Hello, Supporters! National Police Week is among us. Andy and I were planning to go to DC to be with Lynn as Perry's name was official unveiled on the memorial. However, we weren't able to make it happen. It saddens me to not be there with Lynn, to miss the chance to honor Perry. But, then, I remember, my sons have taken care of that: Honoring Perry. In a bigger way than I ever could. I haven't had much to post to you lately. We decided to hold off on buying more plates until after tax season. We wanted to make sure we had done the first round correctly and didn't get dinged. We learned that having the boys physically hand them to each officer was the way to go. So, now we are in the process of trying to meet with the head of the IMPD Foundation (schedules are tight these days) to arrange how to do the next round with the boys physically handing them out again.
We've heard great things from the officers who have them. Most are wearing them daily, and those that aren't (because they've moved inside) have passed theirs on to other officers. We had some negative feedback in the beginning about the plates we chose and the expense. We said then that providing a lighter plate would be best. One of our good friends and former district partner of Perry's contacted us not too long ago asking how to get "our" plates. He had bought the cheaper plates when they were offered in August. In the 6 or so months he wore them, he developed major back pain and would have to lie down as soon as he got home. So, while they were cheaper, they were not better for the officers. We are proud of the choice Jacen made with the plates he chose.
We are still amazed and awestruck by the support Jacen received during his campaign. I've attached a couple of pictures:
1. Jacen's birthday party: Justine of Willing Hands Designs contacted me months ago about donating her time for Jacen's birthday as a thank you for what he has done for the officers. She did an amazing job and all the kids loved her. I have her info and she's on FB if you ever need a face painter.
2. In March, we met Austin St. John, the original red Power Ranger. Our boys LOVE the PR. St. John is a paramedic now and Jacen loved telling him about his project and how he's a hero, too.
3. In honor of Police Week, the boys and I joined the campaign #weseeyou and #hislifematters and took a picture of our hands with Andy's uniform.
Thank you again for your support and love and prayers.
Things have been crazy busy around here. The day after the State of the State address, I started a new job. I apologize for not posting about SOTS sooner. It was quite a night, a bigger deal than Andy or I expected. We met the first lady, the boys were given the "special food" not offered to the other guests: a plateful of Chic-Fil-A nuggets, we met Major General Umbarger who gave both boys a challenge coin (Ben's first!), and, well, if you haven't heard, the boys basically stole the show from Governor Pence. It was an amazing experience for all 4 of us. I'm attaching a few pictures from the night and will upload the newscast next. The next day, we got a call from our local NBC station wanting to interview both boys about stealing the show. I will upload that as well. Again, we can't say thank you enough for your support, be it in the form of money or sharing our story. Jacen wouldn't have reached his goal twice if not for you all. God Bless.
We got some exciting news today. Andy received the following email:
Last month Governor Pence had the honor of awarding your son Jacen at the Boy Scout Luncheon for his incredible efforts in raising over $19 k for IMPD bulletproof plates. The Governor was so moved by his story that he asked me to reach out to you all to invite you guys to the State of the State this coming Tuesday January 13th at the statehouse.
I mean.....WOW. Just WOW. Basketball practice will be skipped as we know what an honor it is to be invited to the State of the State. I'm just speechless....
We've received a couple of big donations lately that we are extremely grateful for. We are so close to $20K! When Jacen wanted to start this fundraiser, we never thought we'd make it to $10K, let alone $20K. I am still amazed by the support you have all given. With that said, I want to explain our reasoning behind choosing more expensive plates. When all this started, we had many people criticizing us for not making Jacen buy AR500 plates because they are cheaper and we could outfit more officers. Andy was on the street for 9 years, and he had many back aches just from his vest and duty belt. We knew adding extra weight would be difficult for the officers, so why would we add more than needed if we had options? Just this week, I heard from the wife of an officer and our friend that her husband has had the AR500 plates since July. He has worn them religiously every shift. However, they are leaving him in so much pain that when he gets home, all he can do is lay on the couch. He wants to play with his kids and be a help to his wife, but the pain is unbearable. Just as we did in July, we stand by and support Jacen's choice to go with lighter plates, even if they are more expensive. If the plates cause pain, officers won't wear them and the whole purpose is defeated. I leave you today with a picture of the boys with Lynn Renn from the night they handed out the plates to Perry's shift. We hope everyone had a joyous and blessed Christmas and New Year.
