<![CDATA[bluethanksgiving.com - News!]]>Wed, 22 Jun 2022 00:48:15 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[A Blue Family Christmas 2021]]>Tue, 28 Dec 2021 03:04:27 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-blue-family-christmas-2021
<![CDATA[A Blue Family Christmas...Meet our heroes]]>Sat, 27 Nov 2021 06:15:00 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-blue-family-christmasmeet-our-heroes
​​As Christmas approaches, we ask that you keep the men and women in law enforcement who serve our community in your thoughts and prayers. While preparing for joyous holiday celebrations with your friends and family, it’s important to stop and reflect on the joys and blessings in your own life, while also recalling those who are not as fortunate.  We invite you to join with us in supporting four local law enforcement families who have each had a very difficult year. Between them, these Cobb County law enforcement officers, two of whom have children between 3 months and 6 years of age, have endured life-threatening illnesses, medical procedures, multiple surgeries, cancer treatments and more.  They have suffereded time away from work, loss of income, and enormous medical bills, all while struggling to support their families. 
Here, you can read about each officer and a little about the medical hardships they have endured this year.  Blue Thanksgiving has created an Amazon wish-list filled with items the children of these families would like for Christmas.  We have also included items from these officers’ and their wives’ “wish lists”;  You can view this list at
To make a financial donation, please use our “Join Us” page at www.bluethanksgiving.com/join-us.html or send a check payable to Blue Thanksgiving to PO Box 5238 Marietta, GA 30061.  Gift cards for Target, Publix, Kroger, Amazon and restaurants can also be mailed to our PO Box.  If you wish for your donation to be directed specifically to one of these families, please make note of that with your donation.  Otherwise, all funds raised will be distributed among the four officers.  If you would like more information, please use our “Join Us” page or email us at info@bluethanksgiving.com .  You may also call us at 770-419-4027 with any questions you may have about us or this project.

Officer Daniel Hicks
Officer Daniel Hicks, age 29, has been with the Cobb County Police department for 6 years and is stationed at precinct 5.  In February of 2019, a regular doctor visit to monitor his diabetes revealed that Officer Hicks was suffering from kidney disease and that his kidney function was rapidly declining. After a diagnosis of stage 4 renal disease, officer Hicks began dialysis and was placed on a waiting list for both a kidney and a pancreas transplant. On September 22, 2021, Officer Hicks received both kidney and pancreas transplant.  During surgery there were multiple complications and he remains in a physical therapy facility where he is recovering.  He and his wife Brittany have been together 12 years and have a four year old son, Daniel, Jr.

Detective Jame Uzee
 Detective Uzee has served Cobb County with the Police Department for 21 years of his nearly 30 years in law enforcement.  On September 28, 2021, he and his family learned that he was suffering from brain cancer (glioblatoma) that required surgical removal. On October 5, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor and on the 22nd he was released from the hospital.  Det. Uzee is now undergoing physical therapy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and working toward his healing and recovery.  This treatment is expected to continue for a full year, along with treatments via Optune through Novocure, which provides patients with a 45% chance of extended life.  Detective Uzee’s family is filled with public servants.  His wife Laurie has been working in the Tax Commissioner’s office (tag office) for nearly 15 years.  They have five sons including one who is with the VA, after serving in the Navy, another who is a Lieutenant in the Army, stationed in Houston, a Cobb County Firefighter, and a Specialist in the Army, stationed in Savannah. 
Another MRI is scheduled for Detective Uzee on December 22, to update his status. 
Detective Wade Wagnon
Detective Wagnon has been with the Cobb County Police department for 28 years and is presently serving East Cobb at Precinct Four.  In December 2020, he was diagnosed with “kryptogenic cirrhosis”; a genetic form of liver disease.  A MELD (Model for End stage Liver Disease) score is used to determine if a transplant is needed and when, and Detective Wagnon’s score dictates a transplant will be necessary at some point.  With the possibility of liver cancer a real danger, he is constantly tested to ensure a transplant is not a more immediate necessity.  Detective Wagnon takes numerous medications as a result of his condition to remove excessive ammonia to minimize his suffering.  Officer Wagnon has been married to his wife, Annette (a Cobb 911 dispatcher), for eight years.  They, along with young adult sons Matthew and Zachary, live in Kennesaw.  
Deputy Sheriff Keith Lundy
 Deputy Lundy is with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and lives with his wife and two daughters in Kennesaw.  On July 13, 2021 Lundy’s wife Tameeka went into labor at 28 weeks and prematurely delivered their youngest child Arielle.  The baby remained in Northside Hospital until October 1st when she was finally released to go home.  The same day their newborn came home, their 3-year-old Zariah was sent home early from daycare due to another child testing positive for Covid-19.  By October 3rd, Zariah began showing symptoms and the next day the entire family tested positive for Covid-19.  While everyone recovered, Tameeka worsened and on October 13 was admitted to the hospital.  She remains at Emory University Hospital in stable condition with ECMO machine, a ventilator and other multiple procedures to keep her breathing and stable. 
Deputy Lundy is home caring for their 4-month-old and 3-year-old daughters.  He is now on emergency leave, with FMLA leave pending.
