WAYLAND CHAMBER AMBASSADORS ANNOUNCE #JustSayThanks CAMPAIGN TO SHOW APPRECIATION TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors have announced their #JustSayThanks campaign to show thanks and appreciation to local law enforcement. Starting October 1st, and throughout the month, the Chamber Ambassadors, along with homeowners and businesses, plan to implement multiple projects to show their appreciation. According to Chamber Director Denise Behm, the goal was to visibly show law enforcement that we appreciate them. Behm stated, “When an officer puts on his or her badge each day, they are also risking their life to protect and serve us. They do not know if they will make it home at the end of their shift. They sacrifice and endure extreme situations that most of us would not want to imagine. The Ambassadors wanted to show our thanks to them and let them know that they are appreciated.” The Ambassadors went door to door talking to downtown homeowners distributing information on the campaign and inquiring if the homeowner would like to have a yard sign placed by the Ambassadors during the month of October. The response was overwhelming including many homeowners offering to purchase signs to guarantee they could receive a yard sign. Thankfully, due to business sponsorship, the signs will be provided at no charge and placed in approved homeowner yards.
There will also be blue Christmas-style lights displayed on downtown Wayland light posts with blue bows, banner flags and the Thin Blue Line flag window clings for businesses, homes and vehicles. To wrap-up the campaign, the Ambassadors plan to host a free dinner open to all local law enforcement (Wayland City Police Department, Gun Lake Tribal Police Department, MI State Police Department, and the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department) and the Wayland Fire Department. The complimentary dinner will focus on an appreciation of officers, firefighters, spouses, significant others, and children – all who will be invited. During the dinner, there will be drawings for gift cards for the officers and fire fighters.
Many homeowners questioned what else they can do to be involved. According to Behm, there are many ways anyone can be involved, including; hanging blue lights outside in a tree, on a house, in a window or anyplace visible; decorate trees, mailbox posts, etc. with blue ribbons; tie a blue ribbon on a car antennae; replace an outdoor light(s) with a blue bulb(s). The Chamber Ambassadors would like to encourage people to utilize their social media accounts to say a quick “thanks, we appreciate you!” to law enforcement. This can easily be done using Facebook, Twitter, or other popular social media sites, using the tagline #JustSayThanks, which will automatically be linked with others also showing thanks. If a homeowner decorates their house, it would be great to post a picture of it on social media with the #JustSayThanks tagline. This project is also a great way for families to spend time together while teaching children about appreciating law enforcement and letting them know that officers are there to protect the community.
Going forward, once the October campaign is complete, the #JustSayThanks signs, flags, banners, blue lights and ribbons will all be displayed annually the week of May 15th which is national Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. The color blue represents law enforcement personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice and in honor of those who protect and serve their communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For additional information, or to purchase a #JustSayThanks staked yard sign, t-shirt, or window cling, please contact Chamber Executive Director Denise Behm at firstname.lastname@example.org.