PINEDALE – When the residents of Sublette County found out that a woman and her children were in need, they went out of their way to answer the call and make sure she and her children had a wonderful Christmas.
On December 21, a soldier from the T Division (Sublette County) of the Wyoming Highway Patrol ran into a stranded motorist just south of Pinedale on Highway 191. The driver had two small children in the truck with her and drove away. informed the soldier she had recently moved to. Sublette County in central Washington with her boyfriend. She explained to the soldier that her boyfriend got an oilfield job that included housing.
When they arrived in Sublette County, she found the accommodation was a simple hotel room 25 miles outside of town with no cell phone service or internet to help her home school her two children. To make matters worse, her truck broke down on the trip to Sublette County, and they had used up all her savings a few days before. Their truck had broken down again that evening and she had no one to call to pick them up as it was their only vehicle.
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The soldier loaded the mother and two children and all their groceries into his patrol vehicle and drove the family back to the hotel where they were staying. During the car ride, the mom shared her concerns that she didn’t know how she was going to fix the truck and get the kids back to Washington to have a real Christmas as she had hoped.
The next morning, the Wyoming Highway Patrol Association (WHPA) was contacted and it was decided to make this family the adopted T Division family for the holiday season. Each year, the WHPA allocates funds to each patrol division to help families during the holiday season. Additionally, Sublette County MPs, local businesses and private citizens have joined in efforts to help this family when needed.
307 Auto Repair was contacted and the owner Chris agreed to make the necessary repairs to the truck and went above and beyond by donating the majority of his time. Rebel Auto Parts agreed to donate the majority of the parts needed to repair the truck, and the owner, Randy, who happens to be Highway Patrol Chaplin of Pinedale, helped secure the two children’s Christmas presents. The Jackalope Hotel made it possible for the family to stay in town for a week at their hotel at a reduced rate. High Mountain Real Estate and Arrived Vacation Home Care agreed to cover hotel costs to bring the family to town and also helped provide gifts for the family. Rider Property Management did some shopping for the family and gave the whole family Christmas gifts and provided them with a fridge, microwave and other amenities while they were in town.
Many local families, SCSO staff and their families coordinated to help wrap gifts, secure a tree, and provide meals and financial assistance to get the family back on their feet during the holiday season.
On Christmas Eve, the family received Christmas presents and a decorated tree so the children could have a real Christmas morning in Pinedale. The mother has said repeatedly, “She had never felt so blessed to see such a welcoming and generous community to help someone through difficult times.
This joint effort truly defines the meaning of community, the spirit of Christmas and why Sublette County is considered such a special place. It was a community that came together to make sure this family and their children had a magical Christmas.