<![CDATA[Goodbye 2020!]]>Sun, 27 Dec 2020 04:07:49 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/goodbye-2020As we near the end of an incredibly busy year filled with more than anyone ever could have imagined we'd see, we'd like to offer up a very brief re-cap of 2020.  
Back in March when it was becoming more and more evident that the Corona Virus was becoming something much larger than originally thought, a financial supporter came to us and jump started what would be the largest project we had attempted to date.  Our "2020 Pandemic Project", as we appropriately named it, included weeks of hard work, negotiating meal purchases with local restaurants, arranging pickup and deliveries, purchasing of dry goods, and other grocery items, contacting command staff at every precinct and agency in Cobb County and ensuring every shift at every location received at least one meal delivery, so our officers and 911 personnel could enjoy a safe meal while on duty.  We extended beyond the Cobb boarders and even included some of our Fire heroes.  We also acquired hundreds of face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer, early in the pandemic when these items were extremely hard to locate and purchase, and delivered to agencies all over the county.  
In April, the county mourned the loss of Christopher Ewing, a Smyrna PD officer.  We were honored to present a hand made quilt from another nonprofit out of Vermilion Ohio, "Fallen Blue Quilts", to officer Ewing's widow and daughter.  Along with the quilt, we presented two memorials, one to the family and the other to the Smyrna Police Department.
Other efforts throughout the year included support to officers who faced difficult times due to illness.  One such officer was provided a weekend get-away and "date night" with his wife, after he had suffered with Covid-19 and had quarantined in a tent in their back yard, because household family members were immune compromised and he did not want to risk their catching this disease from him.  
Later in the year as we approached the Thanksgiving holidays, we once again returned to our original mission of providing Thanksgiving day meals to all the on duty day shift officers in Cobb County, both city and county municipalities.  With an overwhelming response from the community, and with the help of about 30 volunteers,  this Thanksgiving was an incredible one.  Meals were purchased from two restaurants in Cobb ("Come-n-Get It" and "Cracker Barrel") and staging of dry goods, cold items and supplies took place in donated space provided by "Paul's Pot Pies" in Kennesaw.  This project took place over an amazing week and on Thanksgiving day, things could not have come together any better.
As the Christmas holidays rolled around, our "Blue Family Christmas" (Formerly "A Church Family Christmas") involved sponsoring THREE officers with Cobb PD and a Cobb Sheriff's Deputy.  Although we were somewhat nervous about taking on this many families, the community response was overwhelming, once again and with the support of many wonderful people, we successfully provided gifts for the children of these heroes and financial gifts that were significant enough to make a very positive impact.  We cannot thank the community, our blue family, our corporate sponsors, the organizations and foundations who provided grants, the volunteers who worked tirelessly on the event held at Glover Park Brewery in Marietta, the Luminary "Light the Night" fundraiser and even those who are not from the area, but heard about this project and sent donations to help.  If you would like to know more about this project, please read the post below titled "A Blue Family Christmas" and see the video at https://www.facebook.com/bluethanksgiving/videos/906680406739296 and photos attached to this post.
As the year comes to a close, we continue to work hard to ensure our heroes know they are appreciated.  Publix in Kennesaw and Marietta continue to donate bakery goods that are picked up and delivered five days a week by our amazing volunteers under the leadership of our volunteer coordinator, Liz Sanchez.  Our fundraiser coordinator, Paula Zeillinger is already brainstorming new ideas for 2021 fundraisers, and was responsible for the very successful "Light the Night" and "Belk Charity Sale" events we had in 2020.
We'd like to thank all the wonderful volunteers who gave so selflessly of their time and talents this year.  We are grateful to our sponsors, and all who have provided financially so we could continue our mission.  As president of BTI, I would like to thank our board of directors, Celene Joiner, Steve Kucynda, Barry Little, Benjamin Peace, and most especially my husband and co-founder of Blue Thanksgiving, my husband Douglas Hill.  He has been instrumental in the success of this organization and a very large, but quiet and behind-the-scenes part of every project we have ever had.
Here's hoping that 2021 brings health, happiness, love and success to everyone who has been touched or involved in any capacity by our work.  Happy New Year!  
<![CDATA[A BLUE Family Christmas]]>Wed, 02 Dec 2020 07:43:49 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-blue-family-christmas
As Christmas approaches, we ask that you keep the men and women in law enforcement who serve our community in your thoughts and prayers. While preparing for joyous holiday celebrations with your friend and family, it’s important to stop and reflect on the joy and blessings in your own life, while also recalling those who are not as fortunate.  We invite you to join with us in supporting four local law enforcement families who have each had a very difficult year. Between them, these Cobb County law enforcement officers, all with children ranging in age from 3 to 14 years, have endured life-threatening illnesses, medical procedures, multiple heart surgeries, cancer treatments and more.  They have experienced time away from work, loss of income, and enormous medical bills, all while struggling to support their families. 
Here, you can read about each officer and a little about the medical hardships they have endured this year. 

Blue Thanksgiving has created an Amazon wish-list filled with items the children of these families would like for Christmas.  You can view this list at:

​To make a financial donation, please use our “Join Us” page or send a check payable to Blue Thanksgiving to:
PO Box 5238 Marietta, GA 30061.  
