MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A statewide non-profit started raising money for the family of fallen Myrtle Beach police Pfc. Jacob Hancher immediately after the news of his death came out.
That fundraiser for the Hancher family has already reached its goal several times, and it is now headed toward its goal of $50,000.
Serve & Connect organizes fundraisers for every fallen officer in South Carolina.
For the widow of the police officer who runs the non-profit, every death, including Hancher’s, takes her back to that awful moment in her life, yet, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“He always felt called to serve, and he came back to go into law enforcement and that’s when we met," said Serve & Connect CEO Kassy Alia Ray. "I don’t know if there’s such thing as love at first sight, but if there is, that was it.”
Ray will never forget the moment she met her husband, Greg. She’ll never forget the moment she and Greg welcomed their son, Sal, into the world.
“I had everything I ever wanted with Greg and Sal in my life," said Ray.
She’ll also never forget the moment she found out Greg died on duty one night just six months later.
“There was both the extreme emotional grief of losing my husband, my partner, my best friend, but also, the provider in our family," said Ray. "To think how we could move forward and I could continue to raise our son without him was very scary.”
Ray was fortunate to get a lot of support from her community, both emotionally and financially.
She realized every family that loses an officer in the line of duty must go through the same thing, so she founded Serve & Connect in Greg’s memory.
Serve & Connect raises money for every fallen officer in South Carolina.
“Something I say to families who have lost is, this is the worst club to be a part of, but now that you’re here, I’m here for you," said Ray. "As little or as much as you want us to be.”
Serve & Connect has raised over $600,000 for the families of fallen officers, including nearly $40,000 for Jacob Hancher’s family, as of Tuesday.
The Hancher fundraiser has gotten donations from 24 different states.
Ray will continue these fundraisers, with Greg in mind, every time.
“I feel honored and proud that we can do what small bit we can to support the families because I know how much it matters," said Ray.