From Small Sentiments Love is Grown. Our Police Gratitude Project
by Jennifer BorregoAugust 08, 2016
This post is a little different from our normal projects. It has a little more me & a project that we pulled together to give back in our community.
I remember when I was little, the news was on the T.V. a few times a day & I found it pretty boring. Why would anyone watch that snooze fest while they could be playing Barbies? Smurfs could be on all day...but the news?!?! I just didn't get it. I recall times where my Mom was so affected by the news and the things that were going on in the world that she would be visibly upset. She felt everybody's pain. Grown ups were just weird...
And, then I grew up. It seems she passed the empathy overload curse on to me. If you have pain, I will feel it & I will exhibit symptoms of your emotions. Whether you are a stranger on the street, a person on the news, even a character in a movie can be more than I can handle. Not a horror movie, but any trauma that can easily be imagined into the average persons life if things go sideways. I feel physically ill when I watch a movie that deals with drugs, real type violence, or any real world pain.
The only way to deal with feeling like these is to act out in positive ways. I try to see every person. Sometimes that means I visit with the local homeless, whether down on their luck or mentally ill. It is shocking how much pain you absorb when you pause to make eye contact with people who sometimes would rather not be seen.
Long story short, I have deeply felt the pain & tension of the recent chaos. I wept to see men lose their lives & have them broadcasted via social media like something being seen on a television drama, & my heart ached with the stinging pain from the police lives lost when our law enforcement officers were l targeted while doing their job.
I live in a smallish city & I know the families of many of our local police officers. I love the stories of our local Police department & and their connection to our community. I knew that I needed to reach out to them & share my gratitude & let them know they had community support.
My idea started while driving to a random errand, I thought it would be nice to drop off some cookies and let our officers know that we see them, we appreciate them, and we trust them. As I sat with that, the idea grew. It was fed by a post that came across my Facebook showing cruiser packs for cops. Loved the idea, but after checking with a local police wife and hearing that our force had over 70 officers, I could see that this needed to be more than just me.
Fortunately I have the best neighbor/sister, ever and she is very connected to our local West Sac Police Department & to our local community. Her name is Brenda & she has become family since we moved to West Sacramento in 2008. She was so excited to be a part of this little project & we got to work. We solicited donations outside of public social platforms hoping to keep it on the hush since our city is so small & we wanted it to be a surprise.
We were able to collect over $1000 in donations to our little project. That is huge! We were aiming high as Brenda had the great idea to purchase "Thin Blue Line" flags for each officer and we needed 75. We came in at a little half our goal, so I decided that Whimsy and Wood would contribute 75 hand painted flags in their place. Sometimes it seems we have more time than money. So, we got to cutting, sanding, and painting. I even had some family members drop in from out of town that found them selves picking my star stencils off the painted boards with me. FYI 75 flags= 3,750 individual stars... Thank you family & I hope I don't keep you from dropping in again:)
Brenda shopped like Santa for a week & we were able to pull together energy drinks, bottled waters, meal bars, gum, mints, hand sanitizer, tissue packs, trail mix, suckers, chapstick, sunblock. We included the sentiments from our donors, letters from local children, our thin blue line flags, and a very special bracelet made by a local young lady named Leah who has started a community kindness project where you do good for others by sharing a bracelet or a good deed and continue paying it forward.(you can se Leah in action here ,) http://fox40.com/2016/07/18/west-sacramento-girl-finds-new-way-to-pay-it-forward-during-turbulent-times/da I am sure we will see Aleah doing big things in her future. Brenda also had the great idea of including our 2 K-9 officers.
Our local Petco donated canned dog food, & dog treats. Brenda purchased some sturdy toys for these K9 officers. She really is just that thoughtful!
We have great kiddos & a few friends that volunteered to help stuff the gift bags, and we headed over to the Police Department to hand them out.
These officers thanked us a million times for thanking them. It is impossible to do good with out getting that good right back! It is also amazing how quickly you can grow your do good ideas when you invite others to join forces with you!
Brenda and I have teamed up on a few projects of spreading love, kindness, and community. We use the hashtag #westsaccares. We invite you to spread good! West Sac locals share with @westsaccares on facebook & use #westsaccares. If you are not local, start your little community care project & please create your own # and also share with us on ours, we are excited to see all the good being done in our world! We need an outlet for the positive. We are the good, we are the change, we are all the same, we are love, and we all matter.
If if you would like to purchase a Thin Blue Line Flag, they are available in our shop here. http://whimsyandwood.com/products/thin-blue-line-mini-flag