(CBS) — A young Chicago police officer digs deep into his own pocket to make the holidays bright for children in a tough neighborhood.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.READ MORE: Caught On Video: Man Steals Car, Crashes It Moments Later In Back Of The Yards
The officer’s name is Howard Ray — a Santa with a badge. From February until November, he sets aside $300 from each paycheck to buy toys — lots of toys – for children in the Austin neighborhood.
“I love these kids, even though I don’t know them,” Ray says.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Lows In The Upper Teens, Possible Snow Showers Over The Weekend
It’s a way of life for Ray. Earlier this year, he and another officer, Matthew Jackson, helped a children of a woman who had left an abusive relationship.
“The neighborhood needs it because it’s a lot of low-income children in this area and a lot of parents don’t work,” says Verna Goins, a grandmother.MORE NEWS: View Live Radar
Officer Ray is looking for technical help to build a crime prevention app that would connect the community with services.