Coral Gables cop carries out uncle’s holiday wish to help others

WSVN — A World War II veteran had one last wish: to help others. His nephew, a Coral Gables Police officer, along with his friends at Miami-Dade Police, made that wish come true. 7’s Rosh Lowe has it in The Lowedown.

Coral Gables Police Sgt. Dean Wellinghoff: "This guy, he is a true servant at the core."

Paul Wellinghoff is 95 years old and in hospice. This World War II vet had one request of his nephew last week: Please help those in need.

He realized his time is short, and he wanted to give his own money to help others.

Sgt. Dean Wellinghoff: "While he was in bed, and I went in to see him, he just repeated over and over again that he just wants to help."

His nephew is Sgt. Dean Wellinghoff of the Coral Gables Police Department, and he came up with the idea to use Paul’s money to buy thousands of dollars worth of Publix gift cards.

Sgt. Dean Wellinghoff: "His entire life he’s been a real blessing to me, so i just took that statement that he wants to help people, to just trying to help people at this time of year with some gift cards."

He contacted Capt. Eric Garcia, who runs the Northside district for Miami-Dade Police. They patrol one of the most underprivileged communities in South Florida.

Miami-Dade Police Capt. Eric Garcia: "We’re able to say that, by going out and doing this, hopefully, even if we touch one individual, one family, it’s well worth it."

Armed with $50 gift cards, they surprise Magdal St. George, a single mom of three.

Miami-Dade Police officer (to boy): "Hi! You’re acting shy. Good morning! What’s up, man? We wanted to give you guys a blessing on Thanksgiving."

Magdal St. George: "I am so amazed. I’m so glad."

Capt. Eric Garcia (to family): "You have a good Thanksgiving, buddy. You guys deserve it. In fact, my other daughter has another card. She wants to give you two, because with three kids, obviously that’s not going to be enough."

This story is about people like Shirese Robinson, a mother of two with a sick father. She awoke on the eve of Thanksgiving with no idea how she was going to provide Thanksgiving dinner for her family.

But her prayers were answered.

Shirese Robinson: "By the grace of God, the grace of God, I swear today I was going to go to different churches and say, ‘Do you have anything left over? Anything.’"

And it’s all in the merits of a 95-year-old man who served his country and who continues to serve others.

Shirese Robinson: "The kids are our future."

Rosh Lowe: "Look now. You have $100 that you can go to Publix. Are you excited to have turkey, everybody?"

Shirese Robinson: "We’re gonna have turkey, we’re gonna have ham, we’re gonna have collard greens, we’re gonna have stuffing, and guess what? Macaroni and cheese!"

Rosh Lowe, 7News.