Our friends at Sahara-Columbus delivered 52 bookbags stuffed with school supplies and non-perishable food items to Columbus Division of Police Zone 1 officers yesterday. Zone 1 is the north side of the city, and most of these bags will go to the eastern part of that area. In fact, we tagged along as Lieutenant Chris Lieb and two Safe Streets officers delivered bags to a long-term stay hotel on East Dublin-Granville Road. The children there confirmed they didn't yet have school bags and were very happy to receive them. It was really fun to see their faces light up as they realized they got to pick any color they wanted, and then they found out there were things inside.
This was all due to the efforts of Sahara-Columbus, a group established in the early stages of the pandemic. They give all sorts of care packages out to people in need, and they focus on creating opportunities for children to get involved. The officers were very grateful for their efforts, and Zone 1 Commander Mike Gray, Lt Lieb, and Safe Streets Officer Shawn Lutz made sure to give them the grand tour of the 1 Precinct substation, which is the city's newest.
They got to see everything--bikes, CPR practice dummies, vests, the mobile command center, a stretcher, crime scene tape, and Lt Lieb even fired up a flare for them. All along the way, there were safety lessons, "What do you do if you ever see a gun? Or a needle?" He even taught them about flares. Did you know that not only are they very hot, but they drip like candles if you're holding them?
We had a great time facilitating this Assignment, and we know the officers of Zone 1 will love giving out these bags. Thank you, Sahara-Columbus! We really appreciate all your hard work and your partnership.