When tragedy strikes, Americans are known to band together. It's the American way.
But it takes a lot of forethought and compassion to lend a helping hand to victims of tragedy even before it occurs.
The Guardians group is doing just that.
The Guardians group is a Cape Girardeau not-for-profit organization that has raised more than $62,000 for the families of any city police officer or firefighter who, heaven forbid, may get killed in the line of duty.
The organization is patterned after the St. Louis-based Backstoppers program. The Guardians would immediately provide $3,000 to the surviving spouse or family of any firefighter or policeman.
While there are other forms of assistance to families of firefighters and police officers who are killed while on duty, such relief does not arrive as quickly as the first check from the Guardians.
Since its founding in May 2001, the group has attracted 109 charter members who have pledged $1,000 to be paid over three years.
Members are still being sought for the Guardians. Fees are $150 a year for an individual membership, $250 for family memberships and $450 for corporate memberships. To request a membership application, write to the Guardians, P.O. Box 385, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702.
It's nice to know we live in a generous community. It's even better to know that the ones who protect us have a little bit less to worry about now.