SAN DIEGO - It was unexpected and appreciated. San Diego police officers surprised families in the South Bay with holiday gift baskets and toys.
The items were personally delivered by officers and their families.
For Elaine and her brother Lorenzo, it is the closest thing to Christmas they are going to get.
Both are staying with their aunt, while their father is working in Idaho and their mother is in the Philippines.
It is a little bit of Christmas spirit to help them get through.
Members of the Filipino American Law Enforcement Association gathered $500 in gift cards, food and toys and teamed up with National City schools, deciding which kids are excelling despite the hardships at home.
For the Minimo family, the knock on the door took a turn as soon as they saw the smiling faces that greeted them. John Paul and his family are trying to make ends meet while taking care of his sick grandparents.
It is the smile on their faces that makes the effort all worth it for officers like Teo Millian.
"We wanted to make differences in lives of people. We do that out in the street during our normal duty," said Millian. "Seeing this is our way of making a difference. Ultimately, it’s not just officers making a difference, its people helping people."