BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimoreans are reaching out to help others during the holidays. It’s happening in South Baltimore.

Ron Matz reports city police are teaming up with a popular restaurant to make sure it will be a Merry Christmas for those in need.

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the Southern District Police Station.

“It feels good. Anytime you can help someone less fortunate, especially in your own community. It’s nice to extend that,” said Brian McComas, Ryleigh’s Oyster.

“Every year we do Christmas baskets. We feed 350 families in the neighborhood. We have officers, police explorers and community members helping. They’re packing the boxes. Each box has a turkey, rice and everything you need for dinner,” said Officer Timika Dyson, Southern District police.

Volunteers are busy packing turkey dinners for needy families in South Baltimore.

“It’s great. We get so many people calling in. Everyone has a story. They are so grateful we’re able to assist them with food this holiday season,” Officer Dyson said.

It’s a season for Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill to donate 350 turkeys.

“We did a turkey drive and had some fun. We had a give ’em the bird party. We allowed people to purchase a turkey and gave them a gift card. It gave them an incentive to join us in the act of giving,” McComas said.

This act of giving is in its eighth year with a lot of volunteers.

“It’s teamwork. It’s a long process, but it’s all worth it. Ryleigh’s oyster houses gave us 350 turkeys. They did it last year and again this year,” Dyson said.

“We have people from the police department, police explorers, guardian angels and neighbors doing the work. Off-duty police officers give their time to deliver this to the people they protect,” said Jack Baker, Southern District Police Community Relations.

Volunteers include neighbors and friends, including southern district Sergeant Kelly Johns and her sons.

“It makes me feel great. It makes you feel like you actually did something for the community. We deal with crime all the time, and this is another side of community policing,” said Sgt Johns, Southern district police.

All of the food will be delivered in time for Christmas dinner.

“I’ve been doing this eight years. The council got involved. We partnered with Brian at Ryleigh’s, and we’re doing better than ever,” Baker said.

This is the second year Ryleigh’s Oyster has donated the turkeys to the Holiday Baskets of Cheer Program in South Baltimore.


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