ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Having half a heart hasn’t stopped Elliott “Tin Man” Wyche from spreading immense love and joy this holiday season.
The 4-year-old was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) in 2015. Living with HLHS has meant numerous open heart surgeries in Wyche’s young life, as the right side of his heart works to do the job of both sides.[ Click here to read more about his journey.]
Wyche and his family wanted to reciprocate the community support they’ve experienced in the last few years by paying it forward. And who better to help than the Arlington Police Department?
Tin Man and his family collected toys to donate to the department’s Santa Cops program. Since 1985, the program has evolved from police officers providing Christmas trees, food and gifts to families in their beat to providing toys and supplies for more than 400 families and more than 1200 children.
The program identifies needy families through social workers and counselors at targeted AISD elementary schools. A party is thrown for these families at the Arlington Convention Center where refreshments, good cheer, and even Santa is on hand to provide for a festive time. Groupings of schools are provided their very own party time so that each party is specialized for that group.
To show their appreciation for Tin Man’s altruistic gesture, officers rolled on up Monday in squad cars and even a SWAT vehicle to say, “Thank you!”
In addition to helping those less fortunate, Wyche is really into police officers and firefighters, so it was a win win!