You can make a difference for California’s peace officers and their families. The California Tax Checkoff program is offering a quick, easy way to help 501(c)(3) organizations in the state, including the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation (CPOMF).
It’s important that we make a commitment to those who keep us safe. Every day, thousands of peace officers across the Golden State put on their uniforms hoping they will return safely. They hug their loved ones not knowing if it will be the final time. Their promise to serve and protect comes with an inherent risk of danger. In today’s uncertain world, peace officers have been targeted and others have lost their lives while protecting others.
While we hope to never see another family or community mourn, the unfortunate reality is that it will happen again; an officer will perish, a family will grieve and a community will be shocked.
Far too many of our protectors have given the ultimate sacrifice.
The family, friends and partners of more than 1,500 California officers know that terrible reality. Since 1977, they have come together each May to honor and remember those who have lost their lives in the line-of-duty. It is a solemn gathering that includes a candlelight vigil and a procession past hundreds of fellow officers who give a final salute. In 1988, the formal California Peace Officers’ Memorial was dedicated in Sacramento.
The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation does more than maintain the lasting tribute; it offers moral support, crisis counseling and financial support – including a scholarship fund – for the surviving spouses and children of officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
California Casualty has been a partner with California law enforcement for nearly 50 years, and, to show the commitment and respect for these American heroes, the company recently donated $25,000 to help sustain the CPOMF scholarship program. You can help too.
The California Tax Checkoff program makes it easier than ever for California tax payers to repay the debt to those who have given their lives for our safety with a tax-deductible donation to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation. Learn more at the CA Checkoff webpage, www.checkoffca.org.
Name: Scott M.
Years of Service: 3
What made you want to be an Educator? “A group of teachers and staff at Mabel K. Holland Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, who challenged me to join them, and together we could change the world for good, one student at a time.”
What do you like most about your job? “What do you like most about your job? “The positive exhaustion at the end of the school day, and the subsequent laughter collaborating with a community of professionals who support creativity (within the boundaries of good practice). We discuss what didn’t work, “Do not try this at home,” or what rocked, “This was awesome,” and we learn together how to teach best and serve our students.”
While working on his doctorate, Scott spent a year as a substitute teacher working with special needs students. He rose to the challenge with an amazingly positive attitude and an open mind to learn from teachers around him. Scott’s enthusiasm is throughout the classroom, whether it’s having award ceremonies for students and staff, dance parties, and songs, he is always making all students feel welcome and excited to be in his class. Colleagues say they are encouraged to put their best foot forward and strive toward high standards because of Scott being on the team.
Name: Walter H.
Occupation: Peace Officer
Years of Service: 25
What made you want to be a Peace Officer? “What I love most about being a Police Officer working and interacting with children was the relationships that I built with those students and the feeling that I could possibly make a difference in their lives.”
What do you like most about your job? “The reason I wanted to be a Police Officer was to help people and along with that came the opportunity to work with the youth, so it wasn’t the typical police career spent enforcing the law and making arrests or writing tickets. It was rewarding in a sense that I got a chance to build relationships in the community and build trust with the community that I served.”
Walter has gone above and beyond the call of duty for his community. He has started a youth academy, coached youth in sports. He takes time away from his own family to help feed families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Even though he has retired, he went back to his community to work as security in the public schools to help the relationships with the students. Even after the students have grown, Walter has left a positive impact on many people of his local community.
Name: Chris H.
Years of Service: 30
What made you want to be a teacher? “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Being a teacher runs in my family as both of my grandmothers were elementary school teachers. My mom also taught for 35 years.”
What do you like most about your job? “The kids are, by far, the best part of teaching. All of the different personalities, learning styles and prior experiences come together and make every day unique and interesting.“
Chris is not only a unique second grade educator, but she also coaches for her school. She leads the school’s intramurals program along with coaching soccer and basketball at the neighborhood middle school.
Chris says, “It gives me a chance to teach sports to my former students, and it gives me a chance to work with kids I wouldn’t know otherwise.”
Name: Wendy R.
Occupation: Law Enforcement
Years of Service: 19
What made you want to be in Law Enforcement? “A Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy came and spoke at my high school for a youth law class I took, and I decided that I wanted to be in law enforcement then. I realized I wanted to help people and be outside doing different things all day.”
What do you like most about your job? “I enjoy seeing little kids faces light up when they see me in uniform. I love knowing that I make a difference in people’s lives.”
On Saturday, June 4th in 2016, Santa Cruz County Deputies responded to a residential fire in Aptos, California. The home was fully engulfed, and the resident was trapped on the second floor of the house.
Deputy Ramm obtained a ladder from a neighbor’s home and rescued the resident by lifting her to the front door awning. She saved this woman’s life that day due to her quick thinking.
You have probably seen them; people around you who are super confident, loved by all and ready to rescue others when they need help with a task. They don’t wear a cape or mask, but they are revered by others.
How can you be like them?
It doesn’t take super powers like the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound or shoot laser beams from your hands or eyes to be a hero. Often times, all you need to do is conquer self-doubt and limitations; vanquishing the inner-villain thwarting the hero trapped inside of you.
Here are some easy steps to block self-doubt and other self-limiting obstacles:
- Be Brave – identify your fears and shine a light on them. We all have inner villains within us, but as superhero you can overcome the fears, and see the powers you have always had.
- Have Integrity – Stand up for what is right when no else does. The reward will be worth it.
- Save a Life – Reach out to others in need and serve, teach and guide them. Don’t forget to also rescue yourself. Defeating anxiety and stress can allow us to fly to happiness.
- Defeat Archrivals – Procrastination, laziness, self-defeat, and ignorance can all be villains to us. But we can to rise to the occasion and destroy them.
- Offer Hope – Be the person who is strong enough to offer hope in the face of overwhelming doubt or defeat. Let your optimism and decency brighten the path for others.
Simply employing your strengths and intuition can free up your mind, allowing you to become a superhero.
Remember, most superheroes have questioned themselves and their mission. By overcoming their doubts they were able to rise up and be a beacon to others while rescuing themselves in the process. They become everyday heroes to those around them.
At California Casualty, we recognize those who make a difference for their communities. That’s why we created the Nominate a Hero program, www.nominatemyhero.com. We want to honor educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs and health professionals who have gone above and beyond for others with a monthly $250 prize and the chance to be enshrined on the Hall of Heroes. Nominate your hero today!