Miriam Alvarez: Time and creativity gifts

Date: 
12/11/2015
AlvarezWntr2015

Miriam Alvarez stands in front of the Winter Scene she created in the 14th District Police Station

14thPrcnt

The 14th Precinct

Hours and hours of time and creativity are Miriam Alvarez's annual gifts to the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) 14th District, 2150 N. California, and the community. They are gifts that bring amazed looks on little children's faces and warmth to the hearts of those who serve and protect as well as to District visitors. 

"Watching the faces of kids as they look at the window as some go 'oh, wow' lets you know how much it means to them. Many can't believe it because they have never seen anything like it," says Liz Rios, 14th District Community Organizer. 

DogParade

Dog Parade

"Though some officers say nothing, they stop and look at the village and you can see they enjoy and appreciate it, particularly with everything that is going on." [Referring to the upheaval in and around CPD.] 

Each time Alvarez creates magic in the District's display case in the lobby, it is unique. "Holidays are my specialty," says Alvarez, who has been working her magic for more than 10 years. A 26-year employee of the City who retired three years ago, Alvarez served in human resources, the school safety program and in the 14th District CAPS program for the last 13 years of her career. 

BizDistr

The Library and the business district

This year's Winter Village is a mix of annual favorite's and new features for the police and the community. While favorites  such as the 14th Precinct building and the miniature CPD patrol cars are a familiar sight, this year's charming village includes Harley's and dog walkers too. In honor of the 14th District Commander Marc Buslik and some of the other Jewish officers, Alvarez added a menorah to this year's winter scene that includes Christmas symbols.

IcePond

An ice pond is part of the many levels of the exhibit

"A lot of the officers are into Harleys so I've added these bikers to the village. With the change in the neighborhood, many of our new neighbors are into dog walking, so I've added a dog parade. Then I've added seniors to the village too. Here some are quilting and other there….," said Alvarez as she went on pointing out other features like a dirigible and explained that she is minus some pieces because she can not find one of her boxes of treasures. 

"I've stopped buying things," said Alvarez, just before she showed this reporter her latest purchase. Her creativity is applied beyond the police department. This year, her home is in the Disney theme. Rios says that it is "fantastic!" Furthermore, her talent is being picked up by a grandson, who is one of her eight grandchildren. 

Between her family, volunteering, decorating and other collections, Alvarez is not just "keeping busy" but is delivering good cheer and smiles to untold numbers in the community. 

Thanks for all you do for the community Miriam! 

The exhibit will be up in the display case at 2150 N. California through the holiday season...stop by!

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