Temperatures were still in the 20s when Suddath noticed a group of girls, ages 6, 8 and 9, walking to school with clothes that were too small and not weather appropriate. She located where the girls lived and was confronted with an even bleaker reality.
The three girls and their 17-year old sister began living with their grandmother, Ida Jones, after their mother was tragically killed a few years ago. Jones has been doing the best she can, but the household has gone without hot water, a stove and adequate heat for a long time.
Suddath went above the call of duty and began to coordinate ways to provide this family the basic needs that were not being met.
“I got into law enforcement because I wanted to make a difference,” said Suddath when asked why she pursued being a police officer. “I know that I can’t help everyone, but if I can make a difference in one person’s life, then I know it matters to that one person.”
That day, Suddath went home and gathered clothes for the girls and has since spent her own money to meet the immediate needs of the family. Through a coordinated effort with Suddath’s family and friends, the family has received boxes of food, Jones has a new, more durable cane, a local plumber donated and installed a water heater and Suddath is ensuring that Jones is in contact with an organization that provides resources for grandparents raising grandchildren.
“This family has been through so much,” said Suddath. “I’m hoping that from this experience they – particularly the children, see the police as a resource to help the community and to know that we truly do care.”
Suddath visits the family very often and offers to help Jones run various errands.
“There are still many needs for this family,” said Suddath. “My hope is that the community would come together, reach out and make an even bigger difference in this family’s life.”
Contact the SCMPD Public Affairs Office at (912) 651-6666 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved.