Duo spends holiday giving gifts to law enforcement
Mother-daughter team gives officers Christmas tree ornaments, candy
Most people spend Christmas at a dining room table with friends and family.
Tracy Ganci and her daughter, Jordan, spend the holiday looking for cops. Armed with candy and handmade Christmas tree ornaments, they drive around the Central Florida streets looking for officers and deputy sheriffs in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties — part of a tradition they call “Random Acts of Back the Blue.” They do it as a thank you to the officers for serving the community.
“If someone broke into my house on Christmas, these are the people that would come help us,” Tracy Ganci said. “They are spending Christmas away from their families. Why not bring the holiday to them?”
Her effort started nearly four years ago. Ganci, 45, of Orlando, said she felt there was too much negative attention in the media and “armchair quarterbacks” second-guessing the actions of law enforcement. So she started giving handmade cards to officers, eventually giving out around 1,000, she said.
“While I can’t change the hate in people’s hearts, I can change
the morale of some officers and let them know I appreciate what they do,” she said.
It’s not just during the holiday season: She gives out key chains and other items throughout the year. While she initially gets some strange looks from officers, they warm up to her once they realize what she’s doing.
“The stoned face look goes away and a smile emerges,” she said.
Her house is covered with “Thin Blue Line” American flags and awards from various departments for her work, while department patches are plastered to the ceiling of her Jeep.
The agencies have recognized her efforts. In October, she received the Community Partnership Award from the Kissimmee Police Department.
“Our officers appreciate Tracy Ganci and her Random Acts of Back the Blue knowing the community is supporting them every day,” said Kissimmee police spokeswoman Samantha Scarp.
Orlando police spokesman Sgt. David Baker posed for a picture with Ganci, her daughter and their dog Blue when she dropped off an OPD Christmas ornament. She has also dropped off goody bags and brought food to OPD substations over the years, he said.
“I know Tracy and appreciate all of the support she shows to the law enforcement community,” he said. “Her efforts have touched officers with multiple Central Florida agencies. … Citizens like Tracy and her daughter Jordan help law enforcement officers realize that their hard work, risk and dedication are appreciated.”
Tracy Ganci’s dad and brother are in law enforcement, so she’s always felt a bond. After a career as a chef and in sales, she recently was hired as a dispatcher for the Orlando Police Department.
Making the Christmas ornaments starts around June, she said. She makes six at a time in a resin mold. She adds embellishments to each layer, which takes a day to dry. The process takes about a week.
The Jeep rides and ornament-making process also help form a mother-daughter bond, Tracy Ganci said. She instills in her daughter a giving mindset and an appreciation for law enforcement, she said.
“We enjoy doing it because we are giving back,” said Jordan, 11. “It’s nice to see the officers smile.”
Ganci hopes to give out 60 or 70 ornaments. She said she hopes the officers and deputies receiving the gifts realize people care.
“These men and women see things we never see,” she said. “They could be having a bad day. You don’t know what they’ve seen on the call they just came from. Kindness begets kindness.”
Tracy Ganci and her daughter, Jordan, hold keychains and ornaments at their Orlando home on Dec. 5. It’s their way of saying thank you to law enforcement for protecting the community.
Keychains and ornaments are displayed at the home of Tracy Ganci and her daughter, Jordan, on Dec. 5.