Brooke Martin - INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- Lights in the rear-view mirror are not the kind of surprise you want, especially right before the holidays.
But when the WISH Patrol is involved, traffic stops turn into magical moments.
The officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department know the rules of the road. Driver Sharlee McClure didn't know her license plate was being covered by her truck's hitch. She also didn't know one traffic stop was going to change her life.
After being pulled over, the WISH Patrol sprung into action and instead of receiving a ticket, Sharlee was given a $500 gift card.
Through tears, Sharlee shared that she is a single mom working two jobs and that Christmas wasn't looking good this year.
"I needed this because I couldn't afford Christmas for my kids," said McClure.
With one Christmas saved, it was on to the next but before going any further, let's back up to the people who made this day of extreme giving possible: Traders Point Christian Church.
We met up with Pastor Matt Hessel who got wind of our latest WISH Patrol surprise and wanted to fund the entire $5,000.
"We want to be a blessing to the city. We love Indianapolis. Traders Point has actually been here for 183 years, so we are invested in this community. Every kind of person that you can imagine that lives around the city is part of our church," said Hessel.
Together, we set out with the men and women of IMPD to give back. There were just a few rules:
- We needed to hit every part of our city
- Join up with officers in those areas
- Drivers had to commit a minor infraction to get pulled over
Starting in downtown, we pulled over two drivers who were shocked.
From downtown to the east side, where LaCrystal Hayes just picked up her kids from daycare.
"Oh my gosh! Thank you! Merry Christmas!" Hayes and her kids yelled from the car.
Another shocking stop on the east side and we were on to the north.
"I can't believe this is happening. I never win anything. Thank you so much!" said Kayla Arsenault.
From the north side to the west, and down to the south.
From gratitude to disbelief. One family didn't know they were about to encounter a mini-miracle.
"I don't want to cry," the driver said. "It's special for kids because we're going to get them right now and we were just trying to figure it out. We have five kids."
"We have loans set up for Christmas," the passenger said.
Owing a penalty and receiving a gift instead. It's what Christmas is all about.
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