BRITISH COLUMBIA
12/29/2015 04:58 EST | Updated 12/30/2015 08:59 EST

Mounties, Canadian Tire Pull Together To Help Displaced Kids On Christmas

Presents in front of Christmas tree.
Betsie Van der Meer via Getty Images
Presents in front of Christmas tree.

B.C. Mounties and a store owner went "above and beyond" to ensure two girls put into foster care on Christmas Eve would still have a chance at a happy holiday.

On Dec. 24, two RCMP officers were called to check the kids, who were living in a house in Trail.

A social worker was brought in to move the girls, aged five and nine, to a foster home around 10 p.m., Sgt. Darren Oelke said in a news release Tuesday.

Realizing the girls wouldn't have any Christmas presents to open with the foster family, Constables Elwood and Flewelling embarked on a secret Santa mission.

The pair raced around town, trying to find a store that was still open so they could buy gifts for the kids. They even rooted through their own homes for potential presents, but came up empty.

As a last-ditch effort, they called Craig Lattanville, who owns the local Canadian Tire store. Lattanville met the officers and opened up shop for a last-minute shopping spree.

In the end, the Mounties gave the children's new foster mother handfuls of gifts to wrap in time for Christmas — and when the officers went back to Canadian Tire the next morning to pay, Lattanville refused to take their money.

"We have a tight-knit community with great people that never surprise me [with] what each of them do to help one another,” he told Global News.

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