Our organization, Code 3 Association, is a non-profit who’s motto is “Caring for Cops and the Communities They Serve.” Last year we hosted this same Halloween event at the 7th Police District in Washington, D.C., and it was a tremendous success. The 7th District is one of the highest if not the highest in violent crime in Washington, D.C. Just hours before last nights event there was a homicide in the 7th District. This is one of the reasons this event is so important for the kids as it provides a safe environment for Halloween night.
When I originally spoke with the 7th District Officers in early October, I advised them that I wasn’t sure we would be able to sponsor the event this year due to funding shortages. At the same time, we had also received requests from the 6thPolice District for support at their Halloween safe Night Out Event. Between the 2 police districts they were looking to service about 1500 children. That includes costumes and props for the officer/actors in the haunted house, food, drinks, and bags of candy.
The second week of October I started a conversation with good friends Mike Denning and Tara Lee and explained our mission to fund the Safe Night Outs. The following day Tara sent out a flyer to her co-workers at Quinn EmanualUrquhart & Sullivan LLP, describing the event and need for funding. Within an hour $2500.00 was raised, which was the catalyst for the event. With this money we would be able to buy hot dogs, buns, chips and a drink for 1500 kids! This also provided funding for the 6th Police District to buy some needed props such as fake body parts, fog machines and strobe lights since it was their first haunted house. Now all we had to do was ask for candy donations to make the event successful.
I contacted my niece Mary Jordan who became my social media warrior along with my daughter Amy and daughter in law Krystal. They posted information about the event to friends and co-workers and it literally took off from there. Mary spent many of her nights at Sam’s Club buying candy as donations came in.
One text to my Cousin Sue Russo in New Jersey who works for M & M Mars and the next day I got notification that six thousand pieces of candy were on the way!!!
Derek Starliper reached out to the Washington Field office of the FBI less than a week prior to the event and they came up with 150 pounds of candy.
Upon hearing of the event, Stevie Donahue donated $200 as well as candy and made sure to let us know if anything else was needed she was in.
My son Nick told his NROTC staff at the University of Maryland about the event and they also provided a large donation of candy
My wife Sherri told co-workers at the Washington Hospital Center about the event and they flooded us with candy donations as well.
When I told my neighbor and friend Tom Holste of the event, he was going fishing with friends. He told them they each had to bring a bag of candy on the trip and delivered a large bin of candy to my house. He called me shortly before the event and asked if we hit the number as far as candy needed. When I told him we were close I had another large bin of candy at my door that night.
Can’t forget my mom who tried her best to keep up with my niece in candy donations.
Your candy donations totaled a whopping 2400 pounds!!!!!! We were able to fill 1500 healthy sized bags of candy for the kids.
On behalf of Code 3 Association and me personally THANK YOU for making both the 6th and 7th Police Districts “Halloween Safe Night Out” an enormous success. It goes further than your donation of money or candy. My daughter Amy and niece Mary attended the event with me and handed out candy to the children. About half way through the event my daughter called me over and told me that a number of the parents were thanking the officers for their service and also thanking them for providing a safe environment for the kids. It’s the reason we sponsor these events, watching the interaction between the officers and the citizens and improving that relationship is encouraging. It’s very simplistic but so effective when these conversations take place. Why is it important? The next generation is counting on us!!!