Girl celebrates her birthday with a sweet gift for police

WHEELING – When Mya Teran was making plans for celebrating her eleventh birthday she settled on a sweet idea: 90 gift bags full of candy for her local police department.

“Instead of doing something for myself I wanted to … do something for other people,” she said.

Each “Police Survival Kit” included a note for officers telling them what was inside, including:

“Life savers to remind you of the many times you’ve been one.
Smarties to give you wisdom for those split-second decisions.
Airheads because let’s face it you deal with your fair share.”

Mya's mother Gabriela Valencia wants to become a police officer herself. She says it was her own positive interaction with a Wheeling officer years ago that helped put her on the path to college.

“We just hope that they hear us and know that they are appreciated, that we see them, and that we appreciate everything they do for us,” Valencia said.

It's a message that touched this entire Department at a time when they need it most.

“It makes us all feel real good about what we’re doing right now,” said Wheeling Officer Rich Herdus.

“We're lucky to have this support in Wheeling of our community residents- but no one's ever done this,” said officer Scott Laverd.

And to show their appreciation, Wheeling police officers are planning their own special surprise for Mya tomorrow morning.