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Judson ISD Police adopts Corpus Family in yearly Christmas tradition

It started with an idea, like most extraordinary things.

“They [the officers] came to me and said, ‘can we pay not to shave our faces [for November],’” Judson ISD PD Chief Teresa Ramon said.

For men, it’s somewhat of a big deal to not be allowed to shave their faces. Really, it is.

However, it goes against the department’s standard operating procedures, which include a dress code and grooming standards for officers.

At first, Ramon was staunchly against it, but the officers pushed for it, with the donations being sent to a nonprofit organization.

“They told me I could pick an organization to donate the money to,” Ramon said. “So I said, ‘ok, let’s give it a shot.’”

Then, the idea gained legs.

“They asked if they could extend it into December,” Ramon said. “And the money in December would benefit someone in need.”

What began as a simple idea has become a yearly tradition for the Judson Police Department. Every year, with the funds from No Shave November and December, the department adopts a person or a family in need for the holiday season, supplying them with school supplies, gifts, or even paying off some of their bills.

“When the community sees what we are doing, we aren’t looking for a pat on the back. We are doing it because that’s who we are - we want them to know we are here for them,” Ramon said. 

They start by calling the campus principals and counselors to see if they know anyone that is in need of assistance. Some years, it’s been just one family. In other years, they were able to sponsor multiple families and even staff employees - it just depends on how many officers participate and the funds they have.

Then, they go shopping. The officers often dip into their pockets to donate to the pot.

“We ask for a list. Then, go to Wal-Mart, Academy, Target, anywhere - we buy things that the students or families may need,” Ramon said.

This year, they chose the Corpus Family from Hopkins Elementary. Recently, the family had endured many hardships, including the death of two immediate family members. It rocked their entire lives. Ramon knew that this was the family who needed the help of not only the police department but some of our district’s support services.

On December 16, the police department showered the family with Christmas gifts, from new shoes for third-grade Aileen and fifth-grade Dayron, to clothes for their parents, Jorge and Zanni. After all the gifts were bought, they were left with $300 dollars in cash, which they gave to the parents to use for whatever they’d like.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the library.

“When we interact with our community like that, it brings joy to our hearts. We are able to set aside some of the negative aspects of the job and focus on the positive things we are really about,” Ramon said. “Here we are, complaining about the little things in life. But when we show up, these families appreciate what we do. It gives us perspective.”

The profession itself, at its core, is a selfless one - they are doing what others may not want to do to better the community, protect and serve, and/or save a life, not for attention. This is another selfless thing the department is doing, not wanting attention.

“This builds trust. It builds community relations. That is what is important - building relationships,” Ramon said.

What started out as an idea has turned into a tradition, with the ultimate goal of building trust in the community by giving back to those in need. It’s the epitome of the holiday spirit - it’s about loving each other to better each other.

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