Sophina at Glenwood Fire Department

Timing was definitely not planned by any one of us in these pictures! The night was amazing and then it became unbelievable and even more unbelievable!

Last night, Sophina and I brought warm cookies (made by Catherine🥹) and “Life Coins” to the Glenwood Fire Department firefighters! We were greeted by two friendly firefighters, Eric and Hayden who were preparing the meal- burgers, brats, salad and chips! As the other firefighters came we got to meet them and give them a warm cookie. Sophina and firefighter Matt became instant friends 😁

We all got our food and went to the upstairs meeting room. After we were all done, Sophina and I got to share our story, the story of the Life Coins, the mental health toll that’s happening for our first responders. Then Sophina gave them another tool to give them help when it’s needed- their own “Life Coin” as she’d speak to each of them individually.

These lifelines for their pockets came from the same anonymous giver as last week. The giver completely believes in the need of coming alongside our First Responders and in Sophina’s Birthday Wish. The anonymous giver had donated $500 and we’d given part of that gift of coins to the first responders of Shield 616 last week. There were exactly 28 “Life Coins” for the Glenwood Firefighters last night. AMAZING.

Sophina finished and we all went downstairs to get a picture with the firefighters in front of one of their fire trucks. It was so much fun! Sophina was in the front seat having the time of her life! Then, Sophina got to choose some firefighters to go on a fire truck ride with. It was one firefighter’s first ride in the truck!!! Welcome to Glenwood Fire Department! They came back shortly and as I was speaking with a firefighter who was telling me about Glenwood’s beauty, I heard a commotion behind me! My mouth dropped!

Sophina was hugging Dan Owen! There was Deb and two of their grandchildren as well! We couldn’t believe it! We’d let them know that we’d be there giving our cookies and coins. Questions had been asked back and forth but I never thought they’d surprise us. Sophina was in heaven!!! She’d just about been ready for a second ride in the fire truck when the Glenwood firefighters said that she should take Dan, Deb, Mia and Peyton with instead! Sophina made sure Firefighter Matt was also included! It was their first ride in a fire truck and Sophina was absolutely beside herself with JOY! Could the night get any more special?!?! Yes, yes it could!

Mia’s dad came into the bay as we were finishing getting pictures with the firefighters and the family. We got some pictures and suddenly Sophina was running…right into the arms of Matt Owen! I wish I could’ve had it recorded because it was priceless! SO, we added one more to the group pictures! The question was asked to Matt… “Have YOU ever ridden in a fire truck?” SO…ride three happened and this time I got to ride with. This ride, Fire Chief Bruce asked Firefighter Hayden to drive us all to the lookout! WOW!!! We each got out to see the beauty!!! We then went back to the department and hung out for a bit again before the family had to leave. What a blessing that none of us will ever forget!

Sophina and I stayed with the firefighters that were still there as we learned about their lives, the city of Glenwood and their department. It was a blessing of a night that reminded us once again how selfless and incredible First Responders and their families are!

An incredible organization that’s bringing better protection for our law enforcement and first responders!

(Yesterday’s 17 “Life Coins” were donated out of order for a reason but we went back to the order as donations were given.)

Ten of the “Life Coins” that were given out tonight were donated by a childhood friend Heather Micheli. The rest were donated by an anonymous donor who absolutely loves and believes in these “Life Coins” and in Sophina’s Birthday Wish. We’re grateful to these two who donated. Sophina was honored to help me hand the lifelines for their pockets out to these amazing First Responders! THANK YOU (Sophina’s mom Connie chronicled on her FB site.)