We had a visit Tuesday from a very sweet lady, Ms. Donna Saldana https://www.facebook.com/donna.saldana.5?fref=ts. Donna is a cancer survivor who now lives in Conway. She grew up around law enforcement, as her late father retired as a captain from the Fort Smith Police Department and her family was close friends with the Sebastian County Sheriff.
Donna heard about Jayden Witsell, a 9-year-old boy from Slidell, Louisiana who, with the help of his mother, had begun chasing down police officers and sheriff’s deputies and presenting them with St. Michael (the patron saint of police officers) coins and handwritten thank you cards in envelopes with “Police Lives Matter” written on the outside.
Last summer, when she observed a Conway police officer calmly working a traffic accident involving one of the women in her cancer support group, Donna was inspired to launch her own crusade, capitalizing on what Jayden had started in Louisiana. Donna began visiting police departments and sheriff’s offices and distributing thank you cards, cards containing the “Police Officer’s Prayer” and the “Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel,” and necklaces containing a medallion of St. Michael on one side and a Guardian Angel on the reverse. Along with the mementos, she tries to meet with officers at each agency she goes to, giving them hugs and telling them how important they are to her. She also encourages each officer to wear or carry the necklace with them for protection.
The Carlisle PD was number 1,022 on the list of agencies she’s visited so far! Thank you, Ms. Donna! You made us feel very special and, yes, we’re carrying the necklaces where you told us to.