The Children's Institute
Everyday Heroes

Police Bring Holiday Joy To Children With Disabilities

Motorcycles, presents and Santa!? All in a day's work for 6 Pittsburgh-area police departments.

There's nothing like seeing children smile at Christmastime, especially children with disabilities, who spend most of their days recieving treatment and therapy. There were plenty of smiles at the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh when officers from six different police officers rolled up on motorcycles and in squad cars to make a special delivery Tuesday.

The Children's Institute

The motorcade arrived at the Institute, which is located in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, bringing Santa, and carloads of gifts for the facility's outpatients and students with special needs who attend the Day School there. "There's nothing like the joy of a smile, and every present we bring in here is like one extra smile we bring to the kids," Aspinalwall Chief David Nemec said. "But we get it in return too, because it makes us happy and it makes us smile."

"Presents from Police" is a toy drive effort started by local law enforcement a decade ago. Officers from Aspinwall, Millvale, Etna, Shaler, Reserve, and the City of Pittsburgh shop for the gifts and love to personally deliver them and meet the kids. "We're bringing these gifts to let them know we care about them and we're thinking about them. We're here to bring happiness and a smile," said Millvale Deputy Chief Mike Vith.

The Children's Institute

Officers delivered brand new gifts to students in specialized classrooms for autism, multiple disabilities, and adult preparation, and to outpatient medical waiting rooms. The Institute serves nearly 200 special needs children from more than 60 school districts. "This past year, I think we've all realized the incredible importance of our police and we thank them for their dedicated service and commitment to our community," said Wendy Pardee, President and CEO of The Children's Institute, which is just across the street from Tree of Life Synagogue, scene of the October 2018 massacre that killed 11 worshipers.

"It's truly magical to see how visits like these so positively affect our amazing kids."

The Children's Institute

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

How Saving A Church Is Saving Lives Too

A couple bought an abandoned church and turned it into a community center. What they've created is so much bigger.

They're Saluting Our Veterans Every Day of the Year

Meet the Pittsburghers who are making sure our returning vets have jobs, homes and food, and find out how you can help.

How Goats And The Volunteers Who Love Them Are Saving A Popular Park

They're keeping invasive plants from taking over Pittsburgh's Frick Park by doing what comes naturally. For the goats at least!

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.