BRICK – Cassidy Haugh, 25, has found a way to give back to local police departments after receiving help from them when she totaled her car last July.
It was 4 a.m., and the Brick resident had just come off a double shift as a supervisor at the Wall Township Wawa when she hit a deer on Route 70.
“The police were there within seconds,” Haugh said, “and if we need the police during overnights at Wawa, like when kids get into fights, they’re also there in seconds.”
A couple of weeks later, she brought the Wall Township police officers some snacks to thank them for their quick and kind response in the aftermath of her accident, from which she walked away uninjured.
Haugh has relatives who work in law enforcement, including her father Wayne, who is a detective in Robbinsville, and her uncle, Eric Haugh, who is a cop in Brick. (Eric Haugh and fellow officer John Alexander were recently lauded for saving a drowning woman in the Metedeconk River on August 15).
The Wall Police officers were surprised and happy to receive the snacks, so Haugh did the same for the Manasquan Police Department, who sometimes work with the Wall officers.
“This year feels like cops aren’t appreciated as much,” Haugh said. “Because of the times we’re in – they’re essential workers during the pandemic – I started donating food to make them feel appreciated.”
She bought big boxes of snacks from Costco, like chips and Oreos, and subs from Lenny’s in Silverton (which is owned by her uncle), and from Colonial Ranch in Point Pleasant.
“At first I used my own money – I spent about $280 on both police departments,” she said. “I posted it on Facebook, and a couple of people reached out to me and wanted to do the same thing.”
More and more people wanted to help, including such people as her co-worker at Wawa – a mom who works overnight shifts – who made a donation.
That was when Haugh decided to start a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy food for local police departments, to bring people together and for police awareness.
GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events – like graduations and celebrations – to more challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses.
Haugh’s GoFundMe page got a lot of shares, and so far she has raised $1,075 towards her goal of $5,000. She wants to donate food to two police departments a month.
So far Haugh has donated food and snacks to 10 police departments: along with Wall and Manasquan, she has donated to Robbinsville, because that’s where her father works, and neighboring Hightstown, whose police departments sometimes work together. Haugh also donated to the Bay Head Police Department because her dad used to work there.
She has donated to Brick, because she lives here. She delivered food to Sea Girt, because her dad knows the police chief there, and the officers come into her Wawa.
Her mother Monica works in Eatontown, so Cassidy donated food to their police department. And the last two – Lavallette and Point Pleasant – received donations because the Haugh family has friends there.
“I just show up at different times, I give them the food and they’re very shocked because I bring a lot,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll bring a four-or six-foot sub, and they’re always appreciative.”
Haugh’s father, Wayne, said his daughter brings positivity to law enforcement, which he said he appreciates in the wake of some negativity about police in the media.
Her mother Monica got emotional as she described her daughter as having a heart of gold.
“I’m extremely proud of her, she’s always thinking of others,” Monica said.