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| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

If you were handed $500 to give away this holiday season, who would you help? 

“I said I would give it to my local police department to pull over drivers and hand out cash to them for the holidays.”

That’s how Saline resident Mike Gudith answered and he did just that on Dec. 16.

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Saline Police Officer Chris Boulter and resident Mike Gudith surprise a driver with a $100 Visa gift card.

Gudith and three other metro Detroiters were able to hand out five $100 money cards that day after they sent in and had their submissions selected in a contest done by Mike Staff Productions, which is a metro Detroit wedding DJ, photography and videography service.

Mike Staff Productions said it aims to give back to their community all year round and thought with the approaching season of giving they wanted to know who, “you truly believe needs that extra boost.” 

Gudith said he saw the contest promoted on the Channel 7 news website. He said he’s seen something like this in the past where police hand out some help after pulling someone over, so he thought this would be a great way to help some people who might need a little help in his own community.

“I just want to see the smiles on their faces,” Gudith said after thanking Mike Staff Productions and the Saline Police Department for making the day happen.

Before officer Chris Boulter headed out with Gudith, Saline Police Chief Jerrod Hart thanked Gudith and Mike Staff Productions for thinking of them. He said the department appreciates being part of this charitable project.

“Giving back and doing something like this is a really good thing,” Hart said.

Boulter said during his nearly 20 years with the department he’s done a lot of traffic enforcement and typically when he pulls a driver over it’s not met with pleasure. He said his aim on this special day was to pinpoint vehicles that had an issue, such as a headlight out or cracked windshield, pull them over and reveal they wanted to help out rather than issue a ticket.

He said he would do his job no matter what, but while Gudith and the five money cards were in tow he would look for a vehicle/person in need as well.

“I hope we find some people who need this,” he said

They did.

Karen Berch was driving her elderly mother back to her nursing home when they were stopped for a cracked windshield. Berch said she was a little confused as to why they were stopped, but as Boulter and Gudith explained what they were really doing her anxiety quickly turned into a big smile.

“This is a total…total surprise,” she said and called it a wonderful Christmas gift that will go a long way in helping to pay for the gas they need for the weekly trips she takes with her mother from Saline to Belleville to visit family.

Lauren Wallis, marketing manager with Mike Staff Productions, said the day of giving comes from their recently launched project, 2019 Heart to Serve Giveaway, where they donate $500 to four people so they could help someone in need with the money. She said Mike Staff Productions prides itself on charitable work and this latest project is just another way of trying to give back to the community.

She said they loved Gudith’s idea so much and were really excited to go along on the ride to see the happy reactions.

Gudith said he hopes this type of project with help from local businesses and organizations could become an annual thing for the Saline police.

“One of the things I like about Saline is residents like Mike,” Boulter said.

To see more about these charitable acts, go to the video put together by Mike Staff Productions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm8FE9RvXQY&feature=youtu.be

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