We wanted to update you on the funding for Operation Hot Dog because it in and of itself is a feel-good story. When Nicole Banks and Ashely Casuccio set off to help feed Columbus Division of Police officers on May 30, they had $600 in donations in hand. They spent $1,575.40 that day. Due to the urgent nature of the situation, they pressed on, figuring they'd be able to work with Starfish donors and supporters later on.
They were right.
Almost immediately, people began to contact them about how they could help, including CME Federal Credit Union, who is already a supporter of Starfish's efforts in the community. Nicole texted them to let them know she was heading to CPD HQ, and they immediately responded with a donation. Once they learned that the scope of the project was expanding and was going to be a multi-day effort, they gave us another, very generous donation that more than covered our costs. We are so grateful to them for their support of our law enforcement officers (and firefighters), and we want everyone to know they were there for them through all of this.
CME was also very supportive of Nicole and made sure she knew they were there for Starfish and the officers if there was anything they needed. They are absolutely perfect partners. We love them and thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
Another person we'd like to highlight is a CPD officer who'd like to remain completely anonymous. As we mentioned in our original post, we'd run out of some supplies, and by Monday we needed to make another run to Costco. Nicole stayed behind to keep things organized while someone else made the trip to Costco. This CPD officer gave their Costco credit card to them to make the purchase. When Nicole asked for the receipt so she could reimburse them, the officer refused and said it was a donation. It was a large run--at least $800--and Nicole absolutely could not persuade the officer to let Starfish pay for it. They wanted to do their part to take care of their fellow officers.
The final people we'd like to highlight are...YOU. You all came together to help us deliver treats to an additional CPD staging area on June 2, when we spent $478.76, and then to the National Guard units on June 5, when we spent $563.67. Finally, we spent approximately $300 on miscellaneous items, including food Nicole and Ashley took with them on Sunday, May 31 and Saturday, June 6.
The remaining funds from your donations will be placed into a designated emergency fund so that we can immediately support CPD officers if they need us again. If we ARE called upon again, we'll try not to run out of mustard--lesson learned. 😉 (Not that anyone complained!!)