‘Thank you for your service’: Woman delivers handmade hearts to Wisconsin first responders

Donna Opperman is delivering homemade hearts and stars to police, fire and EMS departments across Wisconsin to show appreciation for first responders.

“To honor 9/11 and 911. We will never forget. These are not very pretty stars or hearts. A little frayed around the edges, like the USA right now. Like the USA we will bend a little, but we will not break,” Opperman wrote in a letter she delivers with the gifts.

Each gift is hand-sewn with nine red beads in the shape of a nine and 11 white beads in the shape of the number 11.

“It’s something people just don’t do enough of is thanking the people that save our lives every single day,” Opperman said.

The Village of Oregon Police Department shared a post of their gift and expressed gratitude for her appreciation.

“All of us in that first responder community, no matter what walk of life we are, if we are police, fire, EMS, appreciate that very much. We got in this business to help people and when we see others wanting to give back to us, it’s very heartwarming, overwhelming sometimes,” Oregon Fire Chief Glenn Linzmeier said.

Baraboo Police Chief Mark Schauf says Opperman’s thoughtfulness is appreciated in Baraboo, as well.

“The handmade nature, the dedication to handmake all of these and I would hazard the thousands that Donna has made over the years is very heartwarming and is very encouraging that the community can know that our people care so much,” Schauf said.

Schauf said he expresses gratitude to Opperman.

“I hope we are doing you proud. I hope that she is proud of our community. I hope she’s proud of the response, and we appreciate her having our back, too,” Schauf said.

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