Her name is Megan Stewart and we were on a mission to surprise her. We found her helping pass out bottled water to Newport News fire-fighters and police officers taking part in a mock exercise at Lee Hall Elementary. I asked her if she knew what was going on with this surprise visit by News 3? She responded with a laugh, "Not really but we'll roll with it."
I told her we've been hearing some good things about her, thanks to a friend Tami Park Farinholt who sent News 3 an email nominating Megan for a People Taking Action award. Tami read a portion of that email. "In 2008, Megan lead the charge to form Backing the Thin Line, a nonprofit, dedicated to supporting the significant others of 1st responders."
The group is busy----organizing an annual summer cookout for families of first responders and coordinating events, like providing Christmas toys for kids in the community and much more. For example her group showed up at this exercise, providing water for first responders. But in addition to that, if there's an illness or a death in the family of fire-fighters or a police officer, her group shows up, checks on the family---- and finds out what their needs are.
Tami also mentions in her email, about other ways the group is helping, "These programs have included everything from fundraisers to support fallen 1st responders to financial planning workshops and social events. For all those reasons, Megan was presented with a News 3 People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
Megan, the wife of a Newport News police officer---knows first hand it's important to support our first responders. "It's my heart. It makes my heart happy.... so much joy, to go into the stations, talk to the guys and girls and let them know how much we love them and care for them."
Megan's husband, Nick says in the wake of recent events across the country, that support is so important right now. "I don't want to say morale is down, but you see with all the things happening, it's not a good time to be in law enforcement. So it's important to have people there to support you, show you support and that makes it worth it."