LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) - It was a Christmas miracle for one family who are down on their luck - made possible by a local police department.
The family says they owe the Livonia officers a big thank you and lots of hugs.
Crystal Gilliland and her four children were just evicted from their home a few days ago - right before Christmas.
Gilliand, with her car running, was asleep with her 2-year-old daughter in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Livonia when someone knocked on her window.
“Woke up in the back of my car with our pillows and blankets and woke up to a couple police officers,” she says. “At first I got scared.”
But Gilliland’s fear quickly turned into a feeling she was being protected - like her guardian angels had arrived.
“They said they hope things get better,” she says. “At first they came to my car the one time and they handed me $50.”
Two Livonia police officers patrolling the area had spotted Gilliland’s car running with mom and daughter inside. So the officers gave her money for food.
They then left, but Gilliland says more officers showed up.
“Two more officers came back and gave me a little bit more money and then more officers came back and then a third time all throughout the night,” she says. “Said they talked with all the other officers and they were able to help me get into a room for my kids.”
Now Crystal and her 4 children have a roof over their head and heat.
Those Livonia police officers paid out of their own pocket for the hotel room for one week, presents for the kids and a Christmas tree.
For this family, they say they are forever grateful for those officers who made Christmas possible for their family.
“I would hug each one of them and tell them thank you,” Gilliland says.
We reached out to the officers who decided to give back in such a big way, but were told because they work midnights they were unavailable.