A Saturday afternoon call to the police department complained about a couple screaming at one another. The dispatcher sent a unit to check on a possible domestic violence situation. Alcohol was involved, as it often is, but when they ran a check of the father they found two warrants for possession of drugs. The mother, really only a girl herself, held her two children close while the paramedics checked a very swollen eye and bruising on both arms.
The responding officer started filling out the paperwork while the backup officer talked with the mother and children. Remembering the man from the horse rescue that dropped by the station, he walked to the back of his unit, opened the trunk, pulled out two plush toy horses and handed them to the children.
Both of the children held the tiny horses tight. The mother smiled at the officer.
“Thank you. Seriously. Thank you.”
Yesterday we delivered a dozen soft stuffed horses to the local police department, then ordered more online. There are probably twenty small towns within a few miles of the ranch, each with its own police department, and every patrol unit will have a couple of “Jessica’s horses” in their truck.
Jessica Rekos, from what I understand, would have been thrilled to know that a small, stuffed horse would end up in the arms of a child facing bad times. They don’t need police cars and hate-filled parents, screaming arguments or cold nights without food or shelter, but they absolutely need a friend, and that friend might be a huggable stuffed horse. If nothing else, they will have that.
Habitat for Horses will have our own “Jessica’s Horse” program, starting today. If you donate to the program, your donation will be used solely for that purpose, but I have a better suggestion – ask your local equine rescue to start their own “Jessica’s Horse” program. It falls right in line with what we are all trying to do – to cultivate the love of horses.
Even better – talk to your company, see if they would be interested in supplying your local law enforcement office with Jessica’s Horses on an ongoing basis. No company logos, no photo ops, just a company doing good in honor of a beautiful little girl that loved horses.
But the best idea of all? Stop by a Dollar store, pick up a couple of toy horses (make sure they are the plush, huggable kind!) and take them by the police department. Tell them that it’s for any child the officer thinks needs a bit of comfort, and tell them it’s in honor of Jessica Rekos. They will understand.
Remember – this isn’t a one stop gift. The officers need Jessica’s horses throughout the year
Will you think about it? Not 26 acts of kindness, but acts that continue throughout the years. This is not about donating, this is about taking action. It isn’t about Habitat for Horses, it’s about your own town, the patrol units that pass by your front door.
Tell them the story. Make certain they understand. Do it in honor of Jessica.