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Posted on Dec 28, 2015

Quincy family server ‘A Rest Warrant’ for Christmas

Despite a few hardships this year, 13-year-old Socorro Diaz was expecting a nice Christmas with her family.
In her Quincy home, the family had a small tree decorated with lights. Sitting under it was a handful of wrapped gifts for the loving family of eight.

Quincy Officer Erik Bakke presents Maria Diaz Morfin with holiday decorations to brighten up her home. Beside her is Quincy Police Department Chaplain Daniel Castillo. Photo by Kurtis J. Photography.

Quincy Officer Erik Bakke presents Maria Diaz Morfin with holiday decorations to brighten up her home. Beside her is Quincy Police Department Chaplain Daniel Castillo. Photo by Kurtis J. Photography.

But when 40 people, most of them police officers armed and loaded with gifts, entered her home Tuesday evening, the holiday just got a whole lot better for Socorro and her siblings.
“We’ve never had so many presents,” said the young teenager.
On Tuesday, the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team, sporting Santa beards and joined by several people representing the local law enforcement community, converged on the home of Maria Diaz Morfin for a Christmas surprise. The single mother has seven children, ranging in ages from 1 to 14 years old.
Speaking through Socorro, Morfin said she felt touched by the show of support for her family.
“She is really happy and thankful for everyone,” Socorro said.
For the second year, INET and its partners have served “A Rest Warrants” on deserving families around the county who need a little extra boost come Christmas time.
INET works to reduce drug availability and trafficking in Grant County. Supervised by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, it includes detectives from the sheriff’s office, the Washington State Patrol and the Moses Lake and Quincy police departments.
The local home was the merry group’s fourth of five stops that day; visits also were made in Moses Lake and Royal City. Overall, five families with a combined 23 children were surprised on Tuesday by the officers.
Last year, INET was able to provide gifts for three area families. In only a year’s time, organizers have grown the holiday gift-giving program to include donations from more than 100 area businesses and private donors.
Each family visited was provided with Christmas gifts for the children as well as holiday meals, evenings out (with babysitting), gift cards, donations from Grant PUD and, new this year, a personal visit from Santa. For the Morfin family, officers also carried in a roll of carpeting and a futon couch. Outside, bikes awaited the younger children.
Quincy Police Chief Bob Heimbach read to the family an A Rest Warrant proclamation and visitors introduced themselves while donations were presented to the family.
It was a little overwhelming, 10-year-old Dayaneyra said. She saw the officers outside her home just before they came in.
Dayaneyra said she thought to herself, “Oh, my God – the cops are here. What happened?”
The Morfin family was chosen in Quincy because officers there are familiar with the family, said Officer Mark Pannek, who is a school resource officer.
“We figured this would be a great way for us to help out with the family,” Pannek said. “They’re good kids.”
The family also was familiar to the department because thieves broke into the Morfin home two years ago, making away with many of their belongings, said Pannek, who secured several donations from local organizations for the family.
“It feels great,” Pannek said of helping the family. “This is one of the reasons I personally became a police officer – to help. Especially those who need a little help.”
And the A Rest Warrants make all involved feel good about helping out their communities.
“I think that’s what we need around the holidays, an avenue to pour that holiday spirit,” Pannek said.
As for the Morfin family, 11-year-old Angel said he would enjoy his new bike the most.
And he especially liked the personal visit from Santa.
“It would have still been good,” Angel said of Christmas. “But this made it better – the best Christmas ever.”


— By Jill FitzSimmons,