Mother of 4 at a loss for words after Christmas miracle

SAPD and Valero team up to spread holiday joy to families in need

SAN ANTONIO – It was a normal morning for mother of four Linda Vela, interrupted by what she calls a miracle.

When she answered her front door, she saw two San Antonio Police officers, and a slew of volunteers from Valero Energy Corporation. Together, the organizations raised thousands of dollars to deliver gifts to more than 100 families in need.

It's been a tough year for Vela, who was wondering how she would fill the space under her tree this Christmas. She cried and repeated the words, "thank you," as the officers and volunteers stacked piles of gifts under the tree for her and her kids.

"This is so wonderful!" she said under her breath with tears falling down her face.

Agencies like SAPD, Any Baby Can, Christus Santa Rosa, and Family Service Association all help the Blue Santa program identify families that need a little help. The result is astounding to see in person: people like Vela filling with joy and disbelief.

"I don't ever like not having something to say but I'm lost for words. I feel like I don't deserve this," Vela said.

In the words she could get out, Vela expressed how thankful she was for a truly caring community.

"I saw the emotion, I saw how happy she was and it makes us feel good knowing that we're helping people out in this way," said SAPD Officer Joe Flores, who helped deliver Vela's gifts.

He and the other volunteers say it's a true testament to what the holidays are all about.

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