Local nonprofit The Blue Bow Foundation had a busy year in 2016, and founders have high hopes to continue growing this year.
The organization was founded in 2015 by Cy-Fair residents Kimberly and William Colley with the goal of supporting law enforcement officers in the area. The nonprofit gets its name from the blue bows that Kimberly handcrafts and sells for fundraising purposes, which residents are encouraged to tie around trees in their neighborhoods to demonstrate support for local officers.
The money they raise is used to help officers and their families in a variety of ways, including emotional support, hardship assistance, financial counseling, educational scholarships, and equipment grants. In 2016, the foundation gave out more than $4,700 in assistance, Kimberly said.
"The support we’ve received since we began has really inspired us," she said. "As the community continues to rally around what we’re doing and who we’re helping, we expect those numbers to skyrocket."
Officers can apply to the foundation for assistance, and the foundation's board reviews applications and determines what requests they are able to help with. The kinds of assistance given out in 2016 varied from a "12 days of Christmas"-style giveaway—where a different local officer received a gift they were in need of in the 12 days leading up to Christmas—to providing scholarships for officers to attend Financial Peace University, a program run through the Champions Forest Baptist Church that teaches students financial literacy and how to manage money.
The foundation also announced a partnership this month with the Emergency Chaplain Group, which provides chaplaincy service to EMS, fire, paramedic and police agencies with an emphasis on critical incident stress mitigation. Kimberly has started working with the group to help the wives of local officers learn how to cope with injuries and loss of life.
The foundation hosts fundraisers throughout the year and has several events planned for 2017, including the second annual Blue Plate Dinner in September and a crawfish boil on April 23.
The nonprofit gets its name from the blue bows crafted by Kimberly and sold as a fundraiser to show support for local law enforcement.[/caption]
“The crawfish boil is going to be a huge event,” Kimberly said. “It’s family friendly and a great way to meet other supporters of law enforcement and to find out more about The Blue Bow Foundation. We want everyone to come see us.”
For the cost of the $20 admission, the crawfish boil includes three pounds of crawfish, potato, corn and a draft beer. The event, which also includes a cornhole tournament, will take place at 11 a.m. at the Bareback Bar & Icehouse, 19940 Kuykendahl Road, Spring. All proceeds go to support the foundation.
The Blue Plate Dinner is set to take place Sept. 30 from 7-10 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 7979 Willow Chase Blvd., Houston. The keynote speaker will be Texas author Christy Beam, who wrote "Miracles from Heaven."
A happy hour event where the public is invited to come meet local law enforcement is in the works for May, and a golf tournament is planned for August, but details on those events are still being finalized, William said.
For more information or to donate to the foundation, visit www.bluebow.org or www.facebook.com/bluebowtx, or contact the foundation at email@example.com.