PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - First responders in Perrysburg Township help people every day. However on Thursday, they helped residents in a different kind of way.
Tammy Jimenez spent the day Christmas shopping for her four kids. It was an opportunity she never thought would happen.
In October, Jimenez's husband died in a work-related accident. He was the sole bread winner in the household.
"To lose someone and then on top of it not know if you will have Christmas, its a terrible thing," Jimenez said.
That's when Perrysburg Township police officers, firefighters and dispatchers stepped in. They raised money throughout the year and picked two families they knew could use help through the holidays. The Jimenez family was one of them.
"It's the true meaning [of Christmas.] It's very rewarding," said firefighter Michael Hampton. "That is part of our job: To give back to the community. Everybody calls us in need, and not only on 911 calls, but anyway we can help out in the community. That is what we are here for."
While firefighters and dispatchers are working on getting clothing and toys for the families, police are collecting food for Christmas dinner.
"When we go home, we don't forget about where we work and what we do for people," Sgt. David Molter of Perrysburg Township police said. "So its nice to come out here and give back we are fortunate to have good jobs and be in good situations and we recognize and see people who need help."
Without that help, a mother who seemingly lost everything, can still cherish a little bit of joy. Her children will be able to smile on the first Christmas without their father.
Jimenez offered a humble thanks to those who serve their community and the community who reached out to help her in her time of need: "More than words I could ever say, I couldn't say thank you enough."