Most 10-year-olds can’t wait for their next birthday party. It’s an opportunity to spend time with with friends, get gifts, and have a lot of fun, while all of the attention is focused on them.
But Jeremie Bordua, from Lansing, Michigan, gave all of that up. He had something different in mind.
A Childhood Dream
Jeremie had already decided that when he grew up, he wanted to become a police officer.
In 2015, when police protests had become a daily occurrence and nearly impossible to avoid hearing about, Jeremie asked his mom, Marcella Telling, if maybe he had picked the wrong career.
“He goes, ‘Mom, the cops are still the good guys right?'” His mom replied, “Yep. There are some bad police officers, and then there are still the good ones.”
An Urge to Recognize the ‘Good Ones’
Jeremie understood, but he didn’t like how the good cops seemed to often get lumped in with the bad cops.
So, in an honorable and selfless effort to try to change that perception, he told his mom that for his 11th birthday, he only wanted one thing—to throw a “thank you party” for police. She agreed to allow him to go for it, and he spent months raising money and planning for the event.
When questioned by CBS in an interview why would he want to do this, his reply was simple: “I’m throwing them the thank you party to show them I still appreciate them.”
A Mother’s Pride
Marcella agreed to allow her son to follow through with his plan, knowing the outcome was at best, uncertain. They weren’t sure if anyone would come. Jeremie planned it anyway. He was, after all, just a fifth grader. Would anyone even respond to his invitation?
But no matter what, his mother thought his actions were amazingly heartwarming.
“I cry a lot, just because I’m proud,” Marcella Telling, Jeremie’s mother told WLIX last year. “You know, he’s dealt with a lot of bullying and stuff so a lot of negative and he’s making a positive out of it. So, it’s very touching that he’s turning out to be a great young man.”
Who Would Come?
So, did they respond? Absolutely, in droves. Once word got out, about 100 officers responded nation-wide, and around 250 showed up. They came from all over the state of Michigan and beyond. Even Jeremie was shocked by the turnout!
“I didn’t know it was going to be this big, really, “ he said.
Deputy James Revell drove from Georgia to make the event. “I just want to thank you for doing all that you do for us,“ the officer said as he shook his hand.
“He saw not every police officer is bad. We’re human beings and that’s what he sees in us.”
Another police officer said, “There’s one person that really recognizes what we truly are out here to do.”
Yet another officer seemed particularly moved by the gesture. “There just aren’t kids like that,“ said Officer Gary Hall, who flew in from Los Angeles to attend the party.
As he stood before Jeremie and a camera crew filming their exchange of gratitude, Officer Hall told Jeremie, “I just got to tell you Jeremie, How much this really means to us.”
Jeremie had no idea the depth of the gratitude he would get in return. Officer Hall shook his hand and gave him a genuine heartwarming hug. They were both emotional.
“You’re a good boy,“ said Officer Hall.
“Thank you,” replied Jeremy.
The Lansing Police Department even made Jeremie an honorary member and gave him an official uniform, complete with a badge. The boy’s smile was truly a sight to behold.
This young boy’s story has touched hearts across the nation, and it reminds us how a small gesture of appreciation can grow into an unforgettable wave of support that will last a lifetime.
Happy Birthday, Jeremie!
Watch the video below: