Harnett Deputy Continues Tradition Of Giving Back

Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats and Santa Claus watch as Melissa Bass and her 2-year-old daughter Leanna, who is hospitalized at Betsy Johnson, open gifts given by Harnett County Deputy Michael Davis and his wife Myriam, not pictured.

Brings joy of the season to kids

For Harnett County Deputy Michael Davis, the holidays are a time to reflect and give back.

Each year, Davis and his wife, Myriam, use their own money to purchase toys for children who have to spend Christmas in the hospital.

“I grew up poor, from a single parent home in low income housing,” Davis said. “I had quite a few Christmases where I didn’t have anything growing up in Greensboro, where I’m from and honestly I try not to let where I grew up at, my race, or anything else stop me from what I was doing.”

Davis made a special delivery of those toys to children at Betsy Johnson Hospital late Monday afternoon. They were delighted.

Davis’ story

Davis joined the U.S. Marine Corps when he finished high school and went on to become the first male in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

From there he became a probation and parole officer in Harnett County.

“I started doing pretty well for myself,” he said. “Not rich by any shape or form, I just wanted to give back,” Davis said. “So this is my way of giving back. Because I do remember waking up on Christmas and not having anything on many days.”

Davis joined the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year. He serves as the school resource officer for Anderson Creek Academy and South Harnett Primary. And on Monday — with local schools out for winter break — he continued a tradition he began when he worked for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

The tradition of bringing toys was sparked by memories such as watching the look on the face of his sister when she opened a gift he had purchased for her from his earnings at McDonald’s while he attended high school.

“I went and got my sister a Barbie Doll,” he said. “It wasn’t a real Barbie Doll, it was one of those that looked like it. The look on her face when she got that Barbie Doll, you would have thought she got a brand new bike. I still remember that to this day.”

Davis and his wife Myriam treated their guests at Betsy Johnson Hospital to toys, cookies and drinks on Monday. It was the third year the Davis’ have tried to make sure there was a little happiness for children in the hospital. The first two years, Davis brought gifts to a hospital in Cumberland County where he worked. This year, he focused on Harnett County.

“Since I’m a member of this county, working for the sheriff’s department, I decided to do it here,” Davis said. “So I decided to do it at Betsy Johnson this year.”

That’s not all

Fifty or 60 kids have benefited from Davis’ kindness over the years, he estimates. But the Christmas delivery is just one of the charitable actions Davis and his wife undertake each year.

In November, the couple gave five coats to needy children in elementary schools, with the help of school counselors, to make sure those kids could stay warm.

Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said he was proud and impressed with Davis’ efforts.

“Michael did this for Cumberland County when he worked down there,” Coats said. “Mike came to work for us this year and he’s doing a great job and obviously this shows what kind of folks we have here in Harnett County.”

Coats was further impressed by the fact Davis and his wife seek no assistance while doing the giving.

“He and his wife, they don’t ask for help to do this,” Coats said. “They came and talked with me and I support it whole-heartedly. The citizens of this county are very fortunate to have a deputy like Mike and his wife. He doesn’t ask for any help, he does it on his own. It’s for a good cause and we’re going to support him. It’s very humbling.”

-Dunn Daily Record