MOTTEP's Family Walk will honor law enforcement
Published: October 25, 2012
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ST. CROIX - The Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program is wrapping up its Family Month activities with its annual "Family Affair" walk and ceremony on Saturday and has seen interest grow since announcing it would honor law enforcement.
October as Family Month was first signed into law in 2004. Lillian Sutherland, USVI MOTTEP coordinator, said the community has expressed a lot of interest in the event, which is the organization's 10th anniversary.
For the first time, the group is extending its support to encompass the men and women of the V.I. Police Department and other law enforcement entities in the territory, Sutherland said.
Since that announcement a few weeks ago about MOTTEP's plan to show support for law enforcement, interest in the event has grown, giving an indication that the community appreciates the work that police are doing and want to show their appreciation, according to Sutherland.
"Over the past few months, we have seen police disrespected and assaulted in the line of duty, and this is our small way of saying thank you and speaking out in support of our officers and encouraging support for them," she said.
One of MOTTEP's goals is to teach compassion and encourage residents to show love and embrace family members every day and support each other in love, Sutherland said.
"Many family members suffer really deep-seated pain when a loved one dies, but many times it is because they never told them that they loved them or that they appreciated what they mean in their lives," she said. "We have to show our love in the moment, because the next is not promised."
She said the idea that life is fleeting also was evident with the Oct. 13 plane crash that claimed the lives of passengers Rachel Hamilton and Darwin Carr, while the pilot Kirby Hodge remains missing.
"No one ever thinks it would be the last time seeing their family member, they bank on seeing them again, but that never comes sometimes," she said. "We want to spread a wide message of family unity and togetherness in addition to showing support for our law enforcement family because of the work that they do and the danger of their job."
MOTTEP will host its 10th Annual "It's a Family Affair Walk" - from St. Croix Educational Complex to The Amphitheater in Sunny Isle - at 6 a.m. Saturday. A ceremony will take place following the walk.
Shuttle service to Complex will begin at 5:30 a.m. before the walk and continue directly after the walk.
"We realize the importance of our families as the foundation of the community, and we want residents to come out with their entire families, show their support, recommit to their loved ones and support the law enforcement community," she said.
For more information about transplants or organ donation, contact MOTTEP at 719-7892 or visit www.usvimottep.com.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.