Heroes don’t always wear capes: In our new series we’re featuring fearless members of community who go above and beyond the call of duty to better the lives of others.
One of those heroes is Indio Police Officer Chris Wiley, who, when he isn’t on duty, can be found at Abundant Life Church in Indio.
A place of worship for his family but also a place where he gives back to others.
“It was about six years ago that my wife came to me and was like hey, I have this idea,” Wiley said.
That’s when Wiley and his wife, Misty, started a toy drive for kids in their community.
“It was small cause; it was the first time we were doing it, there’s going to be about 200 hundred toys, a few thousand pounds of food,” Wiley said.
It has now been seven years that the Wileys have been doing the toy drive and they’re hoping it will be bigger than years past, “Last Christmas we gave out more than a thousand toys, over 20,000 pounds of food, we raffled off 50 bikes for kids and every year it’s growing and growing.”
After the first drive, the Wileys took it a step further, putting on a yearly backpack drive giving out 2,100 backpacks to children across the valley this year.
Wiley said he can relate to the families needing a helping hand, “coming from a low income family, not having everything that I always wanted and going through times in my life it wasn’t always fine and dandy.”
Ronan Munoz, the pastor at Abundant Life Church, said he is appreciative of the Wileys.
“We’re fortunate to have people like officer Wiley. He’s obviously, over the last five or six years we’ve been reaching out, he’s been a huge part of those efforts. He’s an active member at Abundant Life Church and the city of Indio,” Munoz said.
This year’s toy drive will be on Saturday Dec. 16. If you would like to help the church reach its goal of $15,000, you can take your donation to the Abundant Life Church now. The church is located at 82665 Miles Ave, Indio, CA 92201.
If you have someone you think is a hero in community email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “valley hero” in the subject line.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15