FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — It was the surprise of a lifetime for Doris Reed, her husband and the 14 grandchildren, and great grandchildren, who live with them as a caravan of Ft. Lauderdale Police officers showed up with truckloads of supplies.READ MORE: Celtics run past Heat 93-80, move 1 win from NBA Finals
“Did you see, Santa Claus came early,” she joked with the children.
Reed said her Santa Claus is police officer Robert Norvis, who came to their home earlier this year after the children were having excessive absences at school. It was then that Norvis realized the family was in desperate need.
“Kids just kept coming out of the house. And then more kids. When I saw that I said ‘are you babysitting?’ It turns out they were all her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Whatever the circumstances, she was helping to support them,” said Norvis.READ MORE: South Florida family knows firsthand effects of nationwide baby formula shortage
Reed said several of the grandchildren came from Miami after their family was displaced by a fire in their apartment. They are currently surviving solely off of income from her husband’s landscaping.
“It’s tough, it’s really tough, especially when there is not a lot of income,” said Doris Reed.
Wednesday morning, officer after officer carried in boxes and bags filled with everything from clothes, toys, and hygiene supplies to a couple of lap tops, mattresses and a bed.
“Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t get to see what gets done. But the community came together, people from everywhere, it doesn’t matter where, to help,” said Norvis. “Words cannot explain it, but the hearts and smiles, that explains it all. It’s all about the kids, not us.”MORE NEWS: South Florida woman's bout with COVID included hair loss: 'This isn’t normal shedding'
Norvis said it took about two weeks to gather all of the items and it will take the Reeds weeks to sort through them.