Gift cards for Target, Publix, Kroger, Amazon and restaurants can also be mailed to our PO Box.  If you wish for your donation to be directed specifically to one of these families, please make note of that with your donation.  Otherwise, all funds raised will be distributed among the four officers.  If you would like more information, please use our “Join Us” page or email us at info@bluethanksgiving.com .  
Officer JT Shy
Officer JT Shy has been with Cobb PD, at precinct 4 in east Cobb for two years. In 2014, prior to joining CCPD, officer Shy was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and was placed on medications to clear the 3 arteries discovered to have clots.   In June of this year, after becoming seriously ill, with multiple symptoms, he was taken to the ER after his fever reached a dangerous level. Initially, tests were run to check him for Covid-19. When the results came back negative, doctors ordered further testing to determine the cause of the high spike in fever to 105.4 degrees. An EKG revealed that officer Shy had a leaking heart valve, and it was also discovered that he had a staph infection that had developed into endocarditis.  The leaking valve requiring open-heart surgery to repair the damage to his aortic valve. How he contracted the bacterial infection that caused this very serious illness remains unknown. Officer Shy was out of work for several months during the time he was sick in the hospital and later, recovering from surgery.  He and his wife Monica have two sons, ages 6 and 7.
Officer Daniel Hicks
Officer Daniel Hicks has been with Cobb County Police for 5 years and is stationed at precinct 5.
In February of 2019, a regular doctor visit to monitor his diabetes revealed that officer Hicks was suffering from kidney disease and that his kidney function was rapidly declining. Complications during a surgical biopsy resulted in hospitalization and once home, ongoing issues. Officer Hicks was informed that without a kidney transplant, he would be dependent on dialysis. He was placed on a waiting list with Georgetown University's transplant program and since then has been receiving dialysis, three days a week, now in stage 4 of the disease. During transplant testing, it was discovered that he had fluid around his heart and he underwent surgery, and was then advised another, more "in depth" surgery, was needed. The next day he checked into the hospital (alone, due to Covid-19 restrictions). Officer Hicks stated, "I remember saying 'I love you' to my wife and son and then getting put to sleep." After surgery, he awoke to learn that during the surgery his heart had stopped, and he had become unresponsive. Doctors performed CPR on him for a full minute to bring him back to life. He had no family with him and felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness and fear. Officer Hicks has since completed the testing required for transplant and has been on the kidney list since March. He is still doing dialysis three times a week and waiting on “the call” to tell him a donor kidney is available.  He and his wife Brittany have been together 11 years and have a three year old son, Daniel, Jr.
Deputy Shane Flowers
Deputy Shane Flowers is a member of the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. In February of this year, Deputy Flowers went to the ER with kidney stones and discovered that he also had a coronary blockage. In April, it was determined that he had suffered three heart attacks. As a result, he required surgery to clear three blockages and insert a stint. He was scheduled to have another procedure, but due to the Covid pandemic, the procedure had to be cancelled. After two more heart attacks, he was admitted to the hospital and five additional stints were implanted. In September, Deputy Flowers, who has diabetes, developed cellulitis from foot injuries and a suspected case of osteomyelitis. Fortunately, an MRI revealed that he did not have the latter, and his condition could be treated with surgery. Since then, he has been in surgery once again to insert addition stints, for a total of ten.
Deputy Flowers has been out of work since the beginning of October and is not sure when he will able to return to duty. He has exhausted all of his sick and vacation time and is now without an income. When deputies with the Sheriff's Office inquired if they could donate vacation and sick leave time to help their fellow officer, they were informed by the county that this is not allowed, except in the case of a "catastrophic event." Due to the loss of income, Shane could no longer afford the payments on his home and was forced to sell it. He and his his sons, ages 13 and 14, are now living with his sister in Villa Rica. This is not his first bout with adversity, having lost his wife, the mother of his children, unexpectedly in 2012.
Cobb County PD Precinct 1 Detective (wishes to retain his privacy)
In 2019, this detective began to experience tingling along the extremities of the left side of his body. Attributing this to an increased caffeine intake from working nights and taking care of a newborn, he cut back on caffeine and delayed getting checked.  When he began to suffer from headaches, he assumed it was the result of cutting back on caffeine. By the end of February 2019, the tingling was accompanied by sensitivity to light and a metallic taste in his mouth. On February 22, 2019, he went to the ER where a CT scan revealed a mass of significant size causing a midline shift of brain tissue. Further examination revealed the tingling, light sensitivity, and metallic taste were due to seizures caused by the tumor.  He underwent surgery in March 2019, during which the tumor was resected and biopsied. Laboratory examination of the tumor tissue identified the brain tumor as Anaplastic Astrocytoma, a grade 3 (stage 3) central nervous system cancer that develops into Glioblastoma. After a month of recuperation, he began a six-week regimen of chemotherapy and radiation.  Once the six weeks were completed, he began maintenance cycles of an increased chemotherapy dosage to start a month later.  Chemotherapy treatments were done for five days on, then 23 days off, for twelve cycles. During the treatment, MRIs were taken every two months and consistently showed improved results for healthy tissue healing and reduced FLAIR/Enhancement from tumor tissue. Cancer treatment was completed in June 2020.  Bi-monthly MRIs with follow-up appointments are scheduled for the foreseeable future as this detective enter the observation phase. 
