A down-on-their-luck family will have a new car this holiday season thanks to the generosity of the head of the Marysville Police Department.
Chief Aaron Easton first learned that the struggling and homeless Conn family needed a vehicle through social media, KTLA sister station KTXL reported.
Jessica Conn had posted about her family's misfortune recently on Facebook, writing that the transmission of their dying Saturn gave out as it came to a stop in front of the man's house who had offered to sell his old car at a deeply discounted price.
The family still couldn't afford the Nissan, even with the greatly reduced price tag, according to the station.
But the Conns were about to get a big holiday gift from Easton, who saw the post and decided he wanted to do something to help.
"It was kind of spur of the moment ... 'Yeah, I'm going to buy them a car,'" Easton recalled during an interview with KTXL.
First, he needed to check with his children to see if they were OK having a little less for presents this Christmas.
"I asked them, 'Are you OK with losing this from your guys' Christmas fund for your presents to help this family out?'" Easton said. "And I was very proud that each one individually without hesitation said, 'Yeah absolutely, yeah, let's do this.'"
The police chief's compassionate gesture came as his own family was going through a difficult time, according to KTXL. His wife Sarah had died about three months earlier.
"I think this story shows they've really inherited their mom's compassion and love for others," he said.
Timothy Conn was extremely grateful to Easton.
"You could have knocked me over with a feather," Conn said of the moment he found out about the chief's generosity, the station reported.
He said he has been particularly worried about his two young daughters, ages 7 and 8, who have had to walk 2.5 miles to school each day for the past two weeks.
"The kids with the rain and all, I just don't want them getting sick," he told the station.
Easton even invited the two girls to walk in the Marysville Christmas parade, allowing the children to fulfill a dream. They were photographed with Easton in pictures posted to the Police Department's Facebook page.
The family had fallen on tough times in the past three years, he explained to the station. Medical issues have prevented his wife from working, and Conn -- a certified mechanic and welder -- has had trouble finding employment since being injured on the job.
They have been staying in a heated RV parked in the Yuba River bottoms, according to KTXL.
"Aaron has restored my faith in believing in fate -- fate and faith," Conn said. "His mom and dad raised an awesome, awesome man."