REFERRING OFFICER: Ofc. Ed Chung, 19th Precinct
ASSIGNMENT: Donations of household goods, clothing, and food for Jennifer H., her family, and the kids in her neighborhood.
FACILITATOR: Nicole Banks
This evening Rohan and I went to the Hilltop to visit Jennifer and her family. I wanted to drop off three boxes of shoes generously donated by Deb Medsker and her church and to give them some food items I'd picked up.
I wrote about Jennifer yesterday in the entry about my ride along with Ofc Chung. She's a strong, compassionate woman who, two years ago, lost everything in a fire that was discovered by Ofc Chung and two of his fellow officers.The officers saved her, her husband, and their four children, but unfortunately the family lost everything they owned.
They are still trying to replenish their household, and still need pretty much everything, to include beds and linens. They only have two beds in the house, and need a total of five, so three beds would be wonderful if anyone has any. She isn't concerned about sizes. Just needs beds. They do have access to a truck, so Jennifer said they can come pick them up.
Linens are also an issue, of course, as are towels and clothing. Pretty much anything you can think of, they probably need. If they themselves cannot find a use for it, they will most likely be able to pass it on to someone who can.
As I mentioned in my entry yesterday, Jennifer's house has become the one in the neighborhood that all the kids hang out at. She has a strict rule that, if there are other kids over, her kids can't take even one bite of food unless there's enough to share. This means she's feeding lots of kids.
Many of those neighborhood kids don't have food in their own homes. I brought many boxes of pasta with me, and Jennifer told one of the little girls she could take some to her house and her mom could cook it. The little girl replied, "We can't cook anything. Our gas was shut off."
I asked Jennifer about that later. She said it's not uncommon in the summer for people in her neighborhood to have their gas turned off. "Honestly, we don't have gas right now ourselves."
"But you have an electric stove?"
Here is a non-inclusive list of items that would be very much appreciated, but I am sure you all can think of many more things than I can:
*Winter coats *Clothes *Toiletries *Beds *Bedding *Food of all sorts, to include snacks *Water *Juices *Band Aids (she's always patching kids up, including one while I was there) *Towels *Mosquito repellant *Coupons from the Sunday paper. Jennifer said she's a huge couponer and would love extra coupons.
I asked where she generally shops and she said Kroger, so if you'd like to get her a gift card that would be the ideal place.
Finally, I told Jennifer about our charity, how we got started, and what we do. She thought it was a fantastic idea and really wants to help us. She said, "Please. Put me to work! I really want to help, too."
I smiled and told her I would absolutely be doing just that, then told her the story of how we got our name. She looked at me and said, "That's a wonderful story! I got gooose bumps! I just love that. I want to be part of that."
For those of you who haven't yet heard it, I'l post the story in the pictures.
Ofc Chung and I are planning to meet up with Jennifer and the kids this Sunday, so I'll take to her whatever we've collected until that point. Please message me if you want to know where to drop items off or if you need items picked up.
Ofc Chung had been hoping to meet up with us this evening, but he was busy--NO LIE--saving someone's life with Narcan and then arresting a wanted felon. I freaking love him.