REDDING – Thirteen first responder-families who lost their homes in Redding less than two weeks ago are learning firsthand just how close-knit their brothers and sisters in law enforcement really are.
“These families are overwhelmed having lost their homes and everything inside,” said Jennifer Davis, the wife of a veteran Sacramento police officer who drove from Sacramento to Redding on August 5, 2018 to deliver donations she and others collected for first responder-families who lost everything. “Firefighters, law enforcement officers, nurses, we reached out to first responders.”
California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and California Alcoholic Beverage Control Agents (CABCA) Member Luke Blehm, a California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agent, was one of the first responder-fire victims on the receiving end of Davis’ extreme kindness. “You’re overwhelmed with emotions and become extremely exhausted with the constant and growing list of what needs to happen next. To be able to stop everything for a moment and receive these gifts, and just the emotional support alone, meant everything to my family. Thank you to all who are helping the fire victims. Thank you to all those who are involved in the safety of our community.”
Davis spent a week gathering donations and with the help of five others, packed them specifically with each of the 13 families in mind. Crates were packed with new clothing and blankets, gift cards, personal necessities, recreational items and even a 40 percent discount off new law enforcement gear by SafariLand for those who lost their equipment in the fire.
“I can say, this experience is one of the best experiences I have endured. We were able to connect with our first responder families, show our support and love even though we ourselves were not directly impacted,” said Davis. “I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support and team work to get this mission accomplished.”
Like many of the fire victims, Agent Blehm and his family are in temporary housing before moving into a rental home. “Nothing is normal right now, but we have our families, we’ll soon be returning to work, and we will rebuild. The important thing is we have each other,” said Blehm. “Again, my sincere thank you to my colleagues at ABC, CABCA, FOP, my law enforcement family, the community, and people I don’t even know who have had us in their thoughts and prayers. My family is grateful and overwhelmed by the support.”