Family Support Project: First-ever Shop with HPD Blue Heroes A giant Christmas season success

Andrea Schmauss

Months of planning by the Houston Police Family Support Unit (HPFSU) and several generous donations resulted in our hosting a most successful First Annual “Shopping with HPD Blue Heroes.”  A day to treat the children of our fallen HPD officers to a shopping spree at Target – Heights.


On Dec. 1, the children (ages of 18 and under) were assisted by HPD officers, as they loaded up their shopping carts.  In attendance to show their support and cheer on our shoppers were Assistant Chiefs Wendy Baimbridge and Henry Gaw; 35-plus members of the Thin Blue Line LEMC; members of the HPFSU; and Target staff and store patrons.


Shoppers were waiving as the Thin Blue Line rode in to kick off the festivities.  The children were then paired up with their shopping buddies and the fun began.


Our guests of honor were:


  • Tyler Martin, son of Officer Richard Martin EOW 5-18-15
  • Carlos Vasquez, son of Officer Alberto Vasquez EOW 5-22-01
  • Eydelmen Mani Jr, son of Officer Eydelmen Mani EOW 5-19-10
  • Alex Graham, step-son of Officer Kevin Will EOW 5-29-11
  • Abbi Graham, step-daughter of Officer Will
  • Kevin Will Jr, son of Officer Will


Each of these young men and women received a blanket courtesy of ReLEntless Defender in honor of their fathers.


Special thanks to HPD Officer Todd Young for bringing forth the idea, spearheading and organizing this event; the Target team for their warm welcome, hospitality and great customer service; our amazing donors: APS Building Services, Thin Blue Line MC Foundation, HPOU, Target, ReLEntless Defender Apparel, Candelari’s Washington and the countless others who made donations and/or who came out to assist.


HPFSU President Jennifer Bates said, “These children all lost a parent in the line of duty, this is the least we could do. This will be an annual event. NEVER FORGOTTEN!”