Dear Supporters, With all the sadness that is taking place in our world right now, we wanted to say thank you again for your kind words, donations, and sharing our story. Now more than ever we need to show our support for our men and women in blue. Thank you for showing our sons that even in this crazy world, kindness still exists. Thank you for showing them that when one person takes a stand, others will help, and change can happen. We are so close to having enough money to outfit another shift with plates. Jacen is hoping to make it to $20,000. Please continue to share his story and say a prayer for all the police officers around our nation. Please pray that they all come home each and every night. We pray that you all have a blessed and magical Christmas with your friends and families.
We were honored to attend the Governor's Luncheon in Honor of Boy Scouts today. Jacen was awarded the Medal of Merit for his efforts in raising money for the police plates. This is the highest non-life saving award given NATIONALLY in scouts. He was nominated for the award and we had to submit paperwork at the national level for him to be chosen. It was said that in 2013 only 250 Medals of Merit were given. It's a BIG deal to be awarded one. His medal was pinned on him by Governor Pence, who had a tear in his eye and his hands were shaking due the level of Jacen's actions. He received a standing ovation from the 2,100+ people in attendance. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Attached is the video they showed before his award.
Last night, the boys were honored by the Sons of the American Revolution. We were amazed at the commendations they received. Jacen received "true blue military" medals. Talk about shock and awe. Ben received an Outstanding Citizen pin.
Hello Supporters! I know, it's been a long time since I've posted an update. I apologize for that. Surprisingly, we are still being kept busy with Jacen's fundraising efforts. Last month, he was honored once again by Crown Hill and Leppart Mortuary after their "LIKE us and we'll donate 50 cents" campaign. We received another check from them for over $1,000! Our family was also recognized by the Indianapolis City County Council earlier this month. It was such a neat experience. We still have the maps up and add pins as new donations are still trickling in. We are so close to $20,000 we can taste it! :) Jacen has decided he'd like to get there and be able to supply an additional shift with plates, not just a few officers. The support has been phenomenal and the lessons Jacen and Ben have learned will last a lifetime. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough, but THANK YOU for sharing our story, donating what you were able, and/or sending Jacen supportive messages. We couldn't have come this far without you. Oh, and I know for a fact that Perry's shift thanks you. Andy and I were with some of them this week and they verified they are wearing the plates everyday and their families are grateful for the extra protection as well.
Tonight Jacen was able to present the ballistic plates to the North District Late Tact officers (Perry Renn's shift). It was a wonderful ceremony and he and Ben were able to hand each officer their plates. This wouldn't have been possible without all of our wonderful supporters. Every donation we received brought us closer to making Jacen's dream come true. We can never say thank you enough for all the kind and generous donations and comments we have received. While Jacen was trying to do something good for our police officers, you all helped him to see how a community, heck, the world, can and will come to together to help each other. With all the bad we hear/see every day, this has been a wonderful experience for our family. As a mother, thank you for showing my sons how compassion for others can make a huge difference in the world. As a police wife, thank you for reminding us that people DO care about our officers and appreciate the risk they take every day to keep our community safe. Every comment, message, donation has not gone unnoticed nor unappreciated. We love you all! Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
Wow....we are ramping up again thanks to Crown Hill Cemetery and Leppert Mortuary. Today they donated $1,000 to Jacen's fund and challenged other business to donate as well. They also presented Jacen and Ben with certificates to thank them for their community service. And, if that wasn't awesome enough, if you LIKE both of their pages on FB, they will donate another 50 cents for each page. This is for the whole month of August! The check was presented today at Crown Hill (for those not from Indy, this is the cemetery where fallen officers are laid to rest in the Heroes of Public Safety section). All four news stations showed up for the presentation. Even more exciting for Jacen was getting to meet the Chief of Police, Chief Hite, who presented Jacen with a Certificate of Appreciation from the city. And just when you think it can't get any better, 2 people recognized him while we ate dinner at Culver's and came over to thank him for his hard work. He couldn't stop smiling.
