Earlier this week, the Gilbert Police Department got a package in the mail. Inside were 250 plastic crosses handmade by a little girl all the way from Illinois.
The tiny tokens with a big message were gifts from 9-year-old Arianna Nichols.
“It basically says that I want to protect others and I want to spread God’s word and I hope that the crosses protect them,” said Arianna.
For the last two years, she’s been making these crosses out of Perler Beads in her free time.
“Because I know that they sacrifice their life (sic) for us,” she said.
Her most recent batch was made with Gilbert police in mind, one for every sworn officer. She also sent another 200 to the Chandler Police Department.
“It’s such a testimony to her character. I thought, ‘For this young lady at this young age to have such a pure heart and to be able to do a selfless act like this, she seems like a really incredible girl,” said Darrell Krueger with the Gilbert Police Department.
Gilbert police put her crosses in a basket in the break room for officers to take. The little girl’s handwritten note is displayed next to it.
And they’ve been going fast. Officers are choosing to carry them in a pocket or in their car while on the job.
“These are so beautiful to look at but they can be with you at any time. It’s not an intrusion at all, and it’s just a simple reminder, stay safe out there, somebody cares about you,” said Krueger.
So far, the little girl has made nearly 30,000 crosses and has sent them to 357 police departments in all 50 states and Australia.
Last year, she sent some of her crosses to the Phoenix, Coolidge and Parker police departments too.