Like many Police and Sheriff’s Departments across the Nation Alexandria Police have a summer camp for kids that are underprivileged and would otherwise be left without much to do or be left to the streets in the summer. These programs are great for that purpose alone. However this year the pay off for one family and their mom was even bigger thanks to Officer Downey.
According to The Alexandria Police Department Foundation’s Facebook page: Officer Marcus Downey was talkiking with one of the children who was 10 years old and was surprise dto learn that the child didn’t know how to make his own bed. The reason that he didn’t know was shocking. The child didn’t have a bed. Downey asked the boys siblings who were also attending the camp and found out that it was true, none of the boys or their mother had beds in their homes.
Naturally Downey found this situation unacceptable. He started an online fundraiser for this family of four children ages 5, 10, 13 and 16 who all slept on the floor of their home. Downey had hoped to raise $1,000.00 with which he had intended to purchase proper beds and sheets for the children. Within 24 hours his hopes had been exceeded by over $1,400.00 and he had raised a total of $2,400.00!
According to the APDF page “ Officer Downey and several members of the Alexandria Community Oriented Police Section (COPS), along with building staff at the Brent Place Apartments, delivered and set up the beds. They also delivered a special surprise for the mother, who had also been sleeping on the floor – a bed of her own! Once the beds were assembled, each of the boys had an opportunity to pick out their bedding (choices included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spiderman!).”
Programs like summer camps are the heart of community policing but seeing problems like children not having beds to sleep on and going the extra mile to start fundraisers to purchase beds for them is commendable.