Officers surprise Burke Co. families with Christmas trees, gifts

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BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - Law enforcement officers surprised Burke County families on Monday, delivering Christmas gifts and trees while they weren't home.

One mother of seven said it was a great surprise after a difficult year.

While Deana Coble was out on Monday, Public Safety officers from Morganton, Burke County sheriff deputies and the Highway Patrol were busy filling her house and others with gifts.

“I love going in and knowing when this family goes in the house, they are going to have tears of joy because they have a Christmas this year,” said Amber Mecimore with Operation Blue Christmas.

Police were long gone by the time Coble arrived home Monday afternoon. Neighbors and others nominated the family by writing to the local paper.

“I think they deserve it,” neighbor Jennifer Davis said. “They would do the same thing for anyone else.”

The Fraternal Order of Police chose two families in Burke County after collecting donations from businesses and people who live in the area. There was such a good response that they were able to help two more families.

Coble's children were just as surprised as their mother after getting home from school. Her daughter, Savannah, was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and her treatments have taken a toll both financially and emotionally.

But what the officers and others did to help her family will make this Christmas one Coble won't forget.

“It is a wonderful thing to know people care,” she said.