BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A small group of people in the Baton Rouge Metro area is making a big impact in the lives of police officers.
After seeing a flood of negative comments about police on social media following the officer-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling, one girl decided to ignite a positive movement. In just two days, she is seeing a tremendous response.
Volunteers at Fellowship Church in Prairieville spent Wednesday morning making sandwiches, organizing snacks, drinks, and toiletries for a special delivery.
Whitney Tomlinson with the group God Squad said it started with a Facebook post on Sunday night.
"I thought it would be me, five or 10 of my close friends," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson's Facebook status update went viral. It turned into a two-day community call to action.
"It's not about taking sides. It's about support. There's no question why they put that uniform on every day and protect us. It wasn't even a second guess, or even any question why I'm doing it," Tomlinson said.
Regan Blanchard joined Tomlinson in helping to make sure Baton Rouge police officers on the front lines of protests stay hydrated, fed, and clean. Some of the donations included personally baked goods, messages of support, treats for canine officers as well as various toiletries for those in need of a little freshening up after an extended shift.
"We love them. We appreciate them, and we will do whatever we can do to make them feel like the heroes they are," Blanchard said.
The looks on officers faces when the trailer filled with donations pulled up to police headquarters said it all. BRPD has been getting donations from the community all week. They have so much stuff, they have had to store it in a second room.
"Don't blame us when y'all gain weight," one organizer joked after making a massive delivery.
Veteran BRPD Captain Todd Weishar said it was the biggest show of support he has seen in his 31 year career at BRPD, and it has had a great impact on younger officers.
"They are understanding that the public really does appreciate them. It's kind of recharging everyone's battery," Weishar said.
The volunteers have learned it does not take a lot of effort to turn things around. Sometimes it just takes a one person with the desire to make a difference.
"We used something that divided us the most, which is social media, and used that to unify us," Blanchard said.
On Tuesday, the group also dropped off a donation to the Louisiana State Police Headquarters.
The God Squad is asking that all donations be dropped off at Tiger Audio on Airline Highway in Gonzales.