CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ks. – Thursday’s sunshine made things a little less stressful in Cherokee County, Kansas but that didn’t stop the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office or the Columbus, Kansas Fire Department from doing the same thing they did Wednesday: making food and blanket deliveries to county residents and checking to make sure they’re surviving the cold.
“This past week, we’ve had a combination of a lot of things: severe weather, people unable to get to work which means no income coming in. They’ve got kids at home that are eating that maybe would otherwise be eating at school. So, it’s just an additional burden on families that hopefully we were able to alleviate,” said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.
The sheriff’s office was able to provide food deliveries thanks to donations from county residents and businesses, and the Columbus Fire Department was able to deliver fleece blankets thanks to a partnership with local charity Dream Big Little One.
“We’re looking to make this a countywide effort. We have plenty of departments in our county that will help out with this, as well as the sheriff’s department. They’ll help deliver them out in the county if needed. So if there’s anybody in Cherokee County that’s in need of a blanket, reach out to us and we’ll make it happen,” said Columbus Fire Chief Steve Burton.
Protecting the people of Cherokee County is what these department’s are here for, but efforts like this show they do a lot more than just respond to crimes and fires.
“Being in law enforcement and serving the community isn’t always about enforcing the law and responding to calls. Certainly, that’s a component of it, but it’s also providing a service to the community and helping out however we can,” said Sheriff Groves.
“Fire departments all over the world are known for being more than just firefighters nowadays. We’re just trying to be a positive impact in our community, and anything we can do to make a greater impact, you can bet we’re going to be there doing it,” said Fire Chief Burton.
Tess Watson, founder of Dream Big Little One, issued a statement on her group’s partnership with the Columbus Fire Department.
She says, “I believe anytime agencies can partner together, it is a win-win for the community. We were gifted these blankets from an anonymous donor in Pittsburg this past summer and had enough to pass along to others who could use them. It’s all about coming together and being part of a solution.”