Cause Champions: Families of Law Enforcement
When Susana & Michael Sollazzo learned about the critical and unmet need for mental health care for law enforcement officers and their families, they were moved to act and champion this cause. They share how developing a close partnership with the founders of How To Love Our Cops, Vicki and Brent Newman, amplified the impact on the families served.
The Signatry works with donors to use their donor advised funds to champion the causes near to their heart. These ministries desire to have strong partners who not only write checks, but who support the nonprofit behind the scenes through innovative efforts. Learn how you can become a cause champion like Michael and Susana and impact a community in new ways by visiting the Champion a Cause blog post.
Michael Sollazzo: I’d say that the hardest part when you make a really large gift to a donor advised fund is now you’ve got this big pot of money, it’s so much fun because you can give to all these different organizations, and you’ve already given that money away.
It’s not yours. It’s God’s right. And so, it’s just allowed us to be even more generous. And we have several friends who … We have several friends who run great ministries like Vicki here in How 2 Love Our Cops.
Vicki Newman: So, How 2 Love Our Cops. Basically, we’re all about law enforcement families and we come alongside, we educate, we encourage, and we equip families on how to love their cops. And it is just at this time in our… in where we are as a nation and as a society, even, to have the support and the education of what’s really going on behind the scenes. And so, we’ve created resources, books, and handbooks and videos and events such as conferences and retreats, and then also programs that come alongside and help the law enforcement family.
Brent Newman: There’s a lot of unhealthy in the law enforcement community just because of isolation. Isolation is an enemy to health. And so, what ends up happening is when we come along, it can educate spouses to start getting connected with other spouses, getting to connect with their own husband or wife and then we provide the education training. Amazing things happen.
When that officer goes to work, that officer’s healthy, which means they tend to be a blessing within their organization. And even more importantly, they’re a blessing to their community. There’s nothing worse than an officer who’s exhausted because they’re having to work double shifts. They have cumulative trauma, maybe post-traumatic stress disorder and on top of that, the result of all that is they’re struggling at home, and they just are living a life of quiet desperation.
And so, you take that desperate circumstance and then they’re confronted with the worst circumstances that you could possibly imagine, including people wanting to hurt and kill you. And then they’re supposed perform literally perfectly, because if they don’t, the consequences are that it’s a national media event. So, all of that goes back to strengthening the family home, because we truly believe that it not only has that benefit, but those dollars that enable us to do that and Vicki, to run the organization. It’s actually transformative to our country because we need, especially with fewer and fewer law enforcement officers, we need the ones that are out there to be as healthy and functional and professional as possible.
Susana Sollazzo: So, once we find out what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, their outcomes with it. I mean, the intentionality of helping all these law enforcement officers and families, how do you not get behind it? Again, Michael and I surprisingly, we don’t come from my law enforcement background at all.
We don’t know, we don’t know anything about this. So, once we found out about it, we wanted to get behind it. But we can’t do what they do. We don’t have any of that. So, it is for us. We all have a place and we all have been given all this incredible blessings.
Brent Newman: What Michael and Susana have done through their friendship as well as the donor advised funds, is really provide not only the fuel economically but the relationship.
When we do this kind of work, we want partners. We don’t want just people to write checks. We want people to have a relationship. We want them to be able to see what is happening, the lives that are being affected, the lives are being changed, the lives are being saved.
Vicki Newman: I love these guys. They are in our lives. We share a life together. And it’s been amazing. The other thing is, is that they have generously provided training for me. I’m a cop wife, homeschool mom, and I’ve never run a business nor a nonprofit. They have graciously provided not only the funds, but the people who can speak into me as a leader. So, it’s just been from A to Z, this incredible relationship and incredible partnership.