NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A local police officer many know and love is celebrating his birthday, and his biggest birthday gift is going to a key organization in the community.
North Little Rock Police Officer Tommy Norman spends many afternoons at the central Arkansas Boys and Girls Club. His birthday Tuesday was no different, though this visit came with a gift for the kids.
An anonymous couple in Georgia who has followed Norman’s difference-making through social media reached out wanting to celebrate his birthday by investing in a cause. Norman quickly chose his local Boys and Girls Club.
Norman said he had no idea this would result in a pledge to match up to $15,000 in donations to the organization. The couple is hoping this urges others to also give to the cause.
“$15,000 to come from the hands of an anonymous couple hundreds of miles from here…it’s something that will be remembered for the rest of these kids lives,” Norman said. “This is probably the biggest birthday gift I have ever received, out of all my 51 birthdays.”
Boys and Girls Clubs all over are more than just a building, Norman told KARK 4 News/FOX 16 News. They are safe havens for kids and often, play a part in shaping their future.
“I’ve been a police officer in this city for a quarter of a century and some kids- they don’t have anywhere to go,” Norman said. “The Boys and Girls Club is a safe place for kids to come to. It is right in the community where kids can come, they can have mentors, get education, get fed.”
Norman spoke to the group of kids at the club in North Little Rock Tuesday, telling them about this gift and the importance of it. He looked a little different this visit, dressed in shorts and sneakers.
“I didn’t wear my police uniform today because I don’t want you to know me as a man in the uniform, I want you to look at me as your friend,” he told the kids.
Central Arkansas Boys and Girls Club CEO Cindy Doramus said the gift is not only humbling, but it will be extremely helpful for this location. One important need right now is making significant repairs to their gym.
Again, the couple’s gift is a pledge to match up to $15,000 in donations. Those who would like to donate can do so online.