“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Why "The Starfish Assignment"?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

One day a man was walking along a beach when he noticed a boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. He asked the boy what he was doing. 

“Throwing starfish into the ocean,” the child replied. “The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back in, they’ll die."


The man laughed. “How can you possibly hope to make a difference? There are miles of beach here, and hundreds, if not thousands of starfish washed up onto it.”


The boy listened politely, then bent down and gently tossed another starfish into the surf. He smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”

The Starfish Assignment Welcomes You

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

       We work with law enforcement officers who identify needs in the communities they serve. Police officers often see people on the worst days of their lives and are able to connect with them on a level that others are not. Once an officer contacts us, we determine how Starfish Assignment can help and then turn to our volunteers for support. Sometimes the need is financial, but often the officers ask for donations such as sporting goods, household goods, or food. 
     We also work with officers on larger assignments that help them to assist large segments of their communities—such as our AEP Ohio Winter Coat Drive to benefit school kids who can't afford coats—or our Books & Badges reading program, which is designed to promote literacy while helping officers bond with kids in their patrol areas. Officers read to elementary school classrooms and we give every child in the class a copy of the book the officer reads.
     The students get to ask the officers questions about policing and what items are on their duty belts. In turn, the officers use the time to talk to the kids about good choices. These events are a huge hit with the cops and kids alike. "I got my book autographed by a police officer," one girl exclaimed. "Yay!!" 


Make A Difference 

Please support our efforts


Volunteer Opportunities

The idea is simple. Every day, police officers see people who need help. We use social media and email to connect our volunteers with those people in need. We specialize in micro actions--things like donating household goods, buying food, passing on gently used clothing, or accompanying someone to a government office. These tiny actions can add up to be a big deal for people who don't know where to start or who can't plan ahead because they're so focused on surviving day to day.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or send us an email. We'll notify you when a need is identified, and you pitch in when you're able to do so.


Law Enforcement Officers

Police officers come in contact with many people. Some of those people need a hand up, and our group wants to be there to help you help others. We can assist in a wide variety of ways—moral support, organizing/applying for documents,  gently used goods, services, and financial gifts. We are directed by the needs you identify and stand ready to help people from all backgrounds and all walks of life. The needs can be small or large, require minutes or months, require the assistance of one person or 100. Each situation dictates our approach. We currently work with Columbus, Franklin Township, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Dublin, Pickerington, Hilliard, and The Ohio State University. We would love to speak with you about partnering with your agency.