As with the other law enforcement officers who have suffered hardships due to loss of time at work and enormous medical expenses, this detective is now dealing with the ongoing expenses related to his condition and is faced with the task of recovering mentally, physically and financially.   He and his wife have a son, nearing the age of three.  
<![CDATA[Blue Thanksgiving 2020]]>Mon, 30 Nov 2020 01:33:00 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/blue-thanksgiving-2020We are grateful to our volunteers who helped us serve approximately 400 law enforcement officers on Thanksgiving day.  We would also like to thank Nick at "Come-n-Get It" for the seamless service and delicious meals.  Also many thanks to Publix, the folks at Cracker Barrel, Kennesaw Chick Fil-A, Paul's Pot Pies, Cobb EMC Community Foundation, and all our other corporate and private contributors.  We wish you all a very happy holiday!
<![CDATA[Cool Cars and Cops 2020]]>Thu, 12 Nov 2020 05:05:36 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/november-11th-2020Once again, Blue Thanksgiving was honored to partner up with Cobb PD on their 2nd annual "Cool Cars and Cops" event.  This year the car show joined with the CCPD "Ride with the Blue" bike rally and the crowds were impressive!  The cars and bikes on display this year were amazing and the weather held, allowing everyone to enjoy this beautiful Fall day.  Many thanks to all the wonderful businesses who provided raffle prizes, including 4WD Parts, Auto Zone and Advance Auto Parts in both Kennesaw and Acworth, Pep Boys in Marietta on Whitlock, and so many others.  This event raised money to benefit the SWAT Santa program and was a huge success.  If you missed this year's show, keep your eyes open for the next one in Fall of 2021!
<![CDATA[Christmas in July!]]>Mon, 20 Jul 2020 22:22:04 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/christmas-in-julyThe hot month of July will soon be past, but not before we announce our Christmas Luminaries event!  This year we begin a new tradition and annual fundraiser program.  Please help us share this information and opportunity to show support to our law enforcement officers with this project.  It is our hope that our neighborhoods, stores and entire community will light up on December 24th to show support for our officers, as well as to honor those we have lost.  We are already accepting pre-orders and invite you to participate by placing your orders in advance so that we can ensure there are enough of these kits, to go around.  For more information, please contact Paula at paula@bluethanksgiving.com.  You can also reach out to us at info@bluethanksgiving.com anytime!
<![CDATA[Fundraisers!]]>Thu, 25 Jun 2020 22:14:07 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/fundraisersAs a "grass roots" organization, we are always looking for ways to raise the funds needed to keep our work financed.  There is always an opportunity to get involved with one of our fundraisers, as we have always got something happening!  Please ask about our on going fundraisers and events and how you can help!  We are working on our holiday fundraiserand will make an announcement in July when we offer up a preview of "Light the Night" for "Christmas in July"!  Our ongoing sale of personalized engraved gifts offers a number of great items and we hope you'll take a look and let us know if you see something you like!  Some of these items are pictured below and the prices are incredible!  Check back often as we continue to post up and add more photos of items available and other exciting opportunities for you to take part in helping fund our important work!
*Please note that any items ordered with the Cobb County Sheriff's Office badge engraved, must be ordered through that office.  For more information, email us at info@bluethanksgiving.com.
<![CDATA[Rest in peace]]>Sat, 02 May 2020 01:18:06 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/rest-in-peace
On April 20, 2020 at around 11:15pm, while on patrol on South Cobb Drive in Cobb County Georgia, Smyrna Police Officer Christopher Ewing was killed when hit by a drunk driver.  Officer Ewing was a decorated United States Air Force veteran and was currently serving in the reserves.  Officer Ewing had been with the Smyrna Police Department for two years.  He leaves behind a wife and three daughters. Officer Ewing had just turned 34.
Video of procession can be seen here
Video of procession edited by Ms Haley Drew (music by Hannah Ellis):
Officer Down
<![CDATA[Helping Heroes]]>Sat, 25 Apr 2020 04:14:36 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/helping-heroesWe've all heard it said that "not all heroes wear capes", but lately more of our heroes are wearing masks. While social distancing measures, and stay-at-home orders have been implemented in our county, many our first responders have remained in their jobs, many taking on active roles in their communities — in situations where they risk contracting coronavirus themselves.  While traffic accidents are lower than normal, domestic disturbances are on a rise.  While answering a call for a domestic disturbance is often an extremely dangerous situation, the additional risk of being exposed to an invisible enemy makes the job of a police officer even more hazardous.  Jails and prisons do not lend themselves easily to social distancing and for deputies working at the Cobb County Adult Detention Facility, there is more risk to their health and even that of their families, than ever before.  
While there is little we can do to protect the health of the men and women in our Department of Public Safety, we can certainly let them know how much the community they serve appreciates them and acknowledge the risks they are taking to keep us safe.  
