Blythewood, SC - Christmas came a little early for seven South Carolina families who have experienced tragedy within the past year, as part of the South Carolina Highway Patrol’s 2022 Christmas Initiative.
“These families have been through so much. Each of them have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision or they have been left standing by their loved one’s side as they recover from a severe injury caused by a collision. We are so thankful that we have been able to shower them with love and kindness and hopefully give them a bright spot in what’s been a really challenging year,” said Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol.
On Thursday, the seven families traveled to Blythewood from all across the state, finding themselves face-to-face with a room filled with bikes, toys and gifts just for them. The Highway Patrol’s Victim Services Unit (VSU) helped each troop’s captain to identify a deserving family in their area.
“I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people who made today possible. My team and I see the impacts daily of how these tragic deaths on our roadways affects these families. Today is a small gesture of our support as we walk alongside them in this journey, but to see the smiles on their faces and tears of gratitude in their eyes is something truly special,” says SCHP Victim Services Unit manager, Crystal Salley.
This year’s Christmas Initiative for SCHP is made possible by generous monetary donations to the South Carolina Troopers Association, totaling approximately $6,300. In addition, 24 pairs of sneakers were donated by Innersole, a local non-profit co-founded by University of South Carolina women’s basketball head coach, Dawn Staley, which has a mission to provide sneakers to kids in need. Lastly, one family was gifted a used car by Schroeder’s Towing and the tag, title, taxes and insurance were paid for by a portion of the monetary donations made to the Troopers Association.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.