November 30, 2020, The Columbus Dispatch

Thanks to Bethany Bruner of The Columbus Dispatch for this fantastic article about our partnership with the Columbus Division of Police. It includes an overview of how our founder, Nicole Banks, came up with the idea for this charity, where we got our name, and some of the many projects we work on. 

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November 27, 2020, Apex1 Radio

Starfish Board Member and Columbus Division of Police Officer Pete Casuccio and Starfish Founder/President Nicole Banks appeared on Apex1 Radio as the guest of Ernest Kanjor. They spoke about the partnership between Starfish and the police, how that works, and the effect it has on all involved.

November 25, 2020, Columbus Westside Messenger

Amanda Ensinger spoke to Sahara-Columbus founder Teja Kancharlapalli about Blessing Bags and to CPD Deputy Chief Tim Becker about how the Starfish/Sahara partnership can benefit people in need. Chief Becker also discussed how giving out Blessing Bags can improve the relationship between the police and the community. 

November 22, 2020, 614Now

Thanks to Jack McLaughlin for featuring our partnership with Sahara-Columbus, which brought so much joy to residents on the West Side by delivering Thanksgiving Blessing Bags via Columbus Police and Franklin Township officers. Each bag included $30 grocery gift cards thanks to CME Federal Credit Union, the Wartel Family Foundation, and individual Starfish donors.

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November 22, 2020, ABC6

We partnered with Sahara-Columbus to deliver Thanksgiving Blessing Bags via Columbus Police and Franklin Township to people on the West Side of Columbus. Thanks to CME Federal Credit Union, the Wartel Family Foundation, and individual Starfish donors, we were able to include $30 gift cards with each bag. ABC6 journalist Rodney Dunigan takes you to the start of the deliveries. Enjoy! 

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November 22, 2020, The Columbus Dispatch

We were honored to be included in a front page story by Eric Legatta with Bethany Bruner in the Columbus Dispatch about charities working to help make Thanksgiving 2020 easier for people who have been hit by hard times this year.  We're grateful to South Linden police officers Mike Daymut and Josh Bell for having the idea for Cops & Gobblers and to CPD as a whole for being there to help us carry it out. 

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November 22, 2020, Apex1 Radio

Apex1 Radio journalists Quentin Patterson & Okon Ekpenyong walked along with us in South Linden when we handed out turkeys and sides to residents of Rosewind Apartments. In addition to their Facebook Live video, you can read their overview

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November 18, 2020, ABC6

A beautiful report on our Cops & Gobblers effort to give Thanksgiving dinners to every home in Rosewind Apartments in South Linden.  Thanks for Karaline Cohen for this touching piece that brought tears to our eyes.  

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November 18, 2020, 10TV

Lacey Crisp spoke to neighbors in the South Linden neighborhood of Rosewind, which has been very hard hit by violence this year, about what our Cops & Gobblers Assignment meant to them. Cops & Gobblers provided 150 turkeys and sides for every home in Rosewind. In September, our founder/president, Nicole Banks, did a ride along with Starfish Board Member Officer Pete Casuccio, during which they were the first car to arrive on scene at the 106th homicide of the year--on Vesta Avenue in Rosewind. Nicole wrote about her observations here

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September 24, 2020, This Week Community News

Thanks to Kevin Corvo for this lovely story, which focuses mostly on our Books & Badges program, both the online and in-person versions. We love Books & Badges, and are grateful to Kevin and This Week Community News for getting the word out about this program that connects officers and children, while encouraging literacy. 

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September 20, 2020, Fox28

An update of the Bikes Assignment we did for the kids of Wedgewood Apartments. Seventy-five bikes were donated from all across the city, thanks to a request from 10 Precinct Officer Sean Taylor. The kids were overjoyed to receive bikes and helmets from officers. What a way to spend an afternoon! 

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September 20, 2020, NBC4

Let NBC4 take you inside Cops and Barbers 2020. We had so much fun with the kids and officers from Columbus Division of Police. Thanks to AEP Ohio and Columbus Recreation and Parks Department for helping us make this special day a reality!

