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Young woman church group donates 25 comfort kits for children in need

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IDAHO FALLS — Reagan Rhodes of Idaho Falls knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up.

The 13-year-old girl wants a career helping others, like law enforcement or fighting fires. In her efforts to learn from first responders, she found an idea on ways to help them. An idea the 16-18 year old girls in her church group jumped at.

After speaking with family friend and Idaho Falls Police Department Patrol Officer Jose Abreo, Rhodes learned there were many children in the area experiencing hardships, trauma, or crisis. The best way to help police, she determined, was to help these kids.

“When you ask (police) what can we do for you, they don’t think of themselves,” Reagan’s mother, Becky, tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They really put the people they serve first.”

The girls went right to work. The young woman church group made comfort kits for kids in these situations. It involved asking for donations from people in the community, including stuffed animals, fleece material to make blankets, crayons, activity and coloring books, new or gently used toys and more. Becky went to Facebook groups to spread the idea.

“It just kind of came together,” says Becky, who also serves as a leader for her daughter’s young women’s group.

The donations came pouring in and the girls were able to put together 25 kits for Officer Abreo to deliver on Wednesday evening.

“It was just really neat. When we got back out of the police station, they were like ‘we haven’t done something that feels this good in a long time,'” Becky says.

Reagan is excited to help oversee the collection of even more donations, after seeing the success the group had, and seeing just how many people they can really help. The girls have leftover items they plan on making into more kits and donating to other law enforcement agencies throughout eastern Idaho.

Abreo says the goal of every officer is to show kids that they are here to help. Donations like these help reach children in ways that are hard to understand and helps break down barriers between officers and kids in traumatic situations.

“It brings that barrier down for that child to trust somebody,” says Abreo. “Unfortunately, they aren’t always treated the best way. To them, it’s kind of shocking when they are given a gift.”

Acts of service like these mean a lot of police officers, Abreo says, and he’s grateful for the girl’s kindness.

“Their mentality of helping others is where everyone should be,” he said.

To donate or become involved, call Becky at (208) 589-1371 or email her at tofutitans@hotmail.com. For more information, call IFPD Public Information Officer Jessica Clements at (208) 612-8655.

Comfort Kits for Kids supplies

Comfort Kits for Kids kits

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