Hello Supporters! We are in shock that donations keep coming in. We are anticipating the delivery of the vests sometime next week or the week after. We wanted to show everyone the cool card Jacen received this week. A K9 Detective with the US DOJ sent us a donation along with a trading card of his K9, Pele. We all think this is pretty spectacular. Check out Pele's picture. He's beautiful!
The additional support coming in as been fantastic. Over $15,000!!! Thank you to those that have sent us your location. We have 39 pins on our US/Canada map (2 pins for Ottawa! WOW!) and about 20 on our Indiana map. Keep those locations coming. Today, I brought the boys to Monkey Joe's to celebrate the awesomeness of what they've done. I showed Jacen the recent total after we got here and, once again, he yelled "YESSSS!" and threw a fist pump in the air. The vests for Perry's shift have been ordered and rumor is they will be in soon. We can't wait to deliver them!
Jacen says, "Thank you for donating. It has been cool to see where all the money has come from. I am very, very happy!"
Jacen's Grammy put together 2 maps so he can see where the donations have come from. We got right to work on putting the pins in. If you donated, or even sent a message of support, please shoot me a quick message letting me know where you live so we can "pin you". Out of 219 donations we have 19 pins. I know many people are from Indy and there's not enough room on the board for all those. Thank you once again for all your support and watch Jacen share this story one more time tonight (Tues. 7-29)on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams!
We can't believe the support that is still pouring in! Thank you to those that have donated late last night and today. I'm behind on sending out personal thank-yous as we spent all day at camp yesterday, then took Jacen and a friend to the movies last night. Please know that we are very grateful and look for an email of thanks from us soon. :)
LOVE WINS!!!! We are feeling so blessed this morning at the support and love from our fruends, family, community, and those who have helped from around the country. I took video of Jacen's reaction this morning. However, I am volunteering at Cub Scout day camp with Jacen today, so I will post the video this evening. We plan to keep going as long as there is interest. The more we can supply to the officers, the better. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God Bless You All.
You guys! We have enough for 12 officers!!! We are so close to funding for the 15 on Perry's shift and then moving on to another shift. When I told Jacen after tucking him into bed, he started kicking his feet and waving his arms in excitement. You are all amazing. LOVE WINS!!!!
WOW! I'm speechless. I went to bed with enough donations to outfit 6 officers. Woke up to find we have enough to outfit 9 officers!!! Jacen is at Cub Scout camp till this afternoon. I can't wait to show him all the wonderful people who are supporting his cause. Thank you.
Before going to bed, we showed Jacen his current total. I'm not sure what shocked him more, the total or that Butler Toyota donated $1,000! He is beyond excited to see his campaign doing so well. Thank you to WTHR for helping us to spread the word. And thank you, again, to everyone for your support.
We are completely amazed and overwhelmed by all the donations, support, and shares on Facebook. We currently have enough to get shields for 4 officers. Jacen yelled "YES!!!" when I told him. Now, he's bouncing all over the couch. :)
On MLK Jr. Day when I (Jacen) was 4, I wished that police officers won't get killed. It didn't come true. My dad's friends have been killed in the line of duty. His friend and partner for 9 years, Perry, got shot by a rifle and he died. We are raising money to buy bullet proof plates so that won't happen again. The vests they wear now won't stop a rifle. These add-on plates will stop many types of rifle rounds. Each plate cost approximately $225. Each police officer needs 2 plates (front and back). We want to raise money for IMPD (Indianapolis Metro Police Deptartment). We are hoping to raise enough money to buy a set of plates for each of the officers on Perry's shift. Please donate money to save officer's lives.
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