Corpus Christi Police and dozens of volunteers surprised more than 100 families with holiday food baskets this morning.
They were all taking part in the 43rd annual Police Officer Christmas Angel Food Basket Delivery.
Corpus Christi resident Bob Corgan started the program in 1976 because he wanted to do something nice for the community. According to Senior Officer Javier Cantu, Corgan asked officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department about families who need extra help they had met while on patrol. They compiled a list, and Corgan bought food baskets for each family to make sure they had a good Christmas.
His tradition continues today with many volunteers. This year, they are helping 135 families.
Corgan, the officers and dozens of volunteers met at the H-E-B store on the 4300 block of S. Alameda Street and Robert Drive at 7:30 a.m. They began packing boxes of food and toys in vehicles.
Then, they made their way to various homes.
Officer Imelda Rjasko and dozens of volunteers showed up at Veronica Delgado's home. She and her husband were making charro beans when they heard a knock on the door. When they answered it, the found Rjasko and dozens of people outside.
Delgado thought it was prank at first. Then, she recognized Rjasko, who helped her a few months prior, and realized she was joined by volunteers with a food basket and toys for her three children.
Delgado said no one had ever done something this nice for her family before and appreciated the gesture.
"I'm very happy and I'm grateful," Delgado said. "Words can't explain. I'm just emotional seeing that and people do care about others and not just themselves."
Rjasko and the volunteers were touched by Delgado's appreciation.
"The reaction that we got at this residence is what we want," Rjasko said. "It gives us great appreciation to come out and do it every year and just helping families out."
Senior Officer Javier Cantu shared the same sentiment. He's volunteered with this program for the last 15 years.
"This is a good time that we get to go and help out the individuals," he said. "Every other time, we're making contact with families because they're dealing with a traumatic event. This one is a little bit more special for us because we're able to give back and assist Bob with giving back."
If you'd like to make a donation for next year's event, send your donation to P.O.C. at P.O. Box 2504, Corpus Christi, TX 78403.