December 28, 2008
Chicago dispatchers save Christmas
Chicago's 911 dispatchers say they rescued Christmas this year for a family whose distraught grandmother had called for help.
Shirley Bell, 61, called 911 Christmas Eve morning for her very upset 8-year-old grandson, Malik Parish, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday.
candidness. He said, 'I don't have any toys for Christmas,'" said 911 dispatcher Pamela Jenkins.
Bell, who has custody of five children, said she recently suffered a stroke and a heart attack, and support checks from the state had not arrived.
Jenkins alerted co-workers and dispatched police officers, who found a nice, clean home without a single sign of Christmas, the Sun-Times reported.
Within hours, the 911 dispatchers and their families had gathered $200 for new presents to go with nice toys and clothes donated by their own children, Jenkins said. Malik got a G.I. Joe and a PlayStation 1 and groceries were delivered to his family Christmas Day.
There are countless times we want to help,'' Jenkins said. I enjoyed it, and I wished we could help people more than we do.''