TARBORO, N.C. — A little girl who lost her dad in the line of duty got a big holiday surprise from the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, WNCN reports.
Izabella Manning, 5, feels right at home at the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office, among the men and women who once worked with her dad.
Deputy David Manning died in a traffic crash last year.
“He was a good soul. He was a good person. He meant a lot to us,” said Deputy Alexus Hill.
Although his death left both his family and his coworkers grieving, they draw comfort from each other.
“Bella doesn’t take the place but she fills that void for a lot of us,” said Hill. “Just seeing her smile, knowing that she gets joy from seeing us, it helps us a lot.”
Bella’s mom, Jasmine Joyner, said the deputies help her daughter as well.
“She misses him, but she has them here to fill that void as well,” she said.
When Christmas morning comes, deputies want to make sure Bella’s day is filled with joy. They spent the month of November growing their beards to raise money for Bella. On Wednesday, they presented her with a check for more than $1,400.
“It just shows how much they care (and) how much they love her,” said Joyner.
Bella’s Christmas wish is pretty simple. She wants a baby doll.
Even better than the check or presents are the smiles that fill the office where Bella’s dad once wore badge No. 839.
“She’s all of our child now,” said Hill. “She has a whole lot of aunts and uncles and moms and dads. She really does. She has a title. She’s 839 and 1/2, so she means a whole lot to us.”