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Lifting spirits Police Lights of Christmas-style

Police share stories about how Q90FM's unique program provides boost during the holidays

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Community First Credit Union is pleased to support Q90FM’s Police Lights of Christmas program for the uplifting benefits it offers to both those who are struggling in our communities and the police officers who protect and serve us.

Throughout the holiday season two dozen police agencies from Northeast Wisconsin and the Appleton Fire Department are dispensing more than $65,000 in gift cards to individuals and families they come in contact with this month. The Appleton Fire Department is participating this year in honor of a fallen firefighter, Mitchell Lundgaard, who was killed on duty last May while responding to an emergency medical call.
Community First collected donations at all of its 25 full-service branches. Member-owners responded to help raise a record amount in the fourth annual program. Police officers are grateful for the opportunity to turn negative situations into positive and even uplifting circumstances with gift cards and blessing bags with items of basic necessity.  

Here are just a few stories from Appleton police officers who helped lift the spirits of victims of crimes or simply people they encountered that could use a holiday boost:
  • Appleton Officer Paul Christensen responded to a domestic disturbance, where a woman’s former boyfriend broke the front door of the apartment and took all of their children’s Christmas gifts. The mother had just received the gifts from Toys for Tots. Because of the generosity of kind donors, the officer was able to bring this mother a few gift cards from Meijer and WalMart so she could get her children new Christmas gifts, as well as some groceries. The mother was very appreciative. Thank you, Lights of Christmas and Officer Christensen, for saving the day for this hurting family.
  • Appleton Officer Ben Wassink was sent to a theft from vehicle call. The victim had stepped into her house for a few minutes to unload groceries. While in her home, someone entered her vehicle and took her purse containing both her and her husband’s paychecks, her EBT card and all the cash the family had. They had yet to go shopping for their five children’s Christmas gifts and one of their children’s birthday party was this weekend, as well. Officer Wassink returned to the home with gift cards from the Lights of Christmas program.  The mother was in tears and extremely grateful. The generosity of others truly blessed this family.
  • Appleton Sgt. Mike Medina conducted a traffic stop for a female who was speeding.  She was young, pregnant and on her way to work. She was pretty happy to be handed a Kwik Trip gift card! Medina later was in Walgreens when he had contact with a mother of three children as she was filling prescriptions. He made her load lighter when he presented her with a Walgreens gift card.
  • Appleton Officer Kong Lee stopped a gentleman for an equipment violation. Instead of a ticket, he gave the man a Walmart gift card to assist with getting the bulb replaced. Later, Lee met a woman who decided not to drive while impaired and arranged for a ride instead so he rewarded her with a Kwik Trip gift card. Lee also surprised a Kwik Trip employee with a reputation for being “very kind with customers and officers” with a Starbucks gift card courtesy of Lights of Christmas!
  • Appleton Sgt. Dave Lund and Sgt. Andy Miles were at the home of a female suffering from a disease that has left her mostly bedridden and needing 24-hour care, including making sure her tracheotomy is functioning properly. She depends on her husband as her sole care provider. These two officers were amazed at how the husband’s ability to work from the home, care for his wife and take care of household routines. The officers showed the couple a tremendous level of compassion and concern, and additionally provided them a Target gift card from the Lights of Christmas program to help brighten their day!
Thank you for helping make these wonderful stories possible!


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