Positive Patrol spreads an encouraging message

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Thirteen year-old Sussex County native Emily Finchum is making a difference in the lives of local first responders one card at a time.

Recently, Finchum spread her positive patrol awareness to the Charlotte County community by visiting several local first responder agencies to show her continued support and fight against bullying.

According to Finchum, she was bullied in elementary school.

Emily’s mom, Tara Finchum, said the last straw came when her daughter received a threatening note with the words “I will kill you.”

Emily said throughout the entire ordeal, her school resource officer played an important part in helping her to get over the bullying.

“In June 2016 I started to write thank you notes for the police department (and) fire department in my community,” said information from Emily’s popular Facebook group #PositivePatrol. “Then I continued to other cities and counties around me. This is my way of doing something positive I hope others see it and find their own way of making a difference.”

According to Tara, each thank you note is personalized and color coded based on the agency.

Emily has specific thank you cards for military members, law enforcement, dispatch, fire and rescue.

Each card has a special message tailored to the appropriate community.

Tara said her daughter Emily was 11 when she started doing the #PositivePatrol initiative and she is now 13.

Tara said she has changed throughout the course of the project.

Currently, Emily has spread her positive messages to over 400 agencies in 21 different states. She said over 111,000 cards have been distributed.

To date, Emily has visited organizations in Charlotte County including the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, the Charlotte County Rescue Squad, the Bacon District Volunteer Fire Department, and the Phenix Volunteer Fire Department.

In addition to writing thank you notes for local first responders, Emily is currently selling bracelets to continue funding the #Positivepatrol project.

The bracelets also contain a positive message, “you’re worth more than you know.”

Tara said the cost of paper and ink alone is around $250 for roughly 12,000 cards.

Currently, Emily’s Facebook page documents her journey to various departments to spread her positive message.

For more information on the project, visit #PositivePatrol on Facebook.