Closings and delays

Winston-Salem police spend Secret Santa money on gifts for Brenner Children’s Hospital patients

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem police officers spent their Friday morning spending their own money for a good cause.

Instead of buying Secret Santa gifts for each other, they took the money they would have spent and pooled it together. With what started as a few hundred dollars, the officers went to two Target locations in the city and bought gifts for patients at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

“It’s a blast,” said Sgt. Trace Wooten. “We have a good time, we really do.”

The officers started on a budget, with children of all ages in mind.

“They’re gonna be in the hospital for Christmas, and their families and it’s a big burden,” Wooten said.

Wooten added that people often ask what the officers are doing and pitch in money of their own.

“You do something nice and somebody else sees it and they want to participate also,” she said.

Target also donated some money to the cause. In all, officers were able to spend $2,200 on gifts for the children.

“The siblings also get toys, that way they can feel like they’re all included,” Wooten said.

Officers brought the gifts to the hospital Friday afternoon.

“They’ll sort them, and they’ll put them in bags and give them to the families at Christmas time,” Wooten said.

For officers who do so much good during the rest of the year, much of which goes unnoticed, Friday’s event ranks near the top.

“We do a lot of stuff on the outside that people don’t see, this is just something that we get to do extra,” Wooten said.