Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Starfish Assignment's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which was designed to provide you with answers to your most pressing questions about our organization and initiatives. Here, you'll find information about Books & Badges, one of our most popular programs, along with details about how we work with law enforcement agencies to support communities and promote positive interactions. Our aim is to help you determine if partnering with Starfish Assignment aligns with your agency's goals and values.
If you require further information after you explore the questions and answers below, please don't hesitate to contact us.
How and when was Starfish Assignment established?
Starfish Assignment was established on July 20, 2018, in central Ohio after about 300 people worked to help a homeless Vietnam Marine veteran get an apartment and a new (to him) car. Jim had been living in the parking lot of a Meijer grocery store for six years before our founder and president, Nicole Banks, and her son, Rohan, happened to meet him on July 4, 2018. You can see the whole story here. When Jim was all taken care of, the people who had worked to help Jim asked what they could do to help others. They realized they'd done something special and wanted it to continue.
Nicole, who had been a military police officer in the Marine Corps, decided that partnering with police officers to help people could work and reached out to Columbus Division of Police. The Division partnered with her and her volunteers to determine what would work and what wouldn't. Eventually, that expanded to other agencies and our current mission.
How many employees do you have?
None. We don't have any full-time volunteers, either. This charity is an act of love made possible by a lot of very dedicated individuals.
I've fallen on hard times. Will you help me?
We're very sorry to hear you're having a tough time. Our charity is different than most. We work only with law enforcement officers, who partner with us to get help for people they come across in the course of their duties. Please check out this website for resources available in your area.
I have items to donate. Would you like them?
Thank you for thinking of us! We get furniture from the Furniture Bank when we need it, so please consider donating to them if you have furniture. Otherwise, we don't have a place to store a lot of items, but if you contact us we can usually direct you to another charity if we can't use what you're offering.
We are an agency that would like to partner with you. What do you require?
To partner with us, we don't require anything. We love working with amazing agencies. If you're ready to move forward, please fill out the form on our Agency Interest page and we will contact you.
If you would like to be part of our Books & Badges program, this lays out the requirements for that. We will need to have the agreement acknowledged via email by a member of your agency's executive team before we can order your books. Nothing to sign. This is a fun endeavor and we trust that our partners will want to work within the parameters we establish. Either of us can decide to end the partnership at any time if it isn't working out for us.
Do we have to pay for the books?
No. The only cost to your agency for Books & Badges is for the nameplate stickers that go inside the books you hand out. You can use our standard template for them, which is 4.25"x3.75", or you can design your own (we'll provide you with the necessary logos). You can have them professionally printed or print them on a printer in your office--entirely up to you.
What kind of books are they?
We purchase most of our books from Scholastic. They can change based on the catalog offerings, but books have included If You Give a Pig a Party, Pete the Cat and the Cool Caterpillar, Who Would Win: Ultimate Ocean Rumble, and Jake Drake Know It All.
How many books per year do we get?
If you're an agency outside of Central Ohio, you'll receive 300 with your first shipment, and a maximum of 600 per year if you're adhering to the Books & Badges Agreement. However, if you know of a business or individual in your area who would like to sponsor your program, please have them contact us. We'd be happy to speak with them, and then your limit is whatever they make it.
That's it? Acknowledge the agreement, get stickers, and we can do Books & Badges?
Well, you're part of the Starfish family now. We need to introduce you to everyone. Send us a couple of pictures so we can announce our partnership--some of the officers/deputies who work there, your building, a cruiser--whatever you think best showcases your agency. Let everyone get to know you, and let your community get to know us by either doing your own post on social media or sharing ours. We do work with agencies who don't have their own social media presence. If this applies to your agency, please inform us.
Can I bring Starfish Assignment to my hometown?
Absolutely. If you're a law enforcement officer, we hope this FAQ page explained what you need to do. If you're not a law enforcement officer, feel free to tell your local police or deputies about us. We don't advertise, so it's very likely they've never heard about us.
Can you help someone for me?
We work with law enforcement officers when they identify needs in the communities they serve. They must come across those needs during the course of their duties, such as on a call or on patrol. We cannot directly help someone on your behalf; our assistance is provided only through collaboration with law enforcement officers who identify needs in the line of duty. By partnering with them, we are proud to contribute to positive change in the communities they serve.