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September 19, 2020, 10TV

Cops & Barbers co-founders Officer Pete Casuccio and Rob Cayson join with Starfish Board Member Mario Dovell to discuss the beautiful simplicity of bringing people from different backgrounds together and the profound implications that can have on our society today. Thanks to Bryant Somerville for this touching piece. 

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September 18, 2020, Fox28

Jerrod Clay gives you an overview of the Bikes Assignment we're working on for children in Wedgewood Apartments. Seventy-five bikes donated from all across the city, thanks to a request from 10 Precinct Officer Sean Taylor. We're so excited to see the joy on the faces of these children! 

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Maria Durant joined us for our first in-person Books & Badges event since March 13, when Covid-19 shut down Ohio schools. We joined forces with Columbus Division of Police and Columbus Recreation & Parks Department to have an event for the summer campers at Milo-Grogan Community Center that they'll remember for a long time to come. (And so will we!) Read our blog entry for more information about this wonderful day.

July 10, 2020, ABC6

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July 6, 2020, The Columbus Dispatch

Bethany Bruner wrote a touching piece about our Assignment with Columbus Division of Police Officer Tony Roberts and his partner, Netcare Clinician Phil McGeorge.  Ms. Bruner's beautiful closing had us in tears:  "Roberts, who worked as a domestic-violence detective before moving to the mobile crisis unit, said he has a soft spot for people such as Domonique. 'Thinking of anyone mistreating her just makes you angry,' he said. 'We were able to wrap the arms of the city around her to make her life a little happier.'"

June 21, 2020, Fox28/ABC6, Good Day Columbus

Maria Durant and Jackie Orozco invited Starfish president and founder Nicole Banks to speak to their Good Day Columbus audience. She discussed our Books & Badges program--and how even adults are enjoying it--as well some of the Assignments we've done. 

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June 8, 2020, 10TV

When a local group started a petition to have Columbus Division of Police completely removed from Columbus City Schools, Nicole Banks spoke about some of the negative effects that would have on CCS students with Lacey Crisp of 10TV. These include the elimination of our Books & Badges program and the Heroes & Helper program, which, in 2019, we donated coats to kids in need, thanks to AEP Ohio. 

May 6, 2020, 10TV

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10TV - WBNS featured Columbus Division of Police 13 Precinct (South Side) Officers Amanda Hoover and Heidi Graber, complete with a glimpse into the storage locker we started an Assignment for earlier in the week. Your donations paid for those shelves, and now they're going to fill those shelves with more items.

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April 9, 2020, 10TV

Starfish's Books & Badges program with Columbus Division of Police is one of the many Central Ohio stories featured in an hour-long special on 10TV called "Not All Hereos Wear Capes," about first responders and the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela An explains starting at around the 33:00 mark, where you'll see Starfish board member and CPD Deputy Chief Tim Becker reading with his dog, Paisley, but we urge you to watch the entire program. It's very uplifting. 

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April 8, 2020, 10TV

Thanks to Cost Plus World Market (Lennox), we were able to make 48 Easter baskets and an additional 48 "bonus" bags of items as thank you gifts to Columbus police officers who were working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bryant Somerville of 10TV followed the delivery of one of those baskets by Deputy Chief Jennifer Knight to one of the units we work closely with, the Community Liaison Officers. 

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March 25, 2020, NBC4

Starfish President Nicole Banks speaks to NBC4's Catherine Ross about the lack of supplies, such as antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, that Columbus police are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and about our efforts to obtain supplies from the community

Remarkable Woman Nomination

Our founder and president, Nicole Banks, was highlighted by NBC4 as one of four Remarkable Women who make a difference in the lives of people in Central Ohio. Nicole was nominated by Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Dana Hess, who has worked with Starfish multiple times in the past, including on Cops and Barbers and on an Assignment to help a victim of human trafficking. We'd like to thank Monica Day for this beautiful portrait of Nicole, the Division, and of the work we've been doing together. This will bring a smile to your face. Enjoy!

