Non-profit status better serves law enforcement officers in need
The Have A Heart Foundation of Union County recently announced its newly formed status as a non-profit organization at a ceremony marking the occasion on March 23 – and voiced its hopes of serving the families of law enforcement officers in times of crisis. On hand at the ceremony were police chiefs and sheriffs representing several Union County towns.
“They do so much work and receive so little reward,” President Robert Estridge said, “This is our way to give back to those who serve and protect us.”
The organization first formed back in 2007, following the injury of a friend and Stallings police officer while on duty. “He stopped two suspects with a gut feel that something was not right,” Estridge explained, “and one of them grabbed his stick and jumped him.” Forced to take time off to recover from resulting serious head injuries, Foundation founders wanted to help make ends meet. The group quickly organized a successful poker run that raised over $13,000 ensued – and Have a Heart was born.
The whole crew reunited again in 2008 to raise funds for another Stallings police officer whose young brother was suffering from inoperable spinal cancer. A second poker run this time raised close to $8,000. “We had so much success during these first two fundraisers that we decided to do something a little more permanent,” Estridge said.
The group’s 501(c)(3) charitable organization status offers many benefits, Estridge explains. In addition to being able to receive tax-deductible contributions, the Foundation can now apply for funding via grants. “Our base depends on donations,” Estridge said. ”Fortunately we are strictly volunteer and have low overhead, which means that every dollar raised goes back to law enforcement families in need.”
While there are no plans at this time for a specific fundraiser, you can bet that if an officer gets hurt or needs assistance during a crisis, the folks at Have a Heart Foundation of Union County will rally. To learn more or make a tax-deductible donation, visit the Foundation’s website at haveaheartfoundationoffunioncounty.org, or contact Bob Estridge at 704-847-1083.