INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –Hundreds of backpacks are ready for kids in need throughout the community. The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police does the backpack program every year at the start of the school year but this year it’s in honor of fallen IMPD Officer Bre Leath.
Each backpack is filled with school supplies and complete with a special touch.
“We have the sunflower on the tag which was her favorite flower with a blue line on it that says #BeLikeBre so continuing on that Leath legacy,” said Rick Snyder, president of Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police.
IMPD Officer Bre Leath was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. Officer Leath is remembered for her compassion for her community and for kids.
“Bre was a huge supporter of our Shop with a Cop event had just participated this past December,” said Snyder.
Donations from the Shop with a Cop event are what paid for the 200 backpacks and supplies. Every year the FOP distributes backpacks to needy kids all throughout Indianapolis. FOP President Rick Snyder says this year, due to COVID concerns there was discussion about cancelling the event.
“Everything is being canceled right? We know our officers aren’t able to stay home they haven’t canceled their work or their efforts at all, in fact we’ve seen them doubling down their efforts in some of the most challenging times in our city’s history,” said Snyder.
This year, instead of doing door-to-door delivery, the FOP is using churches and organizations as drop-off locations. With many districts using e-learning, kids may need these resources more than ever.
“I think every obstacle we can take off the table for our youth as they’re trying to navigate through very uncertain times they and their families all the better,” said Snyder.
One black and white checkered flag bag will be given to Officer Leath’s young son. The backpack was chosen for a special reason.
“Since Bre’s funeral services were held at the track and the race is occurring during this time. It’s just a culmination of a lot of different events and important events in our city. It’s just the perfect combination,” said Snyder.
40 backpacks were dropped off at The Father’s House on the city’s southeast side. Dr. Christopher Holland is the Senior Pastor. He has a special connection to Officer Leath. Dr. Holland officiated Officer Leath’s funeral services.
“People who are very special and have given their life for the community, that memory is so quick to get pushed aside but the gift they gave, even greater than these kids, the gift they gave deserves that honor,” said Dr. Christopher Holland, Senior Pastor at The Father’s House.
When kids receive a backpack the hope is someone will be there to teach them what it means to #BeLikeBre.
“Her spirit and her commitment to this city continues to live on,” said Snyder.
This is the 5th year for the FOP’s backpack program. It’s the first time it’s been dedicated to an officer.
If you’re a parents and your child needs a backpack or if you’re interested in donating for supplies, call the Indianapolis FOP at 317.637.1195.