Officers lend helping hand to fire victims

Their duty is to protect and serve, but now some officers with the North Charleston Police Department can add "donate" to their job description.

On behalf of the Department, the School Resources Unit gave gift cards and cash to two families affected by Monday's fire at the Delta Oaks Apartments.

"So often the police department and the officers are seen in a negative light because of the enforcement aspect of what we do, but one of our chief goals within the police department is to build relationships within the community," Lt. Terrell Palmer said.

The gifts were overflow from a newly formed community outreach initiative called Kids and Cops. As part of that venture, officers will accompany children on an all-expense paid holiday shopping trip next month.

"Once myself and my sergeant saw the fire on the news both of us came together and thought this would be a great place for this money to go," Pfc. Clinton Ivey said. The chosen families were picked at random by students at R.B. Stall High School.

The gifts card and cash are each valued at more than 200 dollars. They were given to two women who say they've lost everything in the fire.

"We are blessed and that's all I can say," Shamon Hodges said. "I've had help and I didn't expect this, either -- and I'm thankful."

Both recipients have four children.

"I appreciate it a lot and what I'm going to do with the gift is get my kids what they need," Zakiya Toby said. "As long as we got each other, it's not about material things."

Nobody was injured in the two-alarm fire. The North Charleston Fire Department is still investigating.

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