Springville Police Leave Gifts, Encourage Family Time During COVID-19

Apr 9, 2020, 11:00 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 10:49 pm

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — Ahead of the Easter weekend, something close to a basket started showing up on doorsteps in Springville, but it wasn’t from a bunny. Springville Police officers left packages of goodies — board games, movies, and treats — intended to encourage family time while they stay at home due to the coronavirus.

“Walmart and Springville Police are proud to be teaming up for some well-deserved family time during this pandemic,” read a note attached to the bundle. “Here you will find everything you need to have a great time together with your family while practicing your social distancing.”

Springville Police Chief Craig Martinez hatched the idea during a conversation with his family.

“I talked to my wife—I’m asking her and the kids, ‘what can I do? What can we do as a police department to get involved?’” Martinez said. “In my family, we love playing board games, we love watching movies, we love eating popcorn; I’m sure everybody else does too, so why not, you know, kind of pay it forward.”

Martinez said Walmart donated all the items in the packages that were distributed to 10 households at random.

In exchange, the note that came with the packages explained the households were encouraged to share in a sanitary way with another home.

“After your family has played the board game, watched the movie, and enjoyed your treat, please replace the treat (store-bought, not homemade) and place the game, DVD, new treat on someone else’s doorstep that you know can enjoy it as much as your family did,” the note read. “Please keep this going and spread smiles, not viruses (sanitize before and after use)!”

To Martinez, the best gift to share is simply sharing time together.

“I think I’m personally going to look back on this time and I’m going to miss it,” Martinez reflected. “I’m going to miss the times that I was doing nothing but spending time with my family, whether it’s at home, out on a hike, out on the golf course — whatever it may be — we will probably all miss it, so I’m just trying to really enjoy it.”

As coronavirus continued to take everyone down an uncertain road, he hoped the gift his department delivered to families would at least make the journey a little more tolerable.

“We truly hope that they’ll pay it forward, pass it on and give it to another family that would enjoy it,” Martinez said.

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Springville Police Leave Gifts, Encourage Family Time During COVID-19