A group of FishHawk residents is making it their mission to brighten the days of local law enforcement agents.
Brittani Abdallah and Pam Kitts recently started a Facebook group called Gifts for Guardians to connect local police officers with the people who want to show how much they appreciate them.
“We decided to start this group because of everything happening right now in the world and in the news,” said Abdallah. “Our police are very important and we can’t live without them. I feel it’s very important for us now, more than ever, to show them that we support them, need them and love them.”
Abdallah, whose father is a retired Tampa police sergeant, began collecting items and putting them into gift bags in an effort to let officers know she appreciates what they are doing every day.
“I know personally how hard the job is and how much they sacrifice on a day to day basis. There are bad people in the world, in every profession, and unfortunately police are not excluded from that,” she said. “But 99 percent wake up every day and put their lives at risk to save ours.”
The response Gifts for Guardians received online overwhelmed Abdallah, who received donations for her bags from many people within hours of her first post.
“So many have wanted to donate to help with the bags,” she explained.
Once the bags are assembled, Abdallah drives to locations around FishHawk and hands them out to officers she sees. She has also left bags at homes where she has noticed a police car parked.
“The appreciation the men and women have shown that have received these little gifts has brought us to tears,” she said. “Though the gifts can’t compare to the large sacrifice that they give, I believe the impact we are making is huge.”
Abdallah has plans to grow the group out of the FishHawk area and is also looking for officers to show appreciation with her bags.
To learn more about the group, search for Gifts for Guardians on Facebook.