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KCK police officer uses spare time to make mini train cars for kids in need

Posted: 6:39 PM, Nov 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-25 05:09:42Z

Officer Ryan Parker uses his hobby and talents to help children in need.

On a chilly November morning, Parker sets up a sound system, bounce house, and his latest creation in the parking lot of the Avenue of Life Center in KCK.

He's excited to see how the kids react to the small train of mini cars he built. He pulls it around the parking lot with a golf cart.

"It would be hard to not smile when you are doing this," said Parker.

Parker is normally paroling the streets of KCK as a police officer.

But for one day he is using his talents as a builder, donating his time to bring his family's carnival business to a charity event for children in need.

"It kind of helps you put things into perspective to remember everybody is not a bad guy, everybody is not a trouble maker and there is just a lot of good people out there," said Parker.

Parker’s creation is a big hit with the kids.

Every seat in the small train is filled, and the kids get small rides around the parking lot.

Volunteers, many from local churches, said the difference this makes in the kids' lives is instantly noticeable.

"That is the best thing in the world, to see the joy of the children, to hear them say, 'Mom, dad a train and a carnival,' that's like the best thing in the world," said Tim Howey, the Senior Pastor of Grace Church.

The event is good for the kids, but for Parker it’s more like therapy.

"One of the most profound things I have ever done in my career to keep my mind right is to do things for other people," Parker said.

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Richard Sharp can be reached at  richard.sharp@kshb.com.

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