Families get gifts from sheriffs, state police

December 19, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The Cook County Sheriff's Office and the Illinois State police hosted parties Sunday for families going through rough times.

Eight-year-old Lewis Kapelski and his brother, Brian, were just two of the children visited by Santa Claus Sunday as the state police partnered with Walmart to bring some holiday cheer to 15 families from Matteson, Country Club Hills and Richton Park. After loading up the gifts, a procession of state troopers, local police and firemen visited the families who were selected because of a hardship they were facing. Every family member received at least one gift and a Christmas turkey.

"Merry Christmas. Were you good this year?," Santa said to one child. "I heard you were very good."

Meanwhile in Norridge, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart threw a holiday party of his own designed to bring Christmas to less fortunate children, many of whom are part of recently evicted families.

"We reached out to get a little bit of Christmas," Dart said. "This is our way to make it a little less difficult."

"It's nice because some kids probably won't have Christmas this year. They can come here and have Christmas here," Tiffany Jones said.

The party included dinner, Christmas carols and Santa also came along to say hello to children and hand out some gifts of his own.

"I got a Winnie the Pooh book, a sweater and some gloves," Ashley Nunn said.

"It's pretty cool. I thought no one was going to come, but a lot of my friends are here, so fun," said Mayh Sharkey.

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