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Blue Thanksgiving has been busy delivering meals and other needed items to our public safety officers.  We have delivered meals to officers, deputies, firefighters and 911 call center operators in a number of locations.  Additionally, face masks and individual bottles of hand sanitizer have been delivered to these men and women, and there are plans already in place to continue this effort and to include many more agencies, precincts, fire stations, call centers and EMTs, over the next few weeks.  As of today, April 25th, 1000 face masks and approximately 300 bottles of hand sanitizer have been delivered, with more to follow.  Meals are being purchased from local owned restaurants, in an effort to support those businesses while continuing to support our officers.
While we'd love to share more photos with you, it is always our intent to protect the privacy of all our officers, and we often refrain from taking photographs.  Having stated that, we do have a social media presence and if you would like to see what we're doing on a daily basis, we invite you to follow us at 
https://www.facebook.com/bluethanksgiving/.  Please "like", "share" and follow us.  We rely on donations to enable us to continue our work and hope you will join in with us in showing these heroes that we all stand behind them!  
God bless and protect you and yours and may He keep our public safety officers healthy.
<![CDATA[Wilson-Kasal Fire]]>Wed, 05 Feb 2020 18:09:24 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/wilson-kasal-fire
​On the evening of February 4, 2020, one of our LEO families suffered the loss of their home and everything in it. The family of Josh Wilson and Kayla Casal along with their children (3 year old daughter and 6 month old son), have lost literally everything they owned in a massive house fire that took place while Kayla was working a night shift.   Both parents work part tim for the Oglethrope County Sheriff's Office, while Josh also works a full-time job in addition with the Greensboro PD.  The family had recently moved into this rental house in Athens, GA and had not yet purchased renters' insurance. At this time, the Fire Marshal is investigating, but there are no answers as to how this fire started. While Kayla was working the night shift, Josh was at home with the children. During the night he heard a sound and got up to investigate.  Upon opening the bedroom door, he was met with a wall of fire, billowing down the hallway toward him. He quickly grabbed the children and escaped the home, leaving everything else behind. This family is devastated and although very grateful that they are unharmed, they have lost everything.  Blue Thanksgiving Inc wants to help and we are asking you to join with us in this effort. Please help us by donating through Network for Good or Paypal at the button below. Your donation can be designated for the Wilson/Casal family and is tax deductible. We will ensure this family receives your donations.
We have also set up a smile.amazon list of items needed.  This list will continue to change as items are purchased or added.  Please visit the site and see list where you can order directly at
Donate Here
<![CDATA[A Recap of 2019]]>Thu, 09 Jan 2020 16:45:21 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-recap-of-2019As we look back over the past twelve months, we are proud to say that 2019 brought with it an amazing year for Blue Thanksgiving, Inc.  We have grown by leaps and bounds this past year and did more with the community for our law enforcement officers than we thought possible at the close of 2018.  Nearly every month saw a new effort succeed and the public support that made it all possible.  From Easter deliveries of lunch to several precincts, to the same on July 4th and on through Thanksgiving, when we took a leap of faith and committed to every police precinct in Cobb County including Cobb 1,2,3,4 and 5, Marietta PD, Smyrna PD, Powder Springs PD, Acworth PD, Austell PD, and even Riverdale PD!  We also included our Cobb SO deputies at the jail and the 911 call center with deliveries, as well as a group of Cobb SO deputies in operations, and others.  Immediately following Thanksgiving, we jumped into "A Church Family Christmas" project.  Initially we had no idea what the response would be from the public in regards to support.  We quickly learned that this community comes together to show support when it comes to our first responders.  What we saw happen in s short amount of time was nothing less than amazing.  Once the news got out that we needed help to provide for a LEO family, the donations and gifts started rolling in.  It was an absolute honor to be part of something so wonderful and we cannot thank our wonderful community and law enforcement officers enough for what they did to lift up this family at Christmas.  Both WSB TV2 and the Marietta Daily Journal did stories on this project, and below is the story from the MDJ.  
So, here's to an even more successful 2020 and to providing help and support to our officers when and where needed.  Please continue to donate to BTI and help keep the good work going.  Without you, none of this is possible.  Please go to our "Join Us" page and make a donation.  We have much happening this year and funding is always a challenge.  Thank you again and Happy New Year!
<![CDATA[A Church Family Christmas (update)]]>Wed, 04 Dec 2019 02:15:51 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-church-family-christmas-updateWell, we're in full swing with the project we have lovingly named "A Church Family Christmas".  Supporters are beginning to purchase gift items from our smile.amazon.com list and so we thought we would update and give those reading this post a little more information.  This evening WSB TV Channel 2's Chris Jose is doing a story on this family and how we are coordinating and encouraging the community to help.  If you are reading this post after having seen the story, we are thrilled you are joining us in a show of love and support this holiday season.  Deputy Church is a humble, quiet man.  Convincing him to tell us what HE needs and/or wants was not easy.  His needs are simple, he said.  He needs to get back and forth to his job with the Cobb County Sheriff's Office.  Living some distance from where he reports to work requires time and a good deal of fuel in the van he drives.  If you are looking for a gift idea for him, we recommend the following:
Gift cards... fuel (to help him get back and forth to work), restaurants (where he can take the kids), grocery stores, and department stores (such as Walmart and Target)
Under Armour shirts, sweat pants, gym shorts, socks, etc.  Jason wears a size 9 shoe, a LG/XLG shirt and 36x32 pants.
