Deputies take woman who couldn’t afford Christmas on shopping spree

Deputies take woman who couldn’t afford Christmas on shopping spree

News Staff

A routine traffic stop turned into an impromptu Christmas shopping spree, thanks to a couple of central Iowa sheriff’s deputies looking to spread a little holiday cheer.

Jasper County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Rod Eilander wrote in a Facebook post that he and Reserve Deputy Nathan Popenhagen pulled a woman over for not having license plates on her truck.

“We approached the truck, expecting a grouchy person, being inconvenienced by law enforcement,” Eilander said. “Instead, we had the pleasure of meeting one of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met.”

After she gave the deputy her driver’s license, insurance card and the title to the recently purchased truck, Eilander asked her if she was ready for Christmas, to which she replied no.


“She had no money, and she was on her way to borrow $10 from a friend so she could get dinner for her kids as she didn’t get paid until Friday,” said Eilander, who noticed the woman’s gas tank was also on empty.

The deputies looked at each other and decided they were going to buy her children presents at the local Walmart store: a football for the boy and some earrings and a new backpack for the girl. Oh, and a bucket of slime that “kids are apparently into these days!”


The act of kindness didn’t stop there, though, Eilander said.

“Out of nowhere, an angel walked up to us and handed her a $50 Walmart gift card,” he said.

The deputies said they spent almost $150 on the woman they pulled over for not having license plates. Another customer gave her $20, which she let her children split to buy things that they wanted, Eilander said.

And then someone else in the parking lot gave her another $20. The deputies said they pitched in yet another $20 so she had some cash for dinner.

The deputies then went to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office to wrap each gift as the woman looked through a co-worker’s extra clothing and some donated clothes inside the jail.

Most people think, when they see police lights, they’re about to be pulled over for doing something wrong or they’re going to get a citation. Little did this woman know that she would walk away with four bags of clothes, presents for her children, extra cash and “a (partridge) in a pear tree.”

“My heart is full tonight being with the ones I love and to spread the holiday cheer to others less fortunate than me,” Eilander said.


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