In 2001 I began raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ‘Light the Night Walk’ as I am a survivor. I was known as the “Cartridge Lady” because I collected and recycled ink and laser cartridges. I could barely walk 10 feet without having to rest. Each time I visited the LLS, I would push myself to walk another 10 steps or so until I eventually expanded to entire business complexes. As a result, I was NV top individual fundraiser for 5 years in a row. I was diagnosed in 2001 while 6 1/2 months pregnant with my 2nd daughter. She is healthy and I continue to live as a survivor. My husband, a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sergeant after 24 years, and I were interviewed when I was pregnant as it was quite the story. A police family based organization called FUN (Family Unity Network), which was a group with the LVMPD and a large networked group of friends, and people I had never met before came together and formed meal trains, babysitting schedules, laundry, cleaning, yard work and fundraisers for my family. We spent 2 solid years fighting for my life. I had very advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage 3B, while pregnant. Now I trudge on giving back when I have the opportunities and through OfficerDown.US.
Over the years, I have enjoyed raising money for different charities, people, and events. More often than not, I’ve tried to do so without seeking credit.
Having now been married nearly 20 years to a man who served for 24 as a Police Officer/ Detective, and more recently a Sergeant, I’ve seen the horrors and hate that have taken place near and far. Something happens when you’re family of someone in Law Enforcement. One becomes sensitive and protective. One has a situational awareness that sometimes makes us think we’re paranoid. We try to tell ourself that we overreact when we suspect the atmosphere is not quite right. We try not to buy into the paranoid drama of ‘my spouse goes to work and might not make it home’. And then the unthinkable happens.
On June 8, 2014, a date etched into many minds, two of our own were not even ambushed while working but brutally murdered while eating lunch at Cici’s. You can imagine the horror from within the Department and of every family member as well. But we did what we do. We buck up and support each other. The community bonded and did whatever they could. We did what we could to make life easier for ALL our spouses and did and do all we can for the Wives of Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo as well as the good citizen Joseph Cox who lost his life. After all, we’re all in this together.
While fundraisers were everywhere, so were people who wanted to donate. Some were at work. Some home watching children. Some on tight schedules. Some were sick in bed. Some were across the country. Some traveling businesspeople. Some didn’t have time, nor were they able to go to make a deposit at a bank. One of those people, a pioneer in Crowdfunding, recognized that in the day and age of modern technology and the Internet, there really needed to be an easier way. A gap was recognized. A hole needed to be filled. One that was dedicated to Law Enforcement and didn’t require large overhead. So, with the financial background and the Crowdfunding experience, he put together this idea and asked me if I would like to run with it. Perfect! With the passion I have and the newly available time (it’s turned out to be a lot more work than I ever thought it would), OfficerDown.US has been live online with campaigns since July 2014.
We are a 501c3, so every donation through our website receives a receipt with our tax ID #. All campaigns are somehow LEO related. LEOs, LEOWs, Family, Children, Parents, K-9s, Departments, efforts on behalf of LEOs for the community, etc.
Many of the campaigns we have done have been for the families of an officer killed while on duty as well as off duty deaths, injury or illness, Officers or Law Enforcement employees, or their family members. Sad! We’ve raised funds for K-9 vests and community events. Really, we are limited to charitable fundraising, which extends far and wide.