As for the girls, after speaking with them in person this evening, I learned that the 3 year old, Teagan, loves princesses, Baby Alive and "Frozen".  His 12 year old daughter, Savana, mentioned that she really wants some strip lighting that she can change colors on, to go around the ceiling of her bedroom.  She has also mentioned other items in the past that are on the "wish list" below.  As for Jason's 8 year old step-son...he enjoyed Marvel superheros and Star Wars.  We have not been able to get much more info from him other than that.  
If you would like to donate to this project or to any of our other many projects throughout the year, please click the "join us" page and use the donate buttons seen there.   
We have drop locations at the Cobb PD Pct one and Pct five stations in the front lobby.  We will also offer a drop off on December 18th from 4 until 8pm at the Wingate by Wyndham Galleria/ Ball Park (directly behind the skydiving venue on Cobb Pkwy and 285).  Of course if you have questions, please feel free to call or email us at 770-419-4027 or info@bluethanksgiving.com.  Thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
<![CDATA[A Holiday Open House]]>Sat, 30 Nov 2019 05:06:58 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-holiday-open-housePlease read the post below the "Thanksgiving 2019" story for more information on our Christmas project "A Church Family Christmas".  The Holiday Open House we are hosting is to benefit that family as well as the Cobb PD SWAT Santa program.  For more information on how you can help or become involved in this project, please email us at info@bluethanksgiving.com or call 770-419-4027.  We also have "wish lists" on smile.amazon.com under "Blue Thanksgiving" where you can order items that will be delivered directly to us for this family.  
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving 2019]]>Sat, 30 Nov 2019 04:49:45 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/thanksgiving-2019Well, it's been an incredible Thanksgiving.  Yesterday we delivered to a total of 13 agencies/precincts PLUS an additional 2 deliveries of desserts to the deputies working the jail on two shifts, the 911 call center operators and even the Sheriff's deputies working operations on Thanksgiving, for a total of SEVENTEEN deliveries to nearly 500 officers, deputies, operators, volunteers and civilian administration personnel working on Thanksgiving day!!  We had an amazing group of about 25 volunteers who took time from their own holiday to make sure officers all over Cobb County had a good meal on this holiday, while working.  We have posted photos in the gallery and welcome you to see just a sample of what we as a community did.  We would like to thank each and ever volunteer we had, as well as all the wonderful people and businesses who donated both funds and food to make this possible.  Many thanks to Chick-Fil-A of Kennesaw for their continued support every year.  Other sponsors included Wallace BBQ, Dave Poe's BBQ and Major Q's BBQ who all smoked a total of 19 turkeys for us (we also roasted four more!  That's a lot of turkey!).  O'Charley's of Acworth donated sweet potato mash, Marietta Diner and Golden Corral made our stuffing, while Marietta Diner also donated macaroni and cheese.   As always, Publix was our largest sponsor this year, with their corporate headquarters donating a 200.00 gift card to help purchase supplies, and three stores (Publix on Cobb and Jiles, Publix on Old 41 and Barrett, and Publix at Dallas Hwy and Barrett) all supplied the breads, and desserts.  Publix at Dallas Hwy and Barrett also donated bottled water, and deli trays with lids.  Finally, Nothing Bundt Cakes in Kennesaw again donated three of their yummy cakes!  Please be sure to patronize these local businesses and tell them that you appreciate their support.  It is the generosity of these businesses and the citizens of this and surrounding counties that make our work possible.  Thank you again for a wonderful, record breaking year!
<![CDATA[A Church Family Christmas]]>Mon, 18 Nov 2019 03:13:12 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/a-church-family-christmasThe arrival of Thanksgiving brings with it the beginning of our favorite season and holiday.  Christmas.
As busy as we are, preparing to coordinate the delivery of Thanksgiving day meals to so many on duty
officers on that holiday, we want you all to know that as soon as we complete that day,
we will be focusing on a project that we feel is worthy of your attention!
Deputy Jason Church of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office has suffered the past 18 months with 
heartbreaking loss.  The premature delivery and loss of his infant son Brayden, last June was followed
in January of this year when his 17 year old step-son Caleb succumbed to leukemia, after a long hard battle.  And most recently, Deputy Church lost his wife Jade, in October to long term illness.  Deputy Church is now left with two daughters that he is working hard to raise as a single parent.  
Deputy Church's daughters Savana (12) and Teagon (3) have Christmas “wish lists” and we would like to ask your help in providing these girls with some of the things that will make their Christmas special, while relieving Jason of the stress the holidays often bring.  We also happen to know of a few things Jason needs that would make life a little easier for him.  Jade also left behind another child from a previous marriage and there are a few things he has on his "wish list", as well.  To make a donation toward “A Church Family Christmas”, please visit our website at www.bluethanksgiving.com/join-us.html.  There, you can donate using a credit card, or contact us for more information. We also have a list available on the smile.amazon website:   https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/3EQ69AWC5BF1J/ref=smi_ext_lnk_lcl_cl
For more information on where to drop donations to help make this Christmas a little merrier for this family, please contact us at info@bluethanksgiving.com or by calling 770-419-4027. Please take UNWRAPPED donations of gifts to Cobb Police Precinct ONE at 2380 Cobb Pkwy NW, Kennesaw, GA 30152. You may also drop at Cobb PD Pct 5 located at 4640 Dallas Hwy, Powder Springs, GA 30127.  You can also donate cash gifts placed in a sealed envelope with "A Church Family Christmas" written on the outside.  Other drop off locations will be announced here, and on social media.  Please be sure to check back for updates or contact us for additional drop off or pick up information.  Thank you for helping make this year's Christmas a little easier for this hero and his family.  Cash donations can also be made through our Network for Good.  
