“If not me, then who…”

I had the honor and privilege recently of standing with our local law enforcement while celebrating national “Coffee with a Cop” Day. On the website, https://coffeewithacop.com, you can find out more about this designated day to honor our law enforcement within our communities.

Building relationships, one cup at a time

Background

Coffee with A Cop was launched in Hawthorne, Calif., in 2011 when officers from the Hawthorne Police Department were looking for ways to interact more successfully with the citizens they served each day. Community policing has long been considered a framework for establishing trust between the community and the police.

However, over time the character and composition of our nation’s communities have changed due to shifting demographics, more commuters, and the introduction of different communication methods such as websites and social media.

The Hawthorne Police Department hit upon a simple plan to break through the barriers that have been built over the years — a cup of coffee. Coffee with a Cop events are now held in all 50 states and is one of the most successful community-oriented policing programs across the country. The program has also expanded to outside the Unites States to Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Latin America. The key to Coffee with a Cop’s growing success is that it opens the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together.

Recognizing the importance of our law enforcement and all first responders during the times we are in currently is more important than ever before. As I spoke to our local law enforcement men and women, I shared how much I appreciated them, respected them, and would not want to live a day without them. We are so fortunate to have them protecting us and sacrificing for us, along with their families that must sacrifice for us as well, while we come and go and enjoy our freedom. I sleep at night and come and go during the day knowing we have protection in and around our community.

Also, the Travis Manion Foundation, which you can find out about on https://www.travismanion.org/, states their mission as follows.

Out duty

Empower individuals to unite communities

TMF strives to unite and strengthen communities by training, developing, and highlighting the role models that lead them. We develop programs, training opportunities, and events designed to empower veterans and families of the fallen, and then inspire them to pass on their values to the next generation and the community at large.

Our story

Inspired by a legacy of service

The inspiration for our foundation comes from its namesake. Dedicated to 1st Lt Travis Manion, USMC, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of his patrol in 2007, TMF carries on the legacy of selfless service and leadership embodied by Travis and all those who have served, or continue to serve, our nation.

A powerful mantra

“If not me, then who ...”

Before his final deployment to Iraq, Travis left us with a simple but powerful ethos. “If Not Me, Then Who ...” describes the sense of duty felt by service members and their families. Today it is a constant reminder for all of us to live with character and put the interests of others before our own.

I have been honored and humbled to run in the previous Heroes Run in our local run in Chattanooga honoring and remembering the Fallen 5. On July 16, 2015, Chattanooga was forever changed. With this tragedy, the run/walk five miles to remember and honor each of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice, was started in Chattanooga. As decided by the families of the five servicemen, all profits from the event was donated to help fund a permanent memorial that was built near the NOSC off Amnicola Highway.

Once again, this year the Heroes Run was planned but turned into a virtual race due to COVID-19. I was very disappointed not to be able to participate in person, but I could still support this event and the families of those that have sacrificed much by signing up to do the virtual run, which I did.

I was waiting for the best day to run this run, when it occurred to me that within my community, there would be no better day to run the “Heroes Run” than when celebrating “Coffee with a Cop” day. Not only could I celebrate and honor our local law enforcement, I could share with them this one event that remembers and honors not only our local law enforcement, first responders and public safety as all our “heroes”. It is not a sacrifice to run for them, but it is a tremendous privilege to know I can do something in their honor, even if in just one small way. I ran six miles “Running in honor of all First Responders” praising and praying along the way, not just for those in my community, but across our state and our country.

In 2020, our country and communities are struggling in many ways due to COVID-19 and racial unrest, but we are the most blessed country in the world and are blessed and privileged to have our “local everyday heroes” protecting us locally and across our wonderful country each and every day.

Thank you for your sacrifices each and every day!

Lisa J. Heyer, GRI, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Jackson Realty, broker/owner. She can be reached at lisa@lisaheyer.com.

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