‘Tis the Season: Imagine being a 12-year-old girl who’s been given a $100.00 gift card intended to allow you to buy anything your little heart desires for Christmas. But, instead of buying for yourself, you put others first and proceed to spend the entire $100.00 on family members without spending so much as a single cent on yourself. Sounds almost too good to be true, but it isn’t. In fact, that was the scenario that greeted Boston Police Officer Jorge Dias a couple weeks ago at this year’s Shop with a Cop, the 10th annual event, which took place December 10, 2018, at the Target Store in Dorchester. As for Dias, he’d be the first to say the encounter with the young girl most assuredly left an impression. So much so, when New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore recently reached out to Dias looking for a family or good kid to buy Christmas presents for, well, let’s just say Dias didn’t have to think long or hard about who the Pats CB needed to go shopping for. In fact, in the days after the Shop with a Cop event, Dias couldn’t stop thinking about Marisa, a 12-year-old girl from Bromley Heath, whose generous spirit and big-hearted innocence seemingly personified everything the holiday season is supposed to be about. Dias could not have been more impressed with her generosity and her generosity most certainly separated her from the pack.
In fact, of the 400 kids given the opportunity to go shopping for themselves at this year’s Shop with a Cop, there was one, who, instead, chose to go shopping for others. As Dias watched, 12-year-old Marisa proceeded to buy clothes for her parents, her two little brothers and her older sister, older by a year, who suffers from severe paralysis and, consequently, spends majority of her time in a wheelchair. When Dias noticed that Marisa had purchased a few stuffed animals, Marisa explained to him that her older sister loved the softness of stuffed animals. She further explained that her sister had difficulty holding things given her paralysis, but she could hold soft things like stuffed animals. Said Dias, “I couldn’t get over how special this little girl was. Not a selfish bone in her body. I was so impressed that I wanted to celebrate her generosity in some way and then, out of the blue, I get a call from Stephon.”
Last night, a few hours after helping his team defeat the Buffalo Bills by the score of 24 - 12, Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore chose to celebrate the Pats 10th consecutive AFC East title in a different way. While accompanied by Boston Police Officer George Dias and several other officers assigned to District E-13 (Jamaica Plain), Gilmore visited a few families and stopped by a few apartments with one, of course, being Marisa’s apartment inside the Bromley Heath Housing Complex. Suffice to say, Gilmore and Dias were on a mission Santa Claus himself couldn’t deny and would wholeheartedly endorse. And, as you can see by the photos, Gilmore spared no expense in making sure that Marisa and her family would enjoy an extra special Christmas this year. Said Dias, “It’s a moment Marisa and her family will never forget. And, the best part, she deserves every bit of it.”