Officers from the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) delivered school supplies and clothing to the home of Rosemary Allen, who lost two girls during a storm on July 21.
The storm caused a heavy tree to crash through Allen’s house, taking the lives of a 3-month-old and a 2-year-old.
Chrystal Foster was there with BPD’s Community Outreach and Public Education Division (COPED).
“The [COPED] is responsible for rapport building and we supply needs of our citizens as they arise, and due to the tragic nature of what happened to Ms. Allen, we felt compelled to do what we could to assist her, so we got some items that were needed — some school supplies, some clothes, some shoes — and we brought them so that we could bring a little bit of joy to her and her family,” said Foster.
Foster said the COPED supplied the children with everything they needed for school, even Lysol wipes, paper towels, disinfectant and clothes. Some of the supplies were raised through the COPED’s Back to School Drive, but the clothes and shoes were provided by the COPED itself and the community.
Allen thanked and hugged the officers that responded to the scene of the night of the storm.
Officer Jeremy Meade of the BPD’s North Precinct was the first officer on the scene. He was one of the officers at Allen’s house on Thursday. Meade reflected on his experience on the night of the storm.
“I entered the house, and everybody was in a panic,” Meade said. “I didn’t know what to expect going inside.”
Meade found the infant trapped under debris and tried his best to free her but was unsuccessful. The fire department came and saved everyone they could.
“All I could think of was all I could do to rescue them,” Meade said. “But once I knew there wasn’t a lot I could do, then it got pretty hard.”
Meade said he doesn’t think he deserves accolades for responding.
“The fire department did a lot of the work,” Meade said. “They deserve a lot of the praise.”
The donations went to Allen’s two sons, JaMari and Jermaine.
When the tree fell, it scraped JaMari’s head, and he fell through the floor as it collapsed, landing on concrete, which injured his back.
JaMari, 11, said his family has been through a lot in the past couple of weeks. He said he misses his sisters and thanked the police officers for bringing the supplies.
The boys ran football routes in the front yard with a few of the officers after carrying the supplies inside.
JaMari said he is a big football fan and that catching the ball over the police officers was “easy.”
“Any time a child is lost, it’s very hard,” said Foster. “But they say joy comes in the morning, and in the morning, we felt we needed to be a blessing to her and that is what we are trying to do today."
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