-- Toledo police officers surprised people with an unexpected gift just in time for the holidays.
The Toledo Police Department in Ohio received a $2,000 donation from a local business owner and used that money, in addition to another $1,000 that was left over from a department fundraiser, to purchase gift cards to hand out to drivers and pedestrians throughout this week, department spokesman Joe Heffernan told ABC News.
The department purchased gift cards to Meijer, a supermarket chain, ranging from $25 to $100 and handed them out to people who they "thought could use a little extra help during the holidays," Heffernan said.
"Some of the people had small children, or were in a parking lot getting out from a Goodwill store," Heffernan added. "We would approach them and just give them the gift card and tell them, 'Merry Christmas.'"
Officers would also follow cars until the driver pulled over. The officers would then surprise them with the gift card.
"It is kind of funny when you do this because initially they're a little apprehensive," Heffernan said of the drivers. "Then we just tell them that we appreciate that they had their kids buckled in properly, and to have a nice day and a 'Merry Christmas.'"
In response to the officers' kind gesture, Heffernan said there was a lot of crying and a lot of hugs, and people would often thank the officers and tell them their back stories.
"We had people who had just gotten custody of their grand-kids and they didn't know how they were going to provide for Christmas, so this really helped them out," he added.
Tiffany Hernandez was pulled over by police and was handed a $100 gift card, according to a Facebook post.
She wrote: "This was well needed. Thank you so much!!!!"