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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With so many events in recent weeks seeming to pit African Americans and police against each other, one predominantly black church wants officers to know they are appreciated.

“We were thinking about the police officers. It’s a lot going on,” said Michelle Thompson.

The Immanuel Temple surprised Miami Gardens police with dozens of gift bags for their officers.

“We have different ministries with the church and a lot of times we try to do things to reach out to the community and let them know that we’re here to support them at all times. The group is L.O.L. ministry, is Love Out Loud, so this is our way of showing the officers love,” said Sasha Reid.

It’s hard to turn on the TV and not see negative images of police officers and the people they serve – from protesters to cellphone video of police shootings. It’s a strained relationship.

But this group wants to prove it doesn’t have to be.

“We just wanted the police officers to know that we do care about them. This is a little care package that they can take along with them. It has little fruit cups, Gatorade, little snacks that they can enjoy for the day,” Thompson said. “Because it’s so much going on and we just wanted to make a positive impact.”

The gesture was a genuine surprise for the Miami Gardens police, and a rare thank you to the men and women who serve and protect the city daily.

“With all of this going on in the news, we always hear negative things coming back about the officers,” Reid said. “But we wanted to let them know that we understand they have a hard job. They go out every day to protect and to serve us and we appreciate them.”