via DailyMail: A Michigan boy gave up his 11th birthday party to host a celebration thanking police officers for their service on Saturday after he and his mother raised $10,000 by selling cookies and taking donations through a crowdfunding website.
Jeremie Bordua of Lansing started his campaign in the summer of last year after seeing protests against police violence.
‘It makes me really sad,’ he told CBS News in September, likening the protesters to bullies. ‘I’ve been picked on ever since I was in kindergarten,’ he explained.
He told his mother, Marcella Telling, he would give up his birthday party to help pay for a thank-you ceremony, ‘Because the police are more important’ and she decided they could raise extra money by selling cookies and using the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.
Their story soon went national, and Jeremie’s campaign made $10,000 dollars through the site and the sale of around 300 boxes of cookies – many of which Jeremie delivered himself.
‘He tapped into something huge,’ Michelle Bryant of the Lansing Police Department told CBS News. ‘It was very uplifting and it did start to improve morale. He would stop in and deliver cookies and you could just see it on the officers’ faces. They would light up.’
And with the money he was able to put on a celebration for officers at Eastern High School’s Don Johnson Fieldhouse, attracting about 250 people, including about 60 uniformed officers from Michigan, and a few guests from outside the state.
One of those guests was Los Angeles police officer Gary Hall, who flew all the way to Michigan with his wife Cyndi to attend the event. He told the Lansing State Journal that he was so moved by Jeremie’s message that he couldn’t resist flying over.
‘After all the news coverage and everything, we start to feel like we’re getting kind of beat down,’ said Hall. ‘For a 10-year-old to be this selfless to give up his birthday party to thank the police, we both said, “You know what? We’re going to jump on a plane and fly out there.”‘
eremie was given his own police uniform at the ceremony, which was also attended by Lansing police chief Michael Yankowski and Ingham County sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth.
And after the ceremony officers lined up to thank Jeremie for his support. Officer James Revell, who had flown over from Statesboro, Georgia, told WILX: ‘We wanted to come and just shake his hand. I wish everybody in my could come put I was the lucky one that got to come up here.’
Many uniformed officers posed for photos with Jeremie, who was wearing his own uniform.
Speaking at the ceremony, Wrigglesworth told the crowd ‘It’s a tough thing to be a police officer. This is the proverbial hug that we need.’
And it’s been beneficial for Jeremie, too. His mom told WILX, ‘The kid that he is today, compared to when we first started this, is completely different child. He’s grown. He’s more confident. He smiles more.’
But Jeremie’s contribution to the police force didn’t end with the ceremony.
As the money he’d raised was considerably more than the amount needed to put on the party, Jeremie has decided to give the remainder to the Lansing Police Athletic League, a nonprofit organization that pairs up at-risk youths with police officers to play sports.