<![CDATA[Our New Logo!]]>Wed, 04 Sep 2019 02:13:28 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/september-03rd-2019We are proud to present our new logo and to tell you all about the meaning of each component that went into making up this beautiful design.  We would also like to express our gratitude to All Print Marketing and Media Solutions in Dallas Georgia for the work they did to create this unique design for Blue Thanksgiving, Inc.
The outline of this design is obviously that of a police shield, signifying our mission as an advocate for the men and women who serve as officers.  The blue line across the middle represents the thin blue line that these men and women hold every day, while the five point gold stars are for our Sheriff's Deputies.  The significance of wheat is love and charity, and along with the tagline "We back the blue",  together they reflect our name, "Blue Thanksgiving".   
<![CDATA[Today's News!]]>Tue, 16 Jul 2019 01:53:50 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/todays-newsWe are please to tell you that the IRS has determined we are exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3).  Donors can now deduct contributions they make to our organization under IRC Section 170.  We're also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.  
We are classified as a public charity under the IRC Section 170)b) (1) (A) (vi).  The effective date of exemption is April 5, 2019.]]>
<![CDATA["Good Things are Coming"]]>Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:24:58 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/good-things-are-comingBlue Thanksgiving has grown and there are necessary changes and improvements taking place.  We are now "Blue Thanksgiving, Inc" a Georgia Nonprofit Corporation and registered Charity with the Georgia Secretary of State's office and application has been submitted to the US Federal Government for 501(c)(3) status, and is now pending approval.  We hope to have this tax exempt status by October and will announce when we have reached that goal.  In the meantime, we continue to work to raise funds and donations for ongoing projects.  At this time we are in the beginning stages of planning a fundraiser to take place before the end of 2019, as well as future events for 2020.  We will also make announcements with details on those events as they come available on this page as well as our social media pages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.  For more information you can always call or email us!  And speaking of email:  we have set up a few new addresses, in the event you need to reach us, and that information can be found below.  As always we are also available via phone at 470.767.2366 or 770.419.4027. 
At this time, we would like to welcome our newest board members and thank them for their service. 
Samantha Rousey Glass has joined our Board of Directors and brings with her vast understanding and experience in nonprofit and fundraising operations.  She has been involved in promoting support and recognition of our county police and is a well known advocate.  Samantha possesses the energy, talents and knowledge needed to make good things happen and we are thrilled to have her as a vital part of our team. 
We also welcome Benjamin A Peace as a Board Member.  Ben holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and offers insight into the needs and challenges our Law Enforcement Officers face.  His background includes serving as a police officer, a Deputy Sheriff, and a contractor for the US Marshals in both Atlanta and Las Vegas.  Ben has volunteered for a number of years with Blue Thanksgiving, and we are excited that he has agreed to serve on the Board of Directors for Blue Thanksgiving Incorporated.
Our Treasurer and CFO, Celene Joiner is a small business owner and accountant.  Her company, "BCJ Books" handles the responsibility of accounting and payroll for multiple companies and nonprofits in and around the Atlanta area.  She brings with her the knowledge and  experience needed to maintain the accounting required of a nonprofit.
Our Secretary and Executive Director Douglas A Hill, is an attorney who has been practicing law in Georgia for 35 years.  His law office is located in Marietta and he has been involved in many local nonprofits and fundraising efforts over the years including the "Festival of Trees" in Atlanta.  Doug has been a vital part and is a co-founder of Blue Thanksgiving since the beginning, and has agreed to serve on the Executive Board for Blue Thanksgiving, Incorporated. 
Finally, the President/CEO is Kimberly Peace Hill.  Kim co-founded Blue Thanksgiving with her husband Doug in 2012 and now serves on the Executive Board.  Kim has a passion for our LEOs and a heartfelt gratitude for the service they provide to their communities.  Blue Thanksgiving has been her way of showing these officers how much they are needed and appreciated by the communities they serve.  Kim is a recognized (and quite vocal) advocate for better pay and benefits for Cobb County Law Enforcement and Public Safety officers.  
