Local police department employees donated their holiday bonus checks to ensure that families in need would be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
On Tuesday, Ocala Police Department employees donated their Thanksgiving bonus checks, and the funds were used to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for 50 local families.
The City of Ocala gives OPD employees a $30 check each year to help cover the cost of their Thanksgiving meal. This year, and last year as well, OPD employees opted instead to give the money back so it could be used to benefit the community.
Thanks to the generosity of the OPD employees, those 50 dinners include a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, rice, rolls, cranberry sauce, and the choice of a sweet potato or pumpkin pie.
The families were identified by school resource officers and community partners, and the OPD employees hand-delivered the meals to their homes.
OPD also donated five turkeys to The Kings Embassy of Kingdom Nation (3001 W Silver Springs Boulevard) to be used for the church’s free community Thanksgiving dinner.
According to OPD, all remaining funds from the Thanksgiving bonus checks will be used to stuff Christmas stockings with goodies for the officers to hand out to children during the holiday season.