SOMERSET, NJ – The Franklin Township Police Department unveiled its pink patrol vehicle yesterday alongside breast cancer survivors and members of Sister2Sister to help raise money for the nonprofit during Breast Cancer Awareness month.
The bubblegum-pink wrapping on the car is a centerpiece of the department’s Pink Patch Project -- where officers make donations to wear pink patches on their uniforms and sell shirts to support Sister2Sister.
This is the second year PBA Local 154 – headed by Ptl. Mark Rossman – is working with Sister2Sister, a local nonprofit that supports women going through breast cancer treatment.
“Once we found each other it became a natural bond between the two of us,” Rossman said. “There’s a lot of officers in our department that have been affected by breast cancer.”
The patrol car makes stops at local businesses and events like Snyder’s Farms, the Sister2Sister 5K Run/Walk for Life, the Far Hills Race Meeting and the Franklin Food Bank’s Hotdog Sunday.
“We try to get it out there so people can see it and be aware of it,” Rossman said. “We’re trying to do our part and spread the word and hopefully raise some money.”
Last year, the department’s efforts raised $5,000 for Sister2Sister, and Rossman says they hope to do the same this year.
From its headquarters on Hamilton Street, Sister2Sister works to raise awareness and educate women about the importance of early detection for breast cancer survival. As the nonprofit’s president Dorothy Reed says, “Early detection is your best protection.”
But the core of its mission is supporting women going through treatment in whatever way they can. The organization is open to all women dealing with breast cancer, but they make a special point to help underserved and underinsured women to ensure that these women can make treatment a priority.
Many women will forego having a chemo treatment to pay their rent or give their kids lunch money, says Sister2Sister Vice President Barbara Burton.
“We have unrestricted funds so we can help them,” she said. “We help women who have financial obstacles while they're going through treatment.”
Surviving breast cancer is a long journey and the nonprofit tries to provide support for women through every phase of their struggle. If they need money to cover their utility bill, the Sisters will help them; if they need a ride to treatment, the Sisters will take them to the doctor; if they want to know more about their condition and what to do post-diagnosis, the Sisters will teach them.
“The money that we raise, that’s what we do with it: Give it back to the women going through treatment so they know they are not alone,” said Reed.