Man shares Christmas cheer … and cash


ROSSFORD – Tony Worthington decided to spread the message of Christmas around the city this year – with
the help of the Rossford Police Department.
Worthington and Officer Randy Baker distributed more than $500 in gift cards to those in need on
Christmas Day.
"Me and my wife were sitting here thinking about what to give for Christmas," said Worthington.
"Because the Christmas spirit’s about Jesus, and Jesus was the biggest gift-giver of all … You
can never match what he gave."
Soon they hit on it – in lieu of giving gifts to one another, or to Worthington’s parents, they decided
to take the money and purchase $50 gift cards – 10 in all, with seven from Target and three from Kroger
– to distribute to those who needed them more.
Worthington then contacted his friend, Baker, to see if he could assist. Baker said he’d like to, and got
the OK to help out from Police Chief Glenn Goss.
Some of the people assisted were known to the officer, or suggested by Mayor Neil MacKinnon III. In some
cases the pair provided breakfast as well.
Others were the results of serendipity. "Me and Officer Baker would sit there (in the police car)
and we’d watch cars go by, and if they had a kid in the car, and it looked like the car wasn’t the best
car – not that they were poor, but they could use (the gift card) – we’d zoom out and pull them over,
and give them a gift card."
Worthington said the reaction to such impromptu gift-giving was "first surprise at they’re getting
pulled over on Christmas … and then the surprise of the gift itself, of the caring."
Worthington said he was probably most affected when he gave a gift card to help a grandmother who had
taken in her five grandchildren.
"When she went into the house, she thanked me and she… told me that she makes a little birthday
cake for Jesus every Christmas."
"That really warmed my heart."
While this is the first year that Worthington’s gone out on such a Christmas mission to help others, he
doesn’t plan on it being his last.
"I’m actually going to try to raise more money, and do it a little bigger next year," he said.

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