What is Rockin' 4 Relief?
My name is Jennifer Rubin, I'm 19 years old, and I am a student at Southeast Missouri State University studying Communication Studies with a minor in Criminal Justice and a minor in Writing with the desire of becoming a police officer.
When I was 10 years old, I went through the D.A.R.E. program and began volunteering at community events with my local police department. I began asking questions about law enforcement and learned at a young age that police officers, along with all other emergency responders, risk their lives on a daily basis which inspired me to give back to them.
When I was 12 years old, I launched a fundraiser called Rockin' 4 Relief. We are a teen-based organization that raises money for families of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics who were killed in the line of duty. Every year, we send teenagers out to different locations to rock in rocking chairs for 10 hours straight and collect money from customers who walk by. This fundraiser originated in St. Louis, MO but since coming to college in Cape Girardeau, MO (2 hours south of St. Louis), we have spread to the southeast Missouri region as well.
In 2010, we moved to a grocery store and nearly tripled what we did during year one and raised more than $2,000. At that point in time, I realized how much potential we had and it continued to sky rocket from there. We began adding locations, volunteers, and sponsors, and I never expected the support we've had throughout the years.
Our very first year in 2009, we rocked at a local gym and raised $750. As a 12 year old, my goal was to raise $1,000 and was extremely disappointed when we failed to reach that goal. Instead of giving up, it made me that much more determined to continue because I felt like emergency responders deserved more than that.
In 2012, I was on Twitter sending out blasts with the website address hoping celebrities, athletes, broadcasters, and other public officials would retweet it and draw people to the website. It drew thousands of people, and unexpectantly, thousands of dollars. Instead of retweeting the website, Oprah Winfrey decided to match the $12,000 I had raised at the time, and add $1,000 to get us to a cumulative total of $25,000.
In 2013, the work of my fundraiser hit close to home when the local police department that I was a Police Explorer for lost two officers within 30 days of each other. Detective Chris Simpson and Officer Joe Smith both passed away from heart attacks. Officer Smith had been a huge part of Rockin' 4 Relief, as he donated money the year before, provided t-shirts for our volunteers before Rockin '4 Relief had enough money to get our own, and he rocked for many hours during the 2012 event.
Now that it's 2016, we are on our NINTH event which will be hosted in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. If you want to get involved, check out the links above or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support and we hope you will join us on helping our nation's heroes!
Founder of Rockin' 4 Relief