ASSIGNMENT UPDATE: We were asked to give belated Christmas presents, including basketball shoes, to a 14-year-old boy who witnessed a horrific act of violence committed by his father against his mother. Here is the original post if you missed it.
REFERRING OFFICERS: Columbus Division of Police Officers Nicole Mancini and Tyler Hicks, 14 Precinct, Far East Side.
Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to meet up today at Easton with Officers Mancini and Hicks to go shopping with Marcus*. Officers Alexander Shapiro and Jennifer Reynolds, also of 14 Precinct, joined us as well.
We started at Dick's Sporting Goods, where we bought shoes, clothes, a basketball, a nice gym bag, and various athletic items. Then we headed to Walmart for hair products and video games that Ofc Mancini paid for herself. Next, it was off to the main part of Easton, where Ofc Shapiro treated Marcus to a Cinnabon, then we went to Foot Locker for another pair of shoes and some athletic gear. Our final stop was Buckle, for jeans and underwear.
We then talked over our options for the remaining funds. You were extremely generous with your donations. He's a 14-year-old boy, who's still growing, so we decided not to spend it all today. We gave him the option for a gift card or to go shopping with the officers again when his feet outgrow the shoes he bought today, and he immediately said, "Go shopping with the officers!"
This made us all smile. It's really great that the officers have managed to make something positive come out of something so horrible. His mom has Ofc Mancini's number, and she'll contact her when he needs to have another shopping trip. We'll update you when that happens, of course. The officers were all so kind and fun to hang out with, and Marcus was so sweet and grateful.
Thank you all for making this possible. We really appreciate you!
*Name has been changed to protect his privacy.