SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are getting joy delivered to their homes or hospital rooms in the form of “hero packages.”
The toys are delivered by South Kingstown Police Officer Jennifer Pacheco, who created The Hero Package Foundation in 2018. Her passion project is now getting attention across the country.
Local police departments across Rhode Island, and also some in other states, are donating money and toys to this organization to help in the efforts and raise awareness.
It’s tough for some to stay inside all day, but at his home in Chepachet with his two brothers and parents is the safest place for Sammy, 4, who just received a bone marrow transplant. Any germs or dirt could make him very sick.
“There’s just something about it I think I’m supposed to do this,” Pacheco said.
It was all smiles after Pacheco dropped off an electric car, goodies, and even a cape and mask for Sammy and his brothers.
She’s dedicated all of her spare time in between long rotating shifts to creating the foundation — an organization delivering toys and care packages to sick children and their families.
“I started it two months ago. My inspiration to start it is when I met 3-year-old Emerson in my first year on the job as a police officer. At 3 years old, she was battling acute myeloid leukemia for the third time,” Pacheco said. “I brought her a care package in the hospital with a couple other officers.”
She said that Emerson is now five years old and cancer-free.
The packages have made their way across the country to California and other states.
“At that time, you need all the support that you can get. You’re being thrown into a battle that you were not prepared for,” Maurice’s mother Patricia Sandoval said. “Any support that you get is awesome, and they love it. They love getting packages with their name on it.”
Maurice, 4, heroically got through a year of cancer treatment. Now he wants to be a police officer after getting Pacheco’s package with toy handcuffs, police pajamas and goodies for his sister.
Sandoval says that it is all about raising awareness across the country.
“That they are here. They are going through this and we do need better treatment. And that’s going to help. She’s a very big force,” she said.
Foster police funded the toys for Sammy’s package and East providence police paid for his new car.
Anyone that would like to donate can send money through Venmo at @THEHEROPACKAGEFOUNDATION.