“…you know what we should do?”
The news was rough for our friends in Chicago in August 2019 and it was then that the words came “…you know what we should do?”
The hope was for the men and women of Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department to feel appreciated and valued. A road trip, a cookie caravan, like we’ve never had before was in the making. We knew we wanted it the support to be heard and to be visible. We knew we’d need to go big. 21,000 big.
- 21,000 fresh baked cookies
- 6 bakers
- 11 caravan friends
- 4 large SUVs to transport
- 750 approx miles
- 21 hours on the road
- ENDLESS smiles and fun
We giggle that we aren’t sure that our contacts within CPD and CFD knew exactly what to expect but it didn’t take long for them to realize that we weren’t there to just drop off cookies and turn back around. We were there to shake the hands of those doing the work, those we value so much.
DID YOU KNOW?
Chicago PD is the 2nd largest police department and Chicago FD is the 3rd largest fire department in the United States.
- Chicago PD is made up of 23 districts and employs approximately 12,000 officers with over 13,000 total employed with CPD.
- Chicago FD is made up of 5 districts | 25 battalions | 98 stations. CFD employs approximately 4,500 firefighters and paramedics of their total (approx) 5,100 total employees.
Of the above, we delivered and visited with 4 police districts and the 5 fire district houses.
When we’d tell our PD escorts that we didn’t want to disrupt things, they’d assure us that it was the most welcome disruption they could ask for. They laughed that radios were alive with chatter of cookie capers and cookie monsters. They told us that everyone was having such a great time with our visit and the gift of cookies for all. We can’t tell you how hearing this made our day. Each new officer who came to retrieve the cookies for their district would comment on the weight of the 350-400 cookies per box and that alone would stir new laughter and smiles each time.
At Police and Fire HQ, we were honored to meet the Police and Fire Commissioners. We know it’s a big deal for them to take time from their incredibly busy day to visit with us and for this, we can’t thank them enough.
Each visit to a new fire station brought such fun and smiles. Our fire friends have a different type of job, usually giving more time in between runs to talk with us and spend time. The station for E81 was empty when we arrived but a short time later they returned and the fun took off. Battalion Chief Williams offered so much laughter; it was hard to not be drawn to his contagious personality. The station for E18 is home to the set for Chicago Fire (the show) so that was an entirely different type of stop than we’ve ever had before. Those at the station for E108 were mostly out when we arrived but again, it didn’t take long for them to return. A bit of a basketball challenge with the kids, lots of chatter and a few great pics before we were off again. Last but certainly not least on our fire side were those with E48/T48/A177. Like some of the other stations, they offered us coffee and knowing we had another 4.5 hours to expect on the drive home, we took them up on the offer. It was truly like sitting around the kitchen table with family here. Before we knew it, 1.5-2 hours had passed, a testament to how comfortable they made us feel. When it was time to leave, great care was given to ensuring we safely made it to the highway for our journey back to Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky. We cannot thank them enough for everything.
Chicago PD / Chicago FD, we can’t thank you enough for the hospitality and warm welcome received and the endless smiles and fun we had during our visit. Our time with you further energized our passion for our mission. Our time with you has given us a desire for a new direction – the addition of a new road trip with each campaign to come. You will forever be a part of our story and will forever have a place in our hearts.
WE APPRECIATE AND VALUE YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO.
WE PRAY FOR YOUR CONTINUED SAFETY.