Thursday, December 11, 2014

This Is What Service Looks Like

Piper & Detective Edwards
This is Detective Edwards. This is what service looks like.

Tonight, he was Piper's partner for the Heroes and Helpers program.

Funded by a grant from Target, and other local businesses, members of our local Police Department, Sheriff's Department, and the Minnesota State Patrol, come together to take a bunch of kids in the community, Holiday Shopping.

I don't talk about money much, because how boring is that? But being unable to go back to work because I had to be home and care for my disabled child, has meant some strain on our finances. We're doing better, but sometimes it's still a struggle. Especially around the holidays.

It seems Piper's counsellor at school, whom she knows well, put her up for the program, and she was chosen. She was so excited. She was also incredibly touched that she was thought of. And so was I.

So, tonight 14 kids got paired up with Law Enforcement Officers, and rode along in their squad cars to Target. She shopped for over an hour, which I'm told she's very good at.

Then they went back to the precinct to wrap gifts, and eat an unholy amount of pizza and cookies.

When I picked her up, he pushed pizza on me.

I told him he was a bad influence, which he admitted with a grin.

We talked for a while about  growing up in California (he's a transplant as well), how we're both glad to live in Minnesota now, about how Piper has turned him on to her favorite snack (pocky), and about  modern police work. He's a Doctor Who fan from way back, and explained that he was Piper's partner because she needed a geek to shop with. So, clearly he was one of our people!

In a time when we can look around and be bombarded by all that is wrong in the world, and in the world of police work, I think it's important to note that there is also much that is being done right. In a room that was a rainbow of  both kids and officers, something good was being done. Relationships were being fostered, and trust was being born.

Officers and members of the community came and gave of themselves to make some children very happy for the holidays.

True service doesn't make the nightly news. It's years of carrying a heavy belt, of helping people on a small and large scale. It's being a first responder, and the last to leave a scene. It's putting yourself on the line every day for the public, and hoping to make a difference. This is what service looks like.

For another view of what service looks like, read my friend's post about his life as a police officer, here.

As for Piper, she was all smiles. She really liked "her" Detective, and is thrilled with the gifts she got for her family. And as her mother, I am grateful for this opportunity to see something so positive in my community.

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