Cops are great about rallying around great causes. Just last weekend, I attended a benefit breakfast to raise funds for an officer who was diagnosed with brain cancer. I’m guessing somewhere around 1,000 people showed up to raise nearly $5,500 in just a few hours. We’re still asking you to join us in praying for Nathan Rogers, that God would heal him and draw him closer in faith.
Through our ministry, several years ago we raised over $1,800 to help an officer’s family travel back to New York to visit the officer’s mother who was dying of cancer. She died shortly after the visit, but had the opportunity to see her son and newborn granddaughter first. Their family will forever cherish that visit.
Last year, nearly $2,000 was raised to assist a high school senior named Gabby who is an undocumented immigrant, brought to the United States as an infant by a family member who ultimately neglected her. Gabby, who is pursuing a Criminal Justice degree and a career in the Navy, is now well on her way to citizenship, and will be attending college in the Fall.
And then there’s the time, six years ago just this week, that officers and families rallied around my family after my wife gave birth to our daughter then suffered a massive heart attack 8 days later. I encourage you to take a few moments to read the very inspiring and faith building story (Read Meredith’s Story). Many donations of time, food, money, and personal days were given to help us make it through that ordeal.
Support, encouragement, and prayer for one another really are key characteristics of Christian community. Combined with gifts, which are a tangible expression of our love, these offerings of love become the visible expression of Christ’s love to the world. We become His hands and feet.
While everyone can’t help in every situation, all of us can do something occasionally. We can’t promote every situation brought to us, but I was contacted this week about one that is very compelling.
Grayson (pictured above) is the son of Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Payne in rural Wise County, Virginia. As a child, he received treatment for an illness that has allowed him to not only survive, but thrive. Unfortunately, his good friend Westin (pictured to the right) was not as fortunate. Westin passed away in February 2010 from Neuroblastoma cancer (Read Westin’s Caring Bridge Story). Grayson can’t give birthday or Christmas presents to Westin, who would be 10 this July 12th, so he has decided to raise funds – $1,000 – and give toys to the children at St. Jude’s in Memphis. One of the ways he is raising funds is by committing to run 100 miles in Westin’s honor (Follow Grayson’s Running Blog on WordPress).
As the son of an LEO, when Grayson was sick he received lots of police related toys. He noted that many of the kids at St. Jude’s dream of growing up to be police officers, and love police related toys. So, he is specifically asking for donations that will enable the purchase of 6 police patrol battery operated ride-on toys and other police related toys or gifts.
Covered Law Enforcement will be making a purchase of toys for children being treated at St. Jude’s in Memphis on what would be Westin’s 10th birthday – Saturday, July 12th. If you would like to assist us with this purchase, please make a tax deductible donation online. Be sure to include a memo for “St. Jude’s Toys.”
If you would like more information, please visit the linked pages or contact Westin’s Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to mail a toy or contribution directly, be sure to mark them “Running 2 Give; Toys for St. Jude’s” and send them to:Westin’s Foundation 1801 Holton Avenue Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Blessings to you for all you do. Keep sharing the message of Jesus Christ!