REFERRING OFFICER: Ed Chung, 19 Precinct (Hilltop)
ASSIGNMENT: Provide emergency utility assistance to a family in need and determine other ways we could be of help to them.
Columbus Division of Police Officer Ed Chung contacted us earlier this week to tell us about a family he met during the course of his duties as a patrol officer in the Hilltop. The family was having some personal difficulties, and Ofc Chung felt Starfish could help get them on an easier path. What impressed him most was the young boys of the family, both of whom had manners, “like an old school grandpa.” He said the one boy very politely interrupted his conversation with his mother saying, “I have a boo-boo. May I get a Band-Aid, please?” When his mother told him he could, the boy thanked her before he left.
The mother does not have the money to pay for a cell phone plan, so she can only receive messages when she is near Wi-Fi service. Our volunteer has been communicating with her this way over the past several days, and we were able to pay her gas and electric bills, which were slightly behind, up into January in order to give the family some breathing room on their bills. The total cost for that was $139.00 and was taken out of our emergency fund. We’re working on getting clothes for the children, and estimate a cost for that of $100 from Goodwill.
Ofc Ed Chung, along with Lt Scott Bartholow, Ofc Pete Casuccio, and Det Steve Lazar, is one of the four officers who helped Starfish Assignment get its start. Without their guidance, we wouldn’t be the organization we are today, and we’re very grateful to them. Ofc Chung is a dedicated patrol officer who has deployed Narcan 53 times to save people from dying of opiate overdose. We’re proud to know him and grateful he chooses to work with us.