NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Law enforcement have experienced tragedy and heart break over recent months, and for many it has inspired them to show their appreciation for the sacrifices made by first responders. Fredonia Hill Baptist church used their resources to reach out and let local peace officers know how much they mean to this community.
"They have just had a hard year and we just wanted to show support to them, and pray for them," said Heather Lazarine who organized the event after making the 'blessing boxes' during vacation bible school. They hope others will be inspired by their effort.
"It goes to show that our churches in our country can make an impact, and they need to come together around these officers and their families and really make a difference in their lives," Lazarine said.
Children that attended said their favorite part was interacting with the police officers and having the chance to thank them for their service.
"Just getting to see them, and pray with them, it makes it really special to see how much they care," said Adeline Carillio who attends Fredonia Hill Baptist Church.
In addition, Lazarine said this was an opportunity to show children that officers are people just like them, and establish a healthy relationship between the two.
"I think its teaching the young generation that it doesn't matter your age, you can still make a difference in someone's life no matter your age," Lazarine said. "It's also a chance to show them that they aren't mean and scary and they do care and want to protect them"
The group encourages those in the community to reach out to officers in their own ways.
"It's not only the peace officers, it's their families and just a hug or just something as simple as a, 'Hi, thank you we appreciate you,' that goes a long way in their hearts that we appreciate the work their doing," Lazarine said.
What made it all worth it for this group of volunteers was seeing the look on the officers faces when they could tell how much of an impact it made.
"They were just overjoyed that there are people out there that are praying for them and their families and it was just a joy to see the happiness the joy we brought to them."
Fredonia Hill visited the police department first before making their way to the sheriff's department and said they encourage other organizations to do what they can show appreciation to officers.