While in the classic Christmas story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” the Grinch takes all the decor from the Whos and then has a change of heart, many modern-day vandals aren’t quite so easily moved.
If you’ve ever displayed inflatable Christmas decor on your front lawn, perhaps you know this first-hand: There are groups of (generally young) people who take great joy in tackling Santas, snowmen, reindeer and pretty much anything that is inflatable and displayed unattended outdoors.
But the tackling often proves fatal to such installations, and what was once a jolly front yard can look a little sad after a group of vandals runs through it. The Vincenti family experienced that on Dec. 8, when their Santa Claus inflatable was popped, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The Vincenti kids, aged 5 and 3 according to the Aberdeen Police Department’s Facebook post, were heartbroken over the loss. When Aberdeen Police Officer Cynthia Mowery showed up on the scene for a damage report, she could see what a toll the destroyed decor was having on the 6-year-old, and her heart grew several sizes.
“When I was taking the report, I looked up and their [older] son was standing there looking out,” the cop, who also happens to be a mother and grandmother, told The Baltimore Sun. “It was so sad, he looked so upset, and that weighed on my heart all night. When I woke up the next morning, I just knew what I had to do.”
With the help of her squad, she brought some Christmas cheer to the family’s yard once more.
“Officer Mowery was not going to let a vandal ruin a families Christmas spirit this year,” the Aberdeen Police Department shared in a Facebook post on Monday. “After learning that a homeowners Christmas decorations were vandalized Officer Mowery took action.
“Officer Mowery purchased new decorations to replace the damaged ones. Officer Mowey made this purchase in the middle of the night, so when the children woke (boys ages 5&3) they would be surprised.”
The post went on to say that while the officer wasn’t asking for recognition, this kind act wasn’t out of the ordinary for her. She’s only been on the force for a year after working with them as a civilian, but she’s clearly making a difference.
“This is not the first time she has demonstrated an act of kindness that goes above and beyond the call of duty,” the post continued. “Officer Mowery does not seek recognition for her good deeds but we had to share. Officer Mowery’s actions are the definition of the true meaning of Christmas!!!”
“I’ve always had an interest in the field of law … when I accepted the position at the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, it sparked that love of law enforcement again,” she told The Baltimore Sun.
“My husband and I talked, our children were grown and out of the house, it was a good time to go ahead and make it happen.”
The Vincenti parents “surprised” their kids with the news by placing their Elf on the Shelf sitting on the front window, looking outside. The kids noticed immediately, and their dad urged them to look outside, too.
“I said ‘let’s open the door and find out what he’s looking at’ and we went out there and he was just ecstatic, losing his mind because there’s all these decorations after the one decoration had previously been removed,” Richard Vincenti said.
“I don’t know how to explain the happiness that they had. They were very grateful.”
Mowery has been very modest about her deed, explaining that others helped as well and that she just wanted to do something nice for the kids.
“My goal was to try to help,” she explained. “I’m a mom, I’m a grandmom. I saw how upset that family was and I just wanted to help them.”
“And if it helps with the way the perception is with law enforcement, that’s fantastic. Aberdeen has a great agency, we work with a lot of people that care about the community.”
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