It is always a thrill when a club, church, school or group of citizens ask about partnering with us on a project. We love working with others to express support to our law enforcement officers through joint projects and welcome the opportunity at any time throughout the year. In February 2021, the St Catherine of Siena Catholic School contacted us about how they might express their appreciation and support to the local police departments in their district. Students worked to create cards and other artwork that was delivered to the Cobb County Police precinct 1 and Kennesaw PD. We were honored to be a part.
Never before has this country ever known anything like what we are facing with the Covid-19 world-wide pandemic. While citizens were ordered to shelter in place all across the nation, our first responders continued their work, risking not only their own health but that of the families and loved ones they return home to each night. Firefighters/EMS, police officers, deputies, and 911 call center operators continue to serve and protect their communities in spite of the dangers. When PPE (personal protective equipment) such as face masks and hand sanitizer became harder to acquire and shortages began to take place, we managed to find resources through which to purchase and have been able to distribute nearly 5,000 masks and 1100 bottles of hand sanitizer. To show support for these heroes, we have been providing meals and will soon reach 1,000 meals delivered, with many more still to go. Thanks to donations received, we have been able to do these things, and we pray that the community will continue to support our first responders by continuing to fund our work. Many thanks to the men and women who have been working tirelessly to help protect others, and thank you to our donors for making our work possible. We'd also like to extend a big "thank you" to the local owned restaurants who have been preparing and in many cases, delivering these meals.
As we near the end of an incredibly busy year filled with more than anyone ever could have imagined we'd see, we'd like to offer up a very brief re-cap of 2020.
Back in March when it was becoming more and more evident that the Corona Virus was becoming something much larger than originally thought, a financial supporter came to us and jump started what would be the largest project we had attempted to date. Our "2020 Pandemic Project", as we appropriately named it, included weeks of hard work, negotiating meal purchases with local restaurants, arranging pickup and deliveries, purchasing of dry goods, and other grocery items, contacting command staff at every precinct and agency in Cobb County and ensuring every shift at every location received at least one meal delivery, so our officers and 911 personnel could enjoy a safe meal while on duty. We extended beyond the Cobb boarders and even included some of our Fire heroes. We also acquired hundreds of face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer, early in the pandemic when these items were extremely hard to locate and purchase, and delivered to agencies all over the county.
We are grateful to our volunteers who helped us serve approximately 400 law enforcement officers on Thanksgiving day. We would also like to thank Nick at "Come-n-Get It" for the seamless service and delicious meals. Also many thanks to Publix, the folks at Cracker Barrel, Kennesaw Chick Fil-A, Paul's Pot Pies, Cobb EMC Community Foundation, and all our other corporate and private contributors. We wish you all a very happy holiday!
Once again, Blue Thanksgiving was honored to partner up with Cobb PD on their 2nd annual "Cool Cars and Cops" event. This year the car show joined with the CCPD "Ride with the Blue" bike rally and the crowds were impressive! The cars and bikes on display this year were amazing and the weather held, allowing everyone to enjoy this beautiful Fall day. Many thanks to all the wonderful businesses who provided raffle prizes, including 4WD Parts, Auto Zone and Advance Auto Parts in both Kennesaw and Acworth, Pep Boys in Marietta on Whitlock, and so many others. This event raised money to benefit the SWAT Santa program and was a huge success. If you missed this year's show, keep your eyes open for the next one in Fall of 2021!
We wish to extend our gratitude to the Cobb County Sheriff's Deputies who work around the clock at the Cobb County Adult Detention Facility. While we are peacefully asleep in our beds each night, these deputies are ensuring criminals are kept safely locked behind bars and away from the general population where they can commit more crimes on innocent citizens. Every level of criminal imaginable is detained there and the deputies who are tasked with the responsibility of detaining them have their hands full. Never underestimate the dangers and the challenges these men and women face. While officers on the road are dealing with potential criminals in the mix of citizens they see every day, these deputies are faced with nothing but the criminals and without the self protection carried by officers on the street patrols. When inmates choose to attack, as they quite often do, most of these deputies have only their hands and a small can of pepper spray with which to defend themselves. Never forget what they do. Never underestimate their strength, commitment, and the challenges they face. While we may see officers on the road patrolling our neighborhoods and feel grateful that they are around to keep us safe, we must also remember that the silent guardians who are at the Cobb County Adult Detention Facility are keeping us safe, as well.
Blue Thanksgiving delivered dinner to two of the shifts working on July 4th and July 24th and a delivery of baked goods was delivered another day in addition, thanks to the generous donation made by Publix of Kennesaw.
The hot month of July will soon be past, but not before we announce our Christmas Luminaries event! This year we begin a new tradition and annual fundraiser program. Please help us share this information and opportunity to show support to our law enforcement officers with this project. It is our hope that our neighborhoods, stores and entire community will light up on December 24th to show support for our officers, as well as to honor those we have lost. We are already accepting pre-orders and invite you to participate by placing your orders in advance so that we can ensure there are enough of these kits, to go around. For more information, please contact Paula at email@example.com. You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!
As a "grass roots" organization, we are always looking for ways to raise the funds needed to keep our work financed. There is always an opportunity to get involved with one of our fundraisers, as we have always got something happening! Please ask about our on going fundraisers and events and how you can help! We are working on our holiday fundraiserand will make an announcement in July when we offer up a preview of "Light the Night" for "Christmas in July"! Our ongoing sale of personalized engraved gifts offers a number of great items and we hope you'll take a look and let us know if you see something you like! Some of these items are pictured below and the prices are incredible! Check back often as we continue to post up and add more photos of items available and other exciting opportunities for you to take part in helping fund our important work!
In March of 2019, we became aware of the crisis within Cobb county's public safety. We learned that officers within Cobb PD, deputies with the Sheriff's department and firefighters were leaving our county in alarming numbers and headed to other agencies for better pay and benefits. This mass exodus of officers has left our police and sheriff's departments grossly understaffed, resulting in dangerous situations both on the road and for deputies at the jail. Officers are answering calls without backup, beats are going without police coverage, and deputies in the jail are forced to contain and manage massive numbers of inmates without backup. Our LEO's are being forced to work mandatory overtime, and many are expected to be on call 24/7. Upon investigating, it was discovered the the Fraternal Order of Police, Steve Gaynor had been in front of county commissioners for several months warning them of the situation and his pleas had fallen on deaf ears. For years, our sworn officers in Cobb have been told "Good things are coming" only to learn they were not going to see raises in pay that would even meet cost of living. We immediately became involved, printing fliers and joining forces with Mr Gaynor and a small group of others to raise public awareness. Blue Thanksgiving's social media sites were instrumental in getting information out and conversation started within the community about this issue. Atlanta media was contacted and we were instrumental in helping to get information out to not only Cobb county, but surrounding counties. Fifteen out of sixteen town hall meetings, held by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners was attended and together with citizen, Susan Hampton we informed citizens of the crisis. At this point in time, we have addressed the Cobb Board of Commissioners at two meetings, filled the meeting room and overflow rooms to capacity and raised awareness of this situation. "Blue Thanksgiving, Inc" is a non-partisan organization We have taken a stand against politicians in any party who choose to ignore the needs of our law enforcement, and will continue to inform citizens of this county of the situation. At this time, we are actively involved in this project and hope that with continued efforts we will finally succeed and force the Cobb county board of commissioners to improve and provide pay and benefits to our uniformed officers that will encourage retention and recruitment of new officers. Please see our Facebook and Instagram pages for continued updates on this project.