The community and police came together to ensure children were armed with school supplies and prepared to learn on the first day of school.
Divisional Policing Support Unit Neighbourhood Resource Officer Constable Patty Retsinas along with 11 Division Neighbourhood Resource Officers Janet Barr, Matt Wong, George Reis and James McCabe held a fundraising barbecue recently to buy knapsacks and other school supplies for children in the Cooper Mills area where community worker Sharon Joseph runs the Breakaway Relief Foundation (BRF).
Founded in 2003 in her basement, the BRF – now located at 4020 Dundas St. W. – offers family counselling, crime prevention and other community programs.
Community members, such as Sylvia Smith, also helped the event, which raised almost $700 to buy school supplies for the students who returned to the classroom on September 2.
“We are doing the right thing giving back to the community,” she said, noting it is great to work with Neighbourhood Resource Officers that are assigned to Cooper Mills.
“To see us building the bridges with police and working together is really nice to see. Officers come and go, but to see the same officers all the time working hard with the same community to make it a safer place makes a difference.”
Retsinas said she and the other officers were happy to play their part as the payoff from children was
“I love to see the smiles on the kids’ faces and when they come up and give you a hug, it’s touching,” she said, of delivering the school supplies to kids.