NEW YORK (VINnews/Sandy Eller) — Amid nationwide protests that have seen police cruisers set on fire, law enforcement officers attacked and calls to defund police departments, members of the Jewish community have hopped on board an Instagram campaign to show appreciation to our brothers in blue, visiting local stationhouses bearing food, smiles and thank-yous.
SimchaSpot, which typically posts weddings, engagements, graduations and advertisements, called on its over 80,000 followers to do their part to demonstrate their gratitude to members of law enforcement. Drawing on the success of its previous “spot the kindness challenges,” SimchaSpot encouraged its audience to send pictures and videos of themselves reaching out to police officers.
“We were brainstorming a way of doing something for police officers during this difficult time and came up with the idea of having people bringing them something that said thank you,” SimchaSpot Editor Serena Hain told VIN News. “It seemed like a great way to start a wave of positivity while also making a kiddush Hashem at the same time.”
The challenge began approximately two weeks ago and submissions have come in from various cities around the country, including Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York and New Jersey and even as far away from London. Pictures bearing the hashtag #spotthekindnesschallenge show police officers posing with adults, teens and small children bearing boxes of donuts and platters of food. Other photos show supportive messages to law enforcement bearing the words “Thank you for keeping the city safe” and “Blue Lives Matter. We salute you.” A short video of National Guard member dressed in fatigues describing the warm welcome he and his fellow troops had gotten from the Jewish community has been viewed more than 3,000 times since it was posted on June 9th.
“Ever since I got here, I noticed that you guys love us – we got cookies, we got coffee, we got donuts, you guys stop by just to say hi … I am amazed.”
While police officers have expressed their gratitude to those have taken up the Spot the Kindness challenge, SimchaSpot has also received messages of appreciation from followers who are embracing the positivity during uncertain times. Seeing parents bringing their children with them to thank those who keep them safe even as protests rage in the streets has been equally rewarding, noted Hain.
“It is so important to show children what hakaras hatov is all about,” said Hain. “Children are a product of what they hear and what they see, and they learn just as much from our actions as they do from their teachers and schoolbooks.”