Coronavirus Update New York City: Effort to thank every NYPD officer now underway

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- An effort to thank the more than 30,000 police officers in the NYPD for their work during the coronavirus pandemic is now underway.

Officers at the 108 Precinct in Long Island City, Queens received care packages and personal notes Thursday morning.

The outreach program was organized by the nonprofit organization Operation Gratitude.

"We're going to do this over the next eight months and literally express the appreciation of the American people, our one million volunteers, to every police officer in the NYPD," Operation Gratitude's CEO Kevin Schmeigel said.

The care packages, containing a mix of hand warmers, bracelets, lip balm, coffee, chocolate bars, jelly beans, and a hand-written thank you note,were put together on Wednesday by volunteers from police department fraternal organizations.

Operation Gratitude normally sends its care packages to military members overseas but amid the COVID-19 crisis, the organization realized there was a need for first responders on the homefront as well.

"What we do is much more than just assemble care packages and say thank you. We got a step beyond that, we make those meaningful connections so that civilians get a chance to talk to our military families, they get to talk to police officers, firefighters, and EMTs. They get to talk to doctors and nurses in hospitals responding to COVID and they start to understand what it's like," Schmeigel said.

The deliveries will be made at least once a month through September, with hopes to reach all 30,000 uniformed officers.

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