“When I Walked in with the Food, the Kids Started Tearing into the Cans. They Didn’t Even Warm Up the Soup. Nothing. Everything was Just Going Straight into Their Mouths”

On Sunday, 13 July 2014, Portland, Oregon, Police Officer Carlos Ibarra received a call about a family with seven children who needed help. They had left Portland for Arizona, but things did not work out, and they came back. The family members spoke little English, and the language barrier made it difficult for the police dispatcher to communicate with them. Officer Ibarra telephoned shelters — unsuccessfully. He said, “A lot of the places I was calling I wasn’t getting anyone on the phone — just voice mail to call back during the week.” He then called motels and found a Motel 6 that could take in the family for the night. However, the cost was $70, which was not in the police department budget, and so Officer Ibarra paid it out of his own pocket. He said, “I just couldn’t imagine going home to my comfortable bed and air conditioning while those seven kids are sleeping in their van in this hot weather. This would be my way of helping them get some rest and some hope for tomorrow when they could find some more help getting a more permanent place to stay.” The children also needed food. Officer Ibarra said, “The father told me the kids had some bread on the way up — maybe the day before.” Officer Ibarra got a basket of food from the Portland Police Bureau’s Sunshine Division. He said, “When I walked in with the food, the kids started tearing into the cans. They didn’t even warm up the soup. Nothing. Everything was just going straight into their mouths.” A local church is helping the family find a place to stay. Officer Ibarra, who is age 28 and single, said, “Maybe because I don’t have a wife and kids I can afford to donate some money, but any officer would jump at the opportunity to help this family.”

For More Information: Joe English, “Police officer pays out of his own pocket to help family in need.” KATU (Portland, Oregon). 14 July 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mwrnd5g

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