February 26, 2020, NBC4

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February 24, 2020, NBC4

Due to the alarming rate of law enforcement suicides--officers are far more likely to die at their own hand than in the line of duty--our president, Nicole Banks, was asked by NBC4 to speak about what we can do to show officers that we appreciate them. We're incredibly proud of the work that Columbus Division of Police does in the area of Wellness, and we're thrilled to see their groundbreaking work showcased. Thank you to Adrienne Robbins for reporting on this very important issue. If you'd like more information after you watch the video, please check out our blog post

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February 14, 2020, 10TV

We got to spend Valentine's Day with Columbus Division of Police and AEP Ohio, buying coats for people in need. 10TV was one of the three news stations that covered the event. Ofc Dan Snyder is a big Starfish supporter (we did the Brakes Assignment with him the day after Thanksgiving 2019), and even though he generally prefers to stay behind the scenes, we think he did a fantastic job.

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January 9, 2020, Fox 28

We were honored to be included by Columbus Division of Police Lt Duane Mabry and Ofc Aaron Ward when they spoke about Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on WTTE Fox 28. We weren't at all surprised that they spoke so highly of our friend, K-9 Officer David Jones. He deserves all that praise and more.

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January 3, 2020, ABC6

CPD Officers Nicole Mancini and Taylor Hicks asked us to help a boy who had witnessed a terrible act of domestic violence perpetrated against his mother. ABC6 detailed our fundraising efforts, and you can read about the shopping spree the officers took him on here.  

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December 23, 2019, 10TV

This one is a tear-jerker in the best possible way. Enjoy as Bryant Somerville tells the story of how CPD Ofc James Poole partnered with Starfish to give Shaunea Butler and her daughter, Nakeyah, a car and a home just in time for Christmas, then read through the entries that detail how we got there (hint: it was with a lot of help from a lot of wonderful people!). 

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July 26, 2019, 10TV

Learn about the unlikely story of the partnership behind Cops and Barbers. Bryant Somerville tells the story of Columbus Police Officer, and Starfish board member, Pete Casuccio, and barber, Rob Cayson, who at one time was on a very different side of the law than his friend Pete. Now, though? Now they work together to get kids ready for school while helping them see the positive side of policing. 

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July 4, 2019, 10TV

On the one-year anniversary of their chance meeting in a supermarket parking lot, Bryant Somerville tells the story of how the friendship between Nicole Banks and Jim Stewart changed both their lives and led to the founding of Starfish Assignment. Bryant does such a beautiful job, this is almost guaranteed to bring happy tears to your eyes. 

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November 30, 2018, Franklin County Sherrif's Office, Connecting With the Community

Starfish president and founder, Nicole Banks, was featured on the Franklin County Sherrif's Office show Connecting With the Community, hosted by Napoleon Bell. There she shared how Starfish got its start and some of the work we've done with Columbus Division of Police. 

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October 22, 2018, This Week News

An overview of how Starfish was established and what we hope to do in our city, along with an excerpt of a presentation from our president and founder Nicole Banks.

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October 17, 2018, The New York Times

When Starfish volunteer Jim Stewart went on a ridealong with Columbus Division of Police Officer, and Starfish Board Member, Pete Casuccio, he had no idea what was in store for him.  One of the things he saw, a very caring police officer lecture two boys about the dangers of brandishing realistic-looking BB guns, ended up making international headlines, thanks to a tiny tweet from Starfish Assignment. This article in the New York Times tells Ofc Casuccio's story and mention's Starfish's involvement.  

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September 9, 2018, The Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Our founder's hometown newspaper did a story on the charity she established and her friendship with Jim Stewart. (Fun fact: She worked at the Sun-Gazette both before and after her service in the Marine Corps.)

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August 7, 2018, The Columbus Dispatch

In what will always be the first story ever written about us, journalist Kevin Stankiewicz details how Nicole Banks joined with hundreds of other people to help Jim Stewart out of homelessness, then channeled that into the founding of Starfish Assignment. We love this story and will always be grateful to Kevin for the care and compassion he showed in writing it. 

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