The Billerica Select Board and Town Manager John Curran with Billerica Police and a flag presented by Cops for Kids with Cancer at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday night. (Courtesy Billerica Police Department)
BILLERICA 一 Chief Roy Frost is proud to announce that the Billerica Police Department was recognized by Cops for Kids with Cancer, a non-profit that works to support the families of children with cancer, at the Billerica Select Board meeting this week.
Cops for Kids with Cancer began as a bet between two police officers in Boston who gave funds to hospitals to support pediatric cancer patients, and later began supporting families directly. The 501(c)(3) charitable organization has since supported 914 families with over $4.75 million in funds that are provided no strings attached to support families in any way they need, whether that be for transportation, food, or incidental costs that often get overlooked as families focus on medical bills. The organization provides families with a $5,000 check to spend as needed.
“Cops for Kids with Cancer has helped us focus on one of our priorities, which is being there for our community,” Chief Frost said. “No one is more deserving than families dealing with the tragedy of a cancer diagnosis in a child.”
Billerica Police have supported Cops for Kids with Cancer for about 15 years. For about half of that time funding for the non-profit has come from all sworn officers of the Billerica Police Department contributing $2 per week from their paycheck. Most departments contribute to the organization via fundraisers and events, but Billerica Police wanted to establish more consistent funding.
“Sgt. Mark Tsoukalas came up with the idea of donating a small piece of our paychecks every week — just a small amount — so we could have guaranteed income for our donations to the organization,” Frost said. “Now we’re able to fund a $5,000 check for a family on a yearly basis.”
Sal Mirabella Jr., a sergeant with the Emerson College Police Department and a member of the Board of Directors for Cops for Kids with Cancer, said Billerica Police have donated $24,481 to the nonprofit since January of 2016.
“Cops for Kids with Cancer recognizes police departments who contribute a significant amount to our organization, and it was long overdue that we recognized the Billerica Police Department for what they have done for more than a decade,” Mirabella said. “They donate to us weekly, and it’s departments like that which we really rely on.”
Mirabella said any police department in New England can sponsor a family with a child under age 21 who is battling cancer. Departments do not have to have previously contributed in order to sponsor a family. Cops for Kids with Cancer currently provides a $5,000 check to eight families per month across New England.
Frost said he hopes to see more police departments adopt Billerica’s funding method, because he believes creating a more consistent funding source could significantly increase the organization’s ability to support families.
“The need is there, and we have the ability to make an impact,” Frost said.
About Cops for Kids with Cancer:
Cops for Kids with Cancer is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides funds directly to those involved in the care of children with cancer, with each family typically receiving $5,000. There are many organizations raising money for important research, but the goal of Cops for Kids with Cancer is to help the children and their caregivers through this most difficult crisis. Over the years, Cops for Kids with Cancer has given more than $4.75 million to 914 families with children battling cancer. To learn more, visit: https://copsforkidswithcancer.org.