Worcester Police lead holiday parade to bring presents to local children with cancer – Boston 25 News
WORCESTER, Massachusetts – Worcester police led a holiday parade on Tuesday, stopping to hand out presents to children at a local nonprofit that serves children with cancer and their families.
Dozens of children watched in excitement as police cars, a fire truck, and other urban vehicles arrived at Why Me & Sherry’s House, with their sirens, flashing lights and Christmas music.
Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent, along with Santa Claus, presented 100 gifts to children and called the event “the highlight of the year.”
Mother Tiana Recos beamed as she watched her 3-year-old daughter Olivia accept gifts from Santa Claus along with her older brother and sister, the 5-year-old twins. Olivia was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019 and ended treatment in March. Due to the illness and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paxton family has missed some fun holiday gatherings in recent years.
“There are only excited shouts for Santa Claus. It doesn’t get any better than that,” said a grateful Tiana Recos. “It really just…warms my heart to see how they can do typical children’s things when we haven’t for a long time. have been able to do.”
Why Me helps families cope with childhood cancer by providing free support and counseling, as well as fun events and programs. Employees visit children in hospitals, and Sherry’s House provides shelter as a “home from home” for families while their children are being treated in the New England area.
Christopher Poplawski, who was 4 years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia, returned on Tuesday for the event with his mother, Tracy. At 20, he still finds comfort in Why Me.
“We still come to the house all the time to provide support for other families,” Tracy Poplawski said. “It’s amazing. It really warms your heart, brings tears to your eyes.”
The Worcester Police Department has also given 580 gifts to other children and teens in the community through a “Giving Tree” program, in which officers remove ornaments from a tree for police officers and shop for children in need.
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