‘Cups of Kindness’ shows support for Camas police

Camas resident partners with Vancouver pottery studio to personalize coffee cups for local officers

A months-long collaboration between the Camas community and a Vancouver ceramics studio will soon deliver dozens of personalized mugs to Camas Police Department officers and staff.

Camas resident Scott Gee spearheaded the “Camas Cups of Kindness” project over the summer.

“Our Camas police officers and support staff have been working hard this year with a spike in car theft and prowls, as well as responding to the pandemic-related calls,” Gee said. “I wanted to start a project to show our officers our appreciation for all that they do for us.”

Gee remembered an article he’d read in The Columbian newspaper a few years before.

That article, “‘Cups of Kindness’ filled with gratitude for police,” published on Nov. 9, 2015, highlighted the work of local artists Danielle Ireland and Addi Dearinger.

Ireland and Dearinger, the owners of Earth, Glaze & Fire, a pottery studio in Vancouver’s Uptown Village, had come up with a “Cups of Kindness” project in 2015 that collected messages of support, as well as children’s artwork, from the community and placed them on hand-painted coffee mugs for all 190 of Vancouver’s police officers.

After finding the 2015 article, Gee looked up Earth, Glaze & Fire and realized the Vancouver art business had been suffering during the COVID-19 .

“They had to shutter their business during the pandemic, but were luckily still operating online, so I made a proposal that we do the same type of project they’d done in 2015,” Gee said.

Instead of the Earth, Glaze & Fire owners donating their work and materials, Gee would work with the Camas community, starting with his neighbors in the Lake Ridge North area, to gather messages of support for Camas police officers, as well as children’s artwork, and buy the hand-painted mugs from Ireland and Dearinger’s business.

“It seemed like a win-win,” Gee said. “We could support local artists and show our appreciation for the police department.”

There are still about two dozen cups available through the Camas Cups of Kindness project. Gee hopes to deliver the mugs, filled with handmade cookies and other treats, to Camas police officers later this month.

“Danielle and Addi gave the Vancouver Police Department a wonderful gift from their hearts in 2015, and now we have an opportunity to help their business survive and give our Camas Police Department the same gift in 2020,” Gee said. “These are dark times which we are living in. Let’s light it up with some kindness.”

Anyone can sponsor a mug for $28 and personalize it with a kind message and/or drawing.

For details about how to purchase a mug and send personalized messages, visit Earth, Glaze & Fire at earthglazeand fireceramics.com and click on “Camas Cups of Kindness.”