After distributing Christmas cards as a fundraiser for local law enforcement officials last year, a local resident is seeking assistance from the public once again.
This year, Brenda Wallot is putting together multiple fundraisers and is currently selling car decals for $10 and yard signs for $20 to raise funds for various towns throughout McMinn County.
Englewood’s proceeds will be going toward the historic water tower, while sales in the City of Etowah will be used to help supply the Etowah Police Department with some new equipment.
“I spoke with the Interim police chief of Etowah and I was granted permission for a fundraiser because they just received a new K-9 and they do not have a vest for her,” Wallot said. “The officers are also in need of new body cams.”
She also hopes to be able to supply medical supplies to both the Etowah police and fire departments.
Those interested in helping the cause can also make monetary donations or donate medical supplies.
“I will be in Englewood at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday distributing car decals and yard signs in the parking lot of the police station,” she said.
Donations or purchases can also be made during times she is not currently set up outside of a venue by messaging her on Cards For Caring Hands Facebook page or her personal Facebook page.
Her monetary goal is $1,000 for each city.
Last year, Wallot distributed Christmas cards, but the project has been changed to the decal and yard signs this year due to COVID-19.
“I am also doing this because it really brings our support to our first responders to our hometown,” she said. “It doesn’t get much closer than this. I always walk up and shake their hand, tell them thank you for what they do ... They need us right now as much as we need them.”
Raising money for first responders is important to her due to her family history.
“My grandfather was a police officer for the railroad, my other grandparent was a fire chief in Detroit and we have had numerous family members in different generations that have served in one branch or another of the military,” Wallot stated. “Both of my sons are in the military — the eldest is an Air Force Iraq veteran and the youngest is a current member of the Army National Guard.”
COVID-19 has presented additional difficulty for her to host fundraisers.
“The hardest part is a lot of people are not in their offices and it is making it difficult to get a hold of them,” she said. “It is making me double my effort and making me even more persistent ... I’m not giving up and just because it is not Christmas doesn’t mean that we can’t get behind our first responders, because they really need us right now.”