TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – As an Indiana State Trooper, Nicole Cheeks has seen it all.
“Sometimes our jobs, it gets nasty,” said Cheeks, “But for the most part we’re dealing with 90 percent of good citizens out here. We prepare for the worst, but we usually end up getting the best.”
Cheeks often patrols different parts of Terre Haute. It was in one of her neighborhoods that she met Jennifer Diekhoff and her children.
“They’re good kids, they’re smart kids,” said Cheeks, “They introduced me to some things in Terre Haute that I wasn’t aware of.”
One of those things being Shop With a Cop at Meijer, which happened in the middle of December. Cheeks says Diekhoff’s kids, Brandon and Hailee, told her about the event, asking her if she could be their shopping partner. However, the day of the event, the children were unable to attend.
“They were really bummed out about not being able to go,” said Cheeks.
Cheeks and her husband went back to Meijer following the event, picking up toys and toiletries. On Christmas Day, Cheeks delivered the load of gifts personally to the Diekhoff household.
“I figured I could give back to them just for helping me,” said Cheeks.
Watching the smiles of her children, Diekhoff says this Christmas is a dream come true.
“It’s a blessing,” said Diekhoff, “I can’t even express how grateful we are, you know, it’s a Christmas miracle.”
For 8-year-old Brandon Diekhoff and his 11-year-old sister, Hailee, it’s an experience they will always remember. When asked what they were going to say to Trooper Cheeks, in unison they said, “Thank you! You’re amazing.”
In the midst of all the excitement and gifts, Cheeks hopes the Diekhoffs will unwrap the life lesson of paying it forward to others and helping those in need.
“When those kids get older, they’ll do the same thing,” said Cheeks, “They’ll remember when ‘I wasn’t able to do something, someone stepped in and helped us out’ and they’ll continue to do that.”