Duo spends hol­i­day giv­ing gifts to law en­force­ment

Mother-daugh­ter team gives of­fi­cers Christmas tree or­na­ments, candy

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By David Har­ris

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.”

STEPHEN M. DOW­ELL/ORLANDO SEN­TINEL

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.

STEPHEN M. DOW­ELL/ORLANDO SEN­TINEL

Key­chains and or­na­ments are dis­played at the home of Tracy Ganci and her daugh­ter, Jor­dan, on Dec. 5.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.