By Kyle Salomon,
Following the horrific tragedy that occurred in Dallas with the attack on the Dallas Police Department, Willie Girlinghouse, owner of EmbroidMe here in Yukon, knew he wanted to do something to send a message to people about his feelings toward law enforcement officers.
Girlinghouse has several family members in law enforcement, so he decided to come up with a bumper sticker that simply says, “I Value Yukon Police”.
Girlinghouse and his EmbroidMe staff made the sticker and decided to post it on their official business Facebook page. He decided to make the sticker free of charge.
“We wanted to create something that showed how important each person and each job they do on the police force is important,” Girlinghouse said. “To me, it’s not a black and white issue, it’s a humanity issue.”
Just three days after they went public with the new sticker, people began to come into the store and pick up their free stickers, but it wasn’t until a picture of the sticker was posted in the Yukon Happenings Facebook page that it started taking off and growing in popularity.
“We started receiving phone calls from all over the state asking if they could use our idea to make their own stickers,” Girlinghouse said. “I told them yes, but we can send you the artwork and all you will have to do is change the name of the town.”
Every television news station in the Oklahoma City metro called EmbroidMe and did a story on the new sticker, as well as a TV news station in Tulsa.
With the cost of materials, printing and labor, Girlinghouse decided to go ahead charge for the sticker across the state. He only set the price so that the cost of materials, printing and labor would be covered. He doesn’t want to make any revenue off of the sticker.
The corporate cost for the stickers are 50-200 at 50 cents each for $25.00 to $100.00, 250-500 at 45 cents each for $112.50 to $225.00, 550-1000 at 35 cents each for $192.50 to $350.00 and 1,050-2000 at 30 cents each for $315.00 to $600.00.
Girlinghouse said people have come into the store and asked to donate money for the stickers since they are not making individual people purchase the stickers.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Girlinghouse said. “We have received so many emails, letters and people just coming in and thanking us saying, ‘You don’t know how much this means.’ We have even had some ladies with family members on a police force come in and just cry when they see the sticker.”
Girlinghouse said he believes people here in the Yukon and Oklahoma City metro area have a different type of connection than people in other bigger cities.
“We seem to have more of a togetherness than other cities,” Girlinghouse said. “That’s what makes this city and this community so special. There are some out there who see it the other way, but for the most part, we are all one big community. There is no division between the community and the police and that’s the way it should be.”