The holiday season is typically one of the busiest times of the year for Thin Blue Line USA. Many US consumers do their holiday shopping online rather than in physical stores. As an eCommerce company, we understand this logic and work very hard at making our customers happy. Several ways we do this is by offering them great discounts sitewide and fast efficient shipping for the holidays. We understand the importance of getting packages to their homes in time and to making holiday shopping a breeze. But, while the holiday season may be a busy time for us, we never want to forget that many people right here in our community need our help. We do this by giving back with our time and with our generous donations. Months before the holidays approach us, we start planning for our corporate giving events and making plans to volunteer a few hours of our time during the holiday season.
As a company, recognizing there is a need during the holidays led to an important conversation I had with our local Police Chief, Ron Moore from the Wixom Police Department. I asked him how our company could get more involved in the community during the holidays and I shared my ideas with him. He told me that most local food pantries need help during the holidays and that one way The Wixom Police Department was helping was through a campaign called “Stuff the Squad Car” where the contributions from the campaign would be donated to the Hospitality House Food Pantry. Immediately he connected me to the Executive Director from the Hospitality House, Donovan Neal. After speaking to Donavan I decided one of the ways I could best serve them is by volunteering my time at the food pantry. The Hospitality House Food Pantry is a non-profit organization that feeds on average 550 households and distributes over 30,000 pounds of food monthly. The communities they serve are Walled Lake, Wixom, and Novi. Hospitality House was chosen again this year to be the recipient of the gift donations collected from the campaign. We wanted to be a part of this project and so we issued a “call to action” and got to work on creating an ad to post on our social media sites encouraging people to drop off new, unwrapped toys, books, and clothing at the Wixom PD. After the campaign was completed, the Hospitality House would than hosts their annual event called “Santa Shop.” Santa Shop provides a free shopping experience for clients who, assisted by an elf escort, helps them choose gifts for their children from a puzzle table, a book table, a clothing table, and a game table. They provide a wrapping station, a visit from Santa, and a craft area to help keep children occupied as their parent's shop. This was the Wixom PD’ third year to partner with the Hospitality House in the Stuff the Squad Car campaign. And, through their generous donations and the help of local businesses more than 600 children, ranging in age from birth to 18, had a very happy holiday.
The giving continued as I reached out to the Wixom Fire Department to work with Firefighter Dave Stewart. I informed him that our CEO, Andrew Jacob would be honored to help the Wixom Firefighters Foundation again this year by donating bracelets and stickers and by sponsoring their 39th annual “Breakfast with Santa.” The activities for the event included a pancake breakfast along with a visit from Santa, gift-giving and so much more for 500 children ranging from ages 10 and under. We also worked alongside our local Police Chief Ellsworth and Police Sergeant Marasco from the Wolverine Lake Police Department and Alex McLellan, Lodge President from the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 128 by donating custom bracelets including Thin Blue Line American Flag stickers to hand out to the children during the “Shop with a Hero” event. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 128 (Stanley Clark Southwestern Oakland County) and the West Bloomfield Police Foundation has sponsored the annual Shop with a Hero/Cops-n-kids holiday event every year during the month of December at the Meijer in Wixom. That evening I had the pleasure of helping one of the officers from West Bloomfield Police Department shop side by side with one of the Forty lucky children who were treated to a pizza party and a $200 gift card all provided by Meijer. The kids were also given holiday stockings filled with goodies and their parents were given all the fixings for a holiday feast. There is nothing more fulfilling than making the holiday season a little more merry and bright for some of the local children and their families.
A couple of us one morning made our way to the City of Southfield fire department spreading good cheer by handing out Thin Blue Line USA apparel and delicious holiday baked goods. It was such a privilege to spend time with some of the firefighters and Fire Chief Johnny Menifee, along with Police Chief Elvin Barren and Captain Melissa Medici who is the fire department EMS coordinator. As the holiday progressed the giving continued, when back at the home front we were making time to thank all of our wholesale customers for their constant business and support throughout the year by sending hundreds of handwritten thank you notes and a limited edition holiday coin to all of them.
'Tis the season when you gather with loved ones, look back on the year, and give thanks for all we have. But as we celebrate the holidays, let's remember to recognize the brave public safety professionals who missed celebrations with their loved ones. They were on duty, fulfilling their responsibilities to keeping us safe. We know that work does not “slow down” for emergency personnel during the holidays. In fact, it is one of the busiest and most dangerous times for all of them. We want to take this time to thank them for all that they do. Their sacrifice and service to our communities allowed us to enjoy the holidays in peace.