On Christmas Day, Canadian police officers received hand-written letters from students, thanking them for working on a holiday.
The project was initiated by Jennifer Miller, who teaches English at École Secondaire Monseigneur-Bruyère in London, Ontario, Canada.
“It was all inspired by my father,” Miller told Canada’s CBC News. “He’s a retired police officer and he loves Christmas.”
Miller remembered the times her father worked on Christmas Day. Those days were often lonely, her father had said.
“When you get a difficult call it’s made more difficult because you’re away from your family,” Miller recalled her father saying.
Miller believed her students could learn a lot from her father, so she asked him to write a letter to her students, explaining some of the highs and lows of being a police officer.
By the time Christmas rolled around, Miller’s students had a deepened perspective of law enforcement officers.
When Miller suggested her students write letters to those who would be working on Christmas Day, they were eager to get started.
The school’s administration was able to get the name of the officers scheduled to work a shift on Christmas Day or night.
Miller and her students made sure that each officer received a hand-written letter of thanks — some 100 letters in all.
“I realize how hard it must be to work while everyone else is celebrating,” one student wrote.
“Some people might rob toy stores like in Home Alone. So I wanted to say thank you,” wrote another.
Miller said many of her students have little to no experience interacting with law enforcement.
“So this is also a nice way to see police officers in a positive light,” she said. “That they’re helpful and we should be thankful for them even though they sometimes do things that at times may seem difficult to swallow.”
Her students felt a sense of pride and accomplishment after participating in such a heartwarming project.
Thanks to their efforts, what could have been a lonely, depressing day for the officers was warmed by the thankfulness of a group of kids.
“Some of them just think that police officers are heroes,” Miller said, “and now they feel a little bit like a hero too.”
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