Of all the charitable events and fundraisers BBO supports or hosts, few measure up to the response that is generated from our members as when it comes to helping children. While you rarely read about it newspapers or see it on social media, no one cares for their community like the American police officer; and caring for our children, especially ones that are ill, is a big part of that.
Since 2014, BBO has capitalized on the fact that we are a nationally recognized charity and have used that to our advantage, having visited hospitals on both coasts, as far north as Boston and as far south as Florida.
BBO has made two visits to the Goryeb Children’s Hospital, located in Morristown, NJ. During our first visit, we were both honored and humbled to be invited into their newly opened and state of the art Oncology wing. While we were amazed at the level of care being offered, it made our hearts heavy seeing how young the patients really were. Being able to provide some distraction and bring out the smiles was exactly what the doctor ordered.
On our second visit to Goryeb Children’s Hospital, the children (and the adults for that matter), may have gotten their last look at the life-sized Toys-r-Us Geoffrey the Giraffe. As was the case for both visits, BBO founder Michael Burke made sure that costumed guests, including Batman, Santa and Paw Patrol joined us. However, for the second visit, Michael out did himself and bought along a 8 foot tall Geoffrey.
Our Long Island members, dressed as elves and, of course, Santa, paid a special visit to the children’s center at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. Joined by uniformed members of BBO, Santa and Olaf from ‘Frozen’ toured the hospital handing out gifts supplied by our members.
Our New England members were given a unique opportunity. While at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, members of BBO served as “Greeters of the Day’. As such, BBO was set up at the entrance of the hospital, greeting incoming patients as well as current ones, while handing out stuffed BBO German Shepherd stuffed animals and presents supplied by our members. They even gave away a PS4 as part of a # campaign, where they asked visitors to post on their social media using a #, and then randomly selected a winner out of those who posted!
Our Florida members, affectionately known as ‘Chapter 1’, paid a visit to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital located in Hollywood, Florida. As fate would have it, Santa was there too! This time, not only was Santa joined by Spider Man and X-Men, but even Broward County Sheriff’s K-9 Macie made an appearance. It’s hardly a secret that nothing cheers up children like affection from a dog!
Our west coast members put a different spin on our hospital visits during their trip to the Rady Children’s Hospital located in San Diego, CA. Rather than the traditional holiday visit, BBO decided to do “Christmas in July”. More than the gifts and the visit, the fact that it came completely off-season and unexpected as it did made it extra special for the children receiving care.
While BBO will no doubt continue to grow and seek charitable ventures outside of the law enforcement circle, few will be as rewarding as visiting hospitals and putting the smiles back where they belong.
For more information on the hospitals mentioned, please visit: