A family of four is helping two Detroit Police Department families while teaching their kids about giving back.
Kathleen Morgan and Lanae Gill noticed their 3-year-old daughter Elliot was watching TV and asking for a number of toys this year, so they decided they wanted to teach them something about sharing. That’s why they came up with an idea to help the families of two fallen Detroit police officers, by selling homemade treats.
“When we first put this out there we expected 50-60 bags,” said Lanae Gill. “I think by the first night we were pushing, probably, 75.”
The orders haven’t stopped either. The family has now turned their kitchen into an assembly line of sorts as sales have surpassed $1,200.
Morgan and Gill lay out pretzels while Elliot, and her younger sister Quinn, open Hershey’s kisses and place them on each pretzel. They bake them until they’re soft and then squish M&M’s onto them.
“We thought they were just going to be the faces of this, but they started getting really involved,” said Gill.
“Elliot and Quinn have been very helpful,” said Morgan. “You’re always proud of your kids, but when you ask her why she’s doing this and she says for the police officers and their families, that’s the best thing that can come out of this.”
Each bag of candies is being sold of $5. The proceeds will be split down the middle and given to the families of Sgt. Kenneth Steil and Officer Myron Jarrett.
Sgt. Steil was shot while on duty. The 20-year-veteran of the police department would recover from the initial shotgun blast to his shoulder, but complications arose and Steil died in the hospital. He left behind a wife and two young children.
Officer Jarrett, an eight year veteran of the force, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while helping other officers earlier this year. He also leaves behind a wife and children; two daughters and two sons.
The deaths struck Morgan close to the heart. She’s the daughter of a Michigan police officer, and found it hard to imagine what life would have been like if her father never came home from the job.
“With my Dad being an officer, particularly at the ages those officer’s kids are, I don’t know,” said Morgan. “I always just though Dad will come home from work. You think about these families and who this will be the first Christmas that their Dad won’t be there and I always think: That could have been me.”
While the family can’t bring those officers back, they’re hoping that this gesture reminds the Jarrett and Steil families that people in this area understand the sacrifice their loved ones made.
Morgan said she doesn’t care if they spend the money on something frivolous and fun, or put the money away for school. She and Gill simply hope it reminds the two families that no one is forgetting them as we continue into the holiday season.
If you’d like to order a gift bag of candy to support the families you can reach out to Morgan, Gill and their kids by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders that have already been made are being hand-delivered by their daughters before Christmas. They’re not certain how many more they’ll be able to guarantee early delivery for, but they said they’ll keep making them because the girls have said they want to.