A friend of the Golden Belt Community Foundation recently approached Christy Tustin with an idea.
The local man, who has chosen to remain anonymous, asked the Foundation executive director if they could collaborate on an awareness campaign about the lives and jobs of local law enforcement officers.
The result will be a series of monthly articles that focus on local police and sheriff’s officers, as well as other public servants.
“This Foundation donor is concerned about the negative attitudes toward police that we are seeing around the country,” Tustin said. “He wants to remind people that police officers are out there every day protecting and serving us.
“Oftentimes,” Tustin continued, “it is difficult for law enforcement officers to tell their own story. We want to be the voice of these hidden heroes.”
The Foundation donor and Tustin chose Jan. 9, which is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, to officially begin this project.
“After learning about the special day, we realized it was tailor-made for this local campaign,” Tustin said. “One goal is to demonstrate to law enforcement officers that we recognize the difficult career they have chosen and they have our gratitude. After all, they run toward trouble while the rest of us run away from it.”
The Foundation’s mission can be addressed in many ways but, in a nutshell, it connects donors to causes they care about, Tustin noted.
“This project will be no exception,” she commented. “The Foundation doesn’t have just a single way of meeting its goal of furthering charitable interests throughout our service area. We are always open to new avenues leading to stronger, healthier communities.”
Throughout the campaign this year, the donor hopes to: improve the public’s perception of law enforcement officers and other public servants; find more ways to educate young people; and learn why officers chose this career.
“We hope to start a dialogue with our series of stories,” Tustin said. “Children and adults should realize that police and sheriff’s officers are people they can turn to when they are in trouble.
“If we can get to know a few officers more personally and learn about their lives and jobs, this project will be a success,” Tustin added. “The Foundation appreciates the donor’s efforts to make this happen.”
The Golden Belt Community Foundation was established in 1996; it serves Barton, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford counties.