The importance of the spirit of giving on Christmas

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Special to the Citizen

It would be easy to talk about one of my many wonderful Christmas’s that my parents provided to my brother, sister and I when we were growing up.  As children we never knew we had it so good until we became adults and better understood life a little more.  Life experiences have shown me that my life has been very blessed.

                But, my Christmas memory might be a little different than most.  Back in the early 1990’s while working the night shift on the road as a deputy for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office,  I remember responding to a domestic violence call early in the morning on Christmas day.  

This particular call stands out in my mind and it wasn’t because of the severity of the violence.  Instead, it was the small Christmas tree with very few ornaments randomly hung on the tree’s flimsy branches.  I spotted two pair of children’s small blue jeans pants folded neatly and placed thoughtfully under the tree. I particularly remember the faces of the two young children huddled together in the hallway

One was crying, one was silent.

They stayed in the hallway at the direction of their mother who told them to because she did not want them to see what Santa had brought them for Christmas.  After calming the situation and leaving the house I remember driving off with the faces of those two kids burned into my memory. 

A short time later we contacted my Sheriff, Kenny Pritchett, and told him of what had happened.  Sheriff Pritchett wasted no time rounding up toys from the remains of the Morgan County Empty Stocking Fund to make sure that those two kids had a Merry Christmas.

They never knew where the gifts had come from.

                This experience taught me the importance of the Morgan County Empty Stocking Fund and a giving heart during this time of year.  

I see those two kids every time someone delivers toys that they have collected for the sheriff’s office to be given out. I think of those kids and many more faces of others kids when I see the Troopers standing outside of Walmart collecting toys.  

All of these memories have made me committed to continuing this worthy program throughout my tenure as Sheriff of Morgan County. Thank you for the opportunity!

Merry Christmas

Sheriff Robert Markley   

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