As "Blue Thanksgiving, Inc" is born, we look forward to continuing to learn how to better serve the ones who serve our community and growing as more people become involved.  If you would like to become a part, please email any of us by our first name @bluethanksgiving.com or at info@bluethanksgiving.com.  ]]>
<![CDATA[Cobb County in Crisis]]>Sat, 27 Apr 2019 04:10:32 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/cobb-county-in-crisisCobb County's Public Safety Employees (Police, Fire and Sheriff) are resigning at an overwhelming rate. For the last 10 years Cobb County's Commissioners have failed to provide their Police, Fire, and Sheriff personnel with livable wages forcing them to take career opportunities elsewhere. The current benefits package is the worst in Metro Atlanta. Cobb County currently has OVER 200 positions that need to be filled. These vacancies increase every day and put the county's families, businesses, friends, visitors, and public safety personnel in severe danger. The Board of Commissioners need a complete pay and benefit restructure to attract quality applicants and retain employees. Cobb County Public Safety at one point was the gold standard and had the luxury of selecting the best applicants for its citizens. Today we are a revolving door wasting millions of dollars recruiting and training new employees only for them to leave for better paying departments. Cobb County's Public Safety slogan is "Expect The Best." Today the county does not live up to that slogan. If this problem is not resolved we will lose the only vested, experienced, and quality public safety employees that are left. The Board of Commissioners is requesting 5,000 signatures before they take action. Let's give them what they want.  Please sign the petition below and email your district commissioner!  These officers need your support!
Please sign the petition here
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving 2018]]>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:36:18 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/thanksgiving-2018With Christmas on the way and coming fast, I thought I might log on and post a quick overview of this year's Blue Thanksgiving Day.  With the addition of volunteers willing to work on Thanksgiving day, we have grown to something larger than I would have believed possible, that first year when Doug and I delivered baked goodies to three precincts.  This year we actually delivered full hot catered buffets to FOUR precincts, and cold lunches to an additional SIX!  We were also happy to be able to provide desserts that were delivered to the Cobb County Sheriff's Deputies working at the jail and the operators at the 911 Call Center (they had their own pot luck plans).  Our hot buffets consisted of both smoked and roasted turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potato mash, macaroni and cheese, green beans, ham, rolls, desserts and iced tea.  Our cold "grab and go" menu included turkey, cheese and ham sliders with condiments, chips, salads, desserts and iced tea.  We would very much like to thank all the volunteers who delivered and set up these meals, as well as those who helped collect donations and prepared for the big day.  Without these amazing people, it would not be possible to deliver meals to so many of our officers in this county.  We would also like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who donated.  It is so wonderful to know that so many people are willing to show support for our local LEO's this way.  And it is very rewarding to see the smiles and expressions of gratitude from the officers who receive these meals.  
Now that the equipment and the mess is all cleaned up and we're preparing for Christmas, it is extremely gratifying to look back and remember how so many officers were reminded that their community cares and appreciates what they do, even on the holidays when we are all home with family.  We received some publicity on a local news station as well as in a small local paper this year.  I hope that this helps bring more help to us next year, as we still need help with clean up after the big day.  (It took me a week to wrap it all up, by myself)  I look forward to doing more for our Cobb county LEO's in the coming year.  Last year we delivered traditional New Year's Day lunch to Cobb pct 1, and then again on Easter we were able to send several precincts ham, fresh pasta salad and coconut cakes.  Additionally when time, energy and funds allow, we do Italian dinners for a couple of precincts as well as the multi-agency Elder Abuse Task Force that meets monthly (the Elder Abuse Task Force donates to offset costs for their luncheons)  In January, we will again provide our photo booth and service to the heroes at Marietta PD for their awards and promotion ceremony.  Finally, there are multiple cakes that are made and decorated for precincts having smaller events within the precincts...usually retirement or promotion celebrations.  We do more than just Thanksgiving, but the majority of our funds come to us during our Thanksgiving drive.  
Have a wonderful Christmas and be sure to thank an officer you see on duty, when you are out shopping or enjoying your day.  They need to know how much they are appreciated!
Blessings, from Kim and Doug Hill
Founders, Blue Thanksgiving

<![CDATA[Thank you!]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 23:13:42 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/thank-youAs we get closer to Thanksgiving, we are beginning to receive commitments and donations from our sponsors for this year's Thanksgiving effort.  We would like to thank Mazi Mazloom for his very generous donation and for being so consistent in his support of local law enforcement each year with his involvement in our organization.   Without the help of wonderful people like Mazi, we would not be able to provide dinner to so many officers on duty Thanksgiving Day.  The Mazloom Law Firm is based in Marietta Georgia and offers outstanding legal representation to people in the Metro-Atlanta area, accused and/or charged within the Criminal Justice System.  To learn more about Mazi and his firm, please visit www.mazilaw.com.    ]]><![CDATA[Six Weeks to Thanksgiving!]]>Sat, 13 Oct 2018 23:41:51 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/six-weeks-to-thanksgivingFall is here, Atlanta!  Crisp weather and pumpkin spice evvverrrrrything! Coming up next is All Hallows Eve and then THANKSGIVING!  A day of Thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.  Let us not forget the "Boys in Blue".  Make your donations today so that we can plan a feast worthy of their service.  Please donate HERE!
<![CDATA[Welcome to our new website!]]>Sun, 01 Jul 2018 05:17:15 GMThttp://bluethanksgiving.com/news/welcome-to-our-new-websiteWelcome to our new website!  We are in the process of building and will continue to post photos, stories, announcements and updates to this page.  Please be sure to come back often to see what is new!  And if you haven't already found our Facebook page, please know that you will find us at www.facebook.com/bluethanksgiving/ ​.  There you will find updates and news posted almost daily.  Also remember that if you want to come be a part of this amazing organization, call us at 770-419-4027 or email at bluethanksgiving@comcast.net.