Arab police officers donate more than $2,000 to a 3-year-old girl battling cancer

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ARAB, Ala. - Arab Police officers worked the last couple of months displaying something that isn't typically part of their uniform, but that addition was a big part of hundreds of dollars raised for a little girl battling cancer.

"March 20, 2015 was a life changing day for us. We found out that she had ALL [Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia]" Marcus Stegall said.

Gracie Stegall

Gracie Stegall

The Arab community stepped up to help Marcus and Abby Stegall's 3-year-old daughter Gracie, including the Arab Police Department.

"We asked everybody to donate a certain amount. Pretty much everybody did. We had several individuals that went out and raised more money. We had several people call and donate," Chief Ed Ralston said.

One of Arab's police officers with his beard during the fundraiser

One of Arab's police officers with his beard during the fundraiser

Ralston allowed his officers to participate in an extended version of No Shave November. He'll tell you - he normally doesn't allow facial hair on his officers, but from October 1 to the end of the year he made an exception  for Gracie.

The officers and community raised just over $2,100.

While out on patrol people stopped and asked the officers about their beards. When they heard the story, some of them asked to donate to the cause. Officers also did their own fundraising.  "If we can try to help her in some way, or serve her in a manner that she might not be able to ask for, it really touches our hearts," Ralston said.

"To see these men, who are out there, who are doing the protecting and the brunt force of keeping the community safe, actually break down and do something for a little girl in the community, is a whole different meaning of service," Stegall said.