WORCESTER – When the sirens of a stretch of police cars broke the silence on Tuesday night outside Why Me & Sherry’s House on Pleasant Street, it wasn’t for an emergency or a crime in the making – it was a convoy of love by the Worcester Police Department for 100 children battling cancer.
When Olivia, 4, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 15 months old and has been at Why Me & Sherry’s House for three years, her brother Louis and sister Sophia saw a line of police cars and fire trucks heading home and Santa appearing to deliver gift bags, they couldn’t hide their excitement.
“It’s good to see them participating in something, just a typical kid thing,” said Tiana Recos of Worcester, Olivia’s mother, adding that Olivia had just completed two years of treatment and that she was fine now. “We don’t always get to do that. It’s been a long time, so it’s good to see them doing that because that’s what you want for their childhood.”
Worcester Police Officer Rebecka Mailea has contacted Why Me & Sherry’s House for a wish list of Christmas gifts from children in the house.
A donation tree adorned with many ornaments was installed at the police headquarters. Each ornament represents a needy child in the community, and officers picked an ornament from the tree and then shopped for that child based on their Christmas wish list.
Mailea said the gift also helps supplement families who might not be working and want to give their children a special Christmas present.
“Just for a good Christmas morning, and just for the kids to open that present they really asked for,” Mailea said. “And just to have that joy that we all experienced as kids, the gift that we really want and then get it.”
Mailea added that this is the second year of the show and the partnership with Why Me & Sherry’s House. This is the fifth year for the Giving Tree and the 14th year for the gift.
WPD provided gifts to over 500 children and teens this holiday season across the community. Police and fire service personnel along with the Worcester Railers came out to help with the parade.