I work as a police officer in the south district for the City of Madison police department. I responded to a call where the caller was having serious mental health concerns. When I arrived, I spoke with the woman, who was later admitted to the hospital for her mental health concerns. Right when I got there, I noticed the woman had her 11 year old daughter with her. The daughter was very afraid, probably due to her mother’s behavior as well as the police coming to the scene. I was able to talk to the girl briefly and then said I was going to be right back. The girl had begun crying from her fear. I went and retrieved the REACH-A-Child™ backpack from my squad. I selected a chapter book and provided the girl with one of the backpacks in the bag. I gave both of these to the girl, who stopped crying and began talking to me about the book as well as how well she was doing in school. The woman and her child had been living in a motel and had no personal belongings with them. When I told the girl she could keep both the book and the backpack, I could tell she was very grateful to have something which she could possess again. As the girl was picked up by a family member, she showed off the backpack and book, proud to have something to bring along. The REACH-A-Child™ program is such a wonderful tool to have, especially in times of crisis for children! Thank you so much! We are grateful to have the REACH-A-Child™ backpacks and books available!
Officer Amelia Levett, Madison Police Department South District