“What in the heck? What did I do wrong?” asked Maisi Ranard, as she feared she was getting a ticket from a Kennewick police officer.
Ranard, 18, of Kennewick, said she couldn’t afford a ticket on Thursday. She recently bought her car and was told she was stopped because the Oregon license plates had snow on them.
She hadn’t registered the car yet or received new Washington plates.
“I thought I was busted,” Ranard said. “I have to find a place to live and a new job … This is the last thing I need right now. I can’t afford a ticket.”
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Her fears turned to tears of happiness, because instead of getting a ticket, she was given a $100 bill to help her during the Christmas season.
It scared me, but I‘m grateful it happened. I feel really blessed.
Maisi Ranard, 18, Kennewick
“This time of year, a lot of people have to decide whether they are going to pay bills or buy gifts. $100 goes a long way,” said Sgt. Ken Lattin.
The money is a gift from HAPO Community Credit Union’s 12 Days of Christmas program. Employees are riding with Kennewick police to find people needing an extra $100 for Christmas. Fifty people will receive the gifts through Dec. 23.
“It is very cool HAPO is letting us do it with them,” Lattin said. “It gets pretty emotional … It is the power of giving. We forget some people are still struggling.”
Officers decide which drivers receive the money.
“It scared me, but I‘m grateful it happened,” Ranard said. “I feel really blessed.”
She is going to buy some presents for her boyfriend and a few friends, she said.
“I want to pay it forward,” she said. “I didn’t want to spend it on myself.”