We were honored when Columbus Division of Police invited us to participate in Heroes and Helpers. This annual event is for 40 kids--two from all 20 precincts in the city--who get to spend approximately $150 (the cops almost always chip in some of their own money) on presents for themselves and others. They are chosen by their schools based on a variety of factors including having good behavior, good grades, and being deserving.
When our friends at AEP Ohio heard we were attending, they offered to purchase a new coat for every child who needed one, AND their siblings. We had such fun running from register to register to pay for the coats, watching the children show us their new finds. Kids told us, "This is my favorite color," or "Look at this pocket," or "It's so warm," while moms and officers would quietly walk up to us and urgently whisper, "Thank you."
Yes, thank you, AEP Ohio. We appreciate you letting us collect those thanks on your behalf. It was a magical experience, and we're so grateful to you. 💙