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Sheriff’s deputies help get van for mother walking 6 miles to work

A Franklin County mother was surprised by deputies with a van to get to and from work.
A Franklin County mother was surprised by deputies with a van to get to and from work.(Franklin County Sheriff's Dept./Facebook)
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 11:24 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A young Franklin County mom has received her Christmas miracle this holiday season: a van to help her get to work. Deputies and community members in partnership with Love’s Truck Stop were able to surprise the young woman Tuesday.

“Sgt. Jesse Vega and his patrol team saw a need and worked to fill it,” Sheriff Jeff Richards said. “Working with other members of the Sheriff’s Office and community members, they were able to bless someone in a way that words cannot express.”

It all began when Franklin County deputies began responding over the past two weeks to concerned callers letting them know of a woman walking in the cold on 59 Highway between Ottawa and Princeton--an almost 15 minute drive by car. Each day it was around the same time: 7:00 a.m. Deputies discovered that the 24-year-old woman was walking 6 miles to and from work. Not wanting her to walk the distance in the cold, deputies would give her a ride each time they were called out.

In conversation with her, deputies learned that the young woman was making the 6 mile trek to Love’s Truck Stop to support herself and her two small children. The young mother told officers that she had no other choice--she had to feed her children and was intent on doing what she needed to in order to take care of her family.

Little more than a week ago a small group of deputies met up to talk about how they could help her. They had just given the woman another ride to work. In a matter of days, they were able to gift the young woman her own vehicle: a van along with two new car seats, a grocery gift card, registration for the van, and the first year of car insurance along with $200! The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says the donation was possible through generous citizens, businesses and the use of the department’s “No Shave November” funds.

“I am very proud of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Jeff Richards said. “This is not just something they did, this shows who they are. I am proud of who they are! This is an example of their commitment to serve our community.

The sheriff’s department extends special thanks to: A small group of anonymous deputies, John and Erin Coffman, Bill Crowley, Napa Auto Parts, T & W Sanitation, and Ripples of Change.

“On behalf of the entire staff of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas,” Sheriff Richards said, offering his best wishes.

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