It’s tough sometimes dealing day to day with all the chaos, confusion and just bad news we might face.
But then there’s Coretta James.
She’s a morale builder.
James writes personal thank-you cards to members of the New York Police Department — individuals who regularly deal with chaos and bad news.
She’s given out 4,000 of her cards and wants to provide one for every New York City cop. With 36,000 on the force, “I have a lot of writing to do,” she said in a New York Post feature story about her efforts.
James began her notes to NYPD officers four years ago. Before that, she sent notes to troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I have tremendous respect for the uniform: military, firemen and cops,” she said. “They are not used to being thanked. And I feel for them. They need encouragement.”
“Heartbreaking” is how she described the current anti-police attitudes, including efforts to defund the police and the violent demonstrations in New York City.
“I see them as human beings,” James said of police officers, “because I want them to see me as a human being. Some people think cops crawl out from under a rock, then go home and crawl back under that rock.”
— New York Post (@nypost) September 27, 2021
A native of Antigua who immigrated to New York City when she was 16, James said her contacts with people in uniform prompted her to appreciate them. And they appreciate her.
Joe Fox, a retired transit cop, said, “A written note and a card has a lot of value these days.” Some officers hang James’ cards in their lockers or show them to their families at home, he said.
James recognizes what she does may be controversial to some.
“I am prepared for blowback,” she told the Post. “But it’s not about me. It’s about the police, and I want them to know they are appreciated.”
James is a nanny who writes her cards on nights and weekends. Typically, the cards are from Hallmark or American Greeting that she buys at stores, and she gives specific cards to police officers of specific ranks.
“I try to do at least maybe 10 cards a day,” James told Fox News.
“I try to write a certain amount when I go to a precinct,” she said. “The cards are prewritten and the outside of the card I put the ranks — lieutenant, sergeant, detective, officer — and when I get there and that’s when I get the names and I write the names on the card before I give it to an officer.”
Asked what she writes on the cards, James said, “‘Thank you for your service in the NYPD. It takes a special person to take a job that every time you put on your uniform you put your life at risk, and you do this over and over again.’ And I put that they’re somebody’s somebody, because they are. That’s somebody’s husband, somebody’s father, somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife.”
James said that upon receiving one of her cards, one officer said it was the first thank-you card he had received in 26 years of service, the Post reported.
“It made me realize what I was doing was very much needed,” she said.
James also has written notes for police officers in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington. She told Fox News she hopes to take her efforts national.
What a refreshing picture of a New York City lady.
And while Coretta James has undertaken a big project, what she is doing is very simple: showing appreciation to those who deserve it but don’t always get it.
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