point, dad blamed himself because she wasn’t doing too well with the surgeries,” said Cpl. Green. “And he has a medical condition and that is why he isn’t here right now. It just got overwhelming. My officers, we saw this and we took action.”

Already swamped with medical bills, the family was recently sent an eviction notice and utilities were about to be shut off. But the officers handed the family a $5,300 check to cover all of their expenses for the next few months and help them get back on their feet.

But that wasn’t even the biggest surprise. Ashley was given the keys to a brand new Mazda 3 car. It was donated by IAD Auto after they found out both of the family's vehicles had been repossessed.

“I never had a new car,” she said. “It was wonderful, so wonderful.”

Little Angela is doing much better now and her big brother said on this day, it is good thing to see his mother with tears in her eyes.

“For happy reasons,” said Allen Morris. “It feels really nice. I'm glad they came out and did this.”

The money and presents were mostly donated by the officers themselves. Some Prince George's County police officers and Bladensburg firefighters also helped out. Several local charities also contributed.