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Police Department Employees Create Special Holidays for Families in Need

Friday’s Heroes: Albuquerque Police Department’s Patricia Savage and Chaplin Laurie Wells

January 13, 2017

Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry awarded Patricia Savage and Chaplin Laurie Wells as this week’s Friday’s Heroes for volunteering to dedicate their time to the Albuquerque Police Department’s (APD’s) Operation Hope.

In addition to their full-time employment at the Albuquerque Police Department as Administrative Assistant and Chaplain Volunteer, both Savage and Wells substantially contribute as ambassadors for APD’s Operation Hope. The program is a partnership between the community, APD’s Volunteer Chaplain Unit and members of sworn and civilian APD staff. Program volunteers work to collect donations to serve hundreds of families in need.

This past year, they gathered much needed food and gifts for more than 300 families and 900 children just in time for the holidays. Savage’s work as the program’s Secretary and Wells’ dedication to the program have directly benefitted several organizations who participate in Operation Hope, including the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico (CCFNM), Encuentro (Pathways), Matheson Park Elementary School, Saranam, the Rock of Salvation Worship Center (Helping Hands Ministry), and the Head Start Programs.

In addition to Operation Hope, during July and August, Savage coordinated school supply drives, including the collection of backpacks and gift cards, which were donated to CCFNM patients and their siblings. The CCFNM was able to distribute over 100 backpacks full of school supplies, and $3,500 worth of gift cards so families could purchase essentials, such as shoes and uniforms, thanks to the teamwork of these women.

Furthermore, Savage was instrumental in creating APD’s Hero Academy, a one-day junior police academy led by APD officers for children who are fighting cancer. Now in its third year, the Hero Academy provides 30 of the CCFNM’s children and their siblings a truly incredible day as well as the opportunity to forget that they are fighting the battle of their lives.

Both Patricia Savage and Chaplin Laurie Wells have worked tirelessly for Operation Hope and the Hero Academy. They realize the emotional and financial burdens placed upon these children and families who are in need. It is for these reasons that Savage and Wells were recognized as the City of Albuquerque’s Friday’s Heroes.