Heart Land: Cincinnati officers buy basketball equipment for neighborhood kids

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Melkita Hill, a Cincinnati resident, was at a basketball court in College Hill with her three sons and their friends when two police officers showed up.

The two Cincinnati Police Department officers were checking in on the group when they realized the kids needed a new basketball net. The officers made their way to Walmart, buying a net and a basketball as well. They relayed through CPD Social Media Administrator Sgt. Eric Franz that they wished to remain anonymous.

Once the officers returned, one officer let 16-year-old Mikell Wynn use his shoulders as a ladder while they put on the new net. The gesture meant so much to not only the kids playing but to Hill. She took that moment to share her thoughts on Facebook last month, not expecting it to get so much traction.

“I wanted my people to see,” Hill said. “My family members and my friends to see – everybody don’t have to look at police, you know, in that way. Because there’s some good ones out here that do care about us as mothers, fathers, our children and being safe. So I just appreciate that with what’s was going on now, and how so much stuff going on in the world.”

After the officers finished the kind deed, Hill wanted to do something special in return. She made them gift baskets and dropped them off at the station. The story has been shared more than 5,000 times on Facebook.

“All don’t have hate in them this police went out his way to go buy a net for my son to put up and used his Shoulders to help my son put the net up so they can play basketball not many police like him care some don’t Ever take the time pulling ova checking on children but he did and took his time going to Walmart to go purchase a net for the kids and gave them a extra basketball folks like him need to be recognized in the community not many care for our children fathers, and mothers he said he don’t work to make arrest he works to keep the community safe”, wrote Hill in her Facebook post.

40,000 pounds of food delivered
Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio and The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints have teamed up to deliver 40,000 pounds of food to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elder Kevin Birch, regional ecclesiastical leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr met at Cincinnati Archdiocese offices to discuss various ways in which the two churches can partner to serve the region.

“In the midst of our struggles, we look to Christ and follow Him by loving and serving others,” Archbishop Schnurr said. “Throughout the pandemic, Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio has continued to make Christ present to those in need. We are deeply grateful to the local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their generous support and cooperation in this ministry.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated nearly 150,000 pounds of food to local food banks and Shelterhouse Cincinnati during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through donated funds, time and other resources by church members the food was produced to all those in need.

“We have been producing more than is needed for multiple years so there would be sufficient resources to assist others during, just such a time,” said President Wesley Foister, stake president of the Cincinnati North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs teamed up to deliver care packages of food to refugee and elderly neighbors, many of whom volunteer as senior companions or foster grandparents. Food was sorted and packed by the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion staff and delivered by volunteers to clients around Cincinnati while observing physical distancing.

To date, 1,596 families, 3,717 individuals, and 242 new families received assistance from the donation Catholic Charities received from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.