By Christine Galeone, Contributing Writer
Westborough –The Westborough Police Department (WPD) is taking action to provide compassion and friendship to children who are fighting cancer. As part of the Pink Patch Project, the department is raising funds and awareness for One Mission – a local nonprofit that works hard to brighten the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families.
The Pink Patch Project was launched in October 2015 by the Irwindale, Calif., Police Department. During that month, the department’s officers wore pink uniform patches and sold patches to raise awareness and funds for people affected by breast cancer. Since then, law enforcement agencies nationwide have participated in similar campaigns each October.
Although the project generally helps people with breast cancer, the WPD chose to support One Mission.
“They are an amazing organization that has not gotten a lot of attention, so we wanted to support them,” said Officer Mike Daniels. “They were ecstatic that we reached out to them.”
The Westborough nonprofit provides things such as educational resources, family day trips and financial relief for hospital parking expenses. It also helps fund stress reduction programs for caregivers and patients. For kids fighting cancer, it provides birthday, holiday, ice cream and pizza parties and movie nights, as well as arts and crafts kits, toys, books and games, and music and art therapy activities. Volunteers also decorate children’s hospital rooms.
One Mission was founded in 2009 by Ashley and Ari Haseotes. The couple was devastated when their son was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia at 7 months old. She noted that their family spent the next six months living at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“During that time, we identified many ways life could improve for patients and families during treatment and hospitalization,” said Haseotes. “Thanks to the expert care he received, today my son is cancer-free, but the experience will always stay with me. It inspired me to help make the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families better, in any way possible.”
And Haseotes is grateful to the WPD.
“The beauty of One Mission fundraisers such as the Pink Patch Project is that the money is sent directly to the hospital…so those who donate know that the money is being put to good use that provides immediate benefits to cancer patients and their families,” said Haseotes. “We are thrilled to have the support of our community in our mission to do whatever it takes to get kids through cancer treatment.”
It’s clear that Daniels and his fellow officers agree. From the third week of September through the end of October, the WPD’s patches will be available for a $10 donation on One Mission’s website, www.onemission.org. Donors will receive vouchers which can be exchanged for patches at the police department.