Putnamville trooper provides for family in the spirit of Christmas

Sunday, December 27, 2015
Trooper Nicole Cheeks with two of the three Diekoff children, Brandon, 8, and Hailee, 11. (Courtesy photo)

PUTNAMVILLE -- An Indiana State Police trooper from the Putnamville Post spread Christmas cheer Friday to a single working mother of three in northern Vigo County.

Trooper Nicole Cheeks, a one-year veteran of the ISP assigned to Putnamville, followed her heart and delivered Christmas joy to the Diekoff family on Rosehill Avenue in Terre Haute.

Utilizing her own money, Cheeks purchased a few toys, including some with the new Star Wars theme, board games, clothing, food items and personal care products to the three children, Brandon, 8, Hailee, 11, and Lexis, 15.

The idea of helping the family came about after the children developed a rapport with Trooper Cheeks as she patrolled their neighborhood. The children would often ask her to stop and talk or approach her patrol vehicle as she sat along Rosehill Avenue monitoring traffic.

During one of their many conversations, Trooper Cheeks discovered the family Christmas tree was only a series of Christmas lights affixed to a wall in the shape of a Christmas tree; there was no actual tree.

Cheeks investigated further over a few days and when speaking with their mother, Jennifer, Cheeks, was able to determine -- after a little prompting -- that the children might be in need of a few things.

Considerable thought went into the effort as Cheeks felt a strong desire to help. Armed with her own money and on personal time, Cheeks purchased the items and anxiously waited for Christmas Day.

Just after noon Friday, again on her own time, Cheeks drove to the Diekoff residence and surprised the children.

"It was simply amazing and words cannot express how gratifying this was to help this family," Trooper Cheeks commented. "It was truly an honor."

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