Hunter's Chest provides comfort for kids who are victims of crime

- A pair of sergeants in the San Francisco Police Department, who happen to be married, say a recent attempted kidnapping and spike in car break-ins inspired them to create a new police program for children.

It's called "Hunter's Chest", named after the couple's own son, designed to provide comfort to kids who are the victims of crimes or whose parents have been arrested.

"I believe we went with size 3 diapers," said Sgt. Jennifer Hennessey-Jones as she emptied the contents of the care packages she'd assembled with her husband, Sgt. Rich Jones.

The couple noticed that while parents were filing police reports or being interviewed, their kids would become restless, hungry or need a fresh diaper.

"On numerous occasions [Rich] would find himself changing diapers on the tailgate of his truck and entertaining children either while help came from another state or another city," said Hennessey-Jones.

Rich often found himself running out to his truck to grab his three-year old son Hunter's toys to give to the children.

"Often times, they're tourists," said Jones. "They get their stuff stolen, when they do, sometimes the diaper bag gets stolen and they come to the station and the kids have nothing. They have a wet diaper, they have no food, they have no toys and the kids are just miserable. A few times we've seen the kids crying outside."

After spending a long time with the victim of an attempted kidnapping at the Ferry Building in May, the Joneses sprung into action, creating "Hunter's Chest", a large box filled with bags of toys, water and other items.

"As a parent, I just really connect with this," said Hennessey Jones. "I understand how hard it can be to wrangle a toddler or have a newborn baby and nothing more than the items in your purse to keep them entertained."

"Hunter's Chests" are currently set up at Central Station in Chinatown where Rich works and the Special Victims Unit at the Hall of Justice.

The goal is to have them at every station.

"I feel very passionate about this. My husband and I both said we'll fund it out of our own pockets if need be.

We definitely want to see this project through."

What does Hunter think about it?

"I dont' know if he understands the gravity of it," said Hennessey-Jones. "But he had no problem giving away his belongings to help others in need."

The Jones family and SFPD are asking for more donations, items such as used books, games and stuffed animals are appreciated.

If you'd like to help, you can drop off donations at Central Station at 766 Vallejo Street or Police Headquarters at 1251 3rd St.

You can also mail monetary donations to SFPD Community Engagement Division c/o Hunter's Chest, 3401 17th Street, San Francisco , CA 94110 or call 415 558-5595.

Sgt. Jones became emotional during our KTVU interview as he looked at the picture of his son taped to the chest and thought about the kids he's tended to over the years.

"Parents get it, right?" he said. "You don't want to see a kid hurt or upset so... to see them coming in and be able to give 'em something, [it] really brightens your day."

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