HCC Police make Christmas merry


Gilbert Bernal

These children received a very merry Christmas from Sgt. R. Johnson and Officers F. Carter and K. Davis at their Christmas Dec. 15 at the West Loop campus.

Alyssa Foley, Editor in Chief

Houston Community College Police force’s Sergeant Reginald Johnson made Christmas merry for six underprivileged families.

With the help of Officer Felicia Carter and Officer Karen Davis, he hosted his annual holiday celebration at the West Loop campus on Wednesday.

“I enjoy doing this; giving back,” said Sgt. Johnson, “I have a job. I’m blessed and I’m thankful, so I try to give back….I’m just doing what I feel is the right thing to do…to the see the joy on the kids’ faces, to give the parents the cards — I really feel good about that.”

“The Sergeant is always thinking about somebody else. He has a big heart,” said Officer Carter, “he goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to reaching out.”

Sgt. Johnson went to the local Sylvan Rodriguez Elementary school off Chimney Rock Road and asked the counselor for the names and ages of students who had nothing this holiday season. The school had a Christmas tree with the names of needy kids written on handmade ornaments. Sgt. Johnson took the names of six children.

Wal-Mart donated all the toys for the children and $40 gift cards for the parents. Each of the six kids received five gifts. Sgt. Johnson said it was the largest donation they had received from the local Wal-Marts yet.

“When I grew up, I always had toys. I know that some kids didn’t have toys. I didn’t grow up that way, so it bothers me,” said Sgt. Johnson. He added that “it’s all about the kids.”

“The Lord is going to find a way to look out for these children,” said Anthony’s step-dad Kendall Bates, one of the recipients. Bates explained that Anthony’s mother, Alexiiss Owens, wished to be there but was working. Bates added that the event, “basically came out of the blue, and I believe in miracles, and I believe that humanity still does exist.”

Vanikha Karamputi, the mother of Divija, couldn’t stop smiling, “I can’t express it in words. I feel very happy.” Divija said all of her new toys are her favorites. Karamputi said her daughter likes everything Frozen, playing cook and playing doctor. Divija received a singing Elsa doll, a kitchen set and a stethoscope.

“My daughter is very fortunate enough to be called in to participate in this event and I’m very happy for her as a father,” said Divija’s father Venicata Balaji Vuddanti.

“With everything going on in America, a lot of people think that officers don’t give back or that we don’t have a tender heart, but we really do,” stated Officer Carter. “For us it’s all about just giving back. That’s what we are; we’re public servers, but we’re also people who like to give back.”

“It’s a blessing to give back to different families. I feel that people need to help other people,” said Officer Davis. “When God blesses me, I like to bless others.”

Sgt. Johnson started the event over fifteen years ago by asking coworkers to each give $20 to the cause. This year, the event was complete with feast and live music from Drumgoole & Company.

Sgt. Johnson said that next year he wants to do more. “I want to make it bigger. I want to have more kids — ten or twelve kids.” He would like to get more people involved, “We have kids who need help.”