New Officers Support Kids Club
Andrea Persichetti and Matthew Pogue were Special Constables in 14 Division for just over a year before applying to be uniformed officers.
In that time, they became aware of the Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO) – a South Parkdale-based charity that uses leadership training to promote positive and healthy lifestyle choices for children and youth.
“When we learned that they provide a lot of after-school programs for vulnerable youth, we thought it would be a good idea to see what we can do to help them with some funding,” said Pogue. “They also put on a free summer camp, offer boxing lessons and work with police officers to try to prevent youth from considering joining gangs.”
The officers along with the Toronto Police Service June graduating class raised over $6,600 for the organization.
MKJO President Miranda Kamal said the money could not have come at a better time.
“Because we do run a free summer camp and, as a charity, we had to pay our full expenses during the pandemic, it has been a really hard time for us,” she said. “Having this money come in to assist with our summer camp is huge. As a small organization, this means so much and every single penny counts.”
Additionally, the officers brought a Ferrari to the MJKO for day for the kids to enjoy and gathered a large quantity of supplies donated for the summer camp.
“These items included arts and crafts, sporting goods and snacks,” said Persichetti.
Donation boxes were set up at 14 Division, where the non-profit has always had a great relationship.
“We have had a special rapport with the Division, but what is cool about Andrea and Matthew is that they came to our club on their days off after I was diagnosed with skin cancer,” said Kamal. “It was a difficult time for me, but they said not to worry and they came in every Thursday to be with the kids. That was huge for me in terms of their character and who they are as people.”
For the last 13 years, the club has recognized a 14 Division officer who has made a significant contribution to the club and this year Persichetti was honoured at the annual general meeting.