Friends of Mint Hill honor Mint Hill’s police officers

Share this:

Almost three years ago, lifetime Mint Hill resident Jean Bonner was diagnosed with a rare liver disease.  After almost two months, Bonner was able to leave the hospital but unable to live independently due to what Bonner thought were seizures but would turn out to be comas caused by high ammonia levels.

Over the course of the next year and a half living with her sister, Bonner would suffer over twenty comas.  After over two years, with her ammonia levels finally regulated, Bonner was able to return home, but with profound memory loss.

In an attempt to piece together the five to six years of memory she estimates she lost, Bonner turned to her own journals.  Bonner noted that before she went into the hospital, she had provided meals for the police department for over a year.  “Why does that seem so right to me?” asked Bonner.  “I called the police department and said, ‘I want to start feeding you guys again.’”

“Friends of Mint Hill” provides monthly meals and more for the Mint Hill Police Department.

In mid-October, Bonner formed the group “Friends of Mint Hill” and took to the popular Facebook group “What’s Up Mint Hill?” to spread the word.  Her goal was to fill a three-tiered candy display for the officers for Halloween, but Bonner was absolutely overwhelmed by the community’s response.  “Within twenty-four hours, my kitchen looked like a convenience store!” marvels Bonner.

Bonner’s next project was Thanksgiving meals for the officers.  Jimmie’s Restaurant served breakfast and lunch while Bonner herself cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  Finding the police department’s kitchen supplies limited, Bonner took it upon herself to collect basic cooking and serving essentials for them.  For Christmas Eve, Bonner coordinated breakfast and lunch from Bojangles and prepared spiral ham with rice and red-eye gravy, fresh green beans, dinner rolls and homemade iced tea for dinner.  Bojangles also provided gift cards for the officers.  Christmas day featured more home-cooked offerings: sausage, egg and cheese breakfast casserole, sandwich trays, and homemade chicken ‘n dumplings.  

Friends of Mint Hill’s New Year’s Day meal.

Bonner’s work hasn’t ended after the holidays.  On Thursday, January 11, she worked with other Friends of Mint Hill volunteers to serve the officers a spaghetti dinner complete with garlic bread, caesar salad and iced tea.  She continues to stock the original three-tiered candy tray with goodies for the officers, and with the help of many local businesses, she provides each officer with a gift certificate for his or her birthday.  This month, for example, each of the six officers celebrating a birthday will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to New Asian Cuisine from the Friends of Mint Hill.  

New Asian Cuisine is one of many local businesses to sign on as a “Friend of Mint Hill.” Bojangles, Jimmie’s Restaurant, Papa John’s, Chick-fil-A, Food Lion and Mint Hill Roasting Company have all donated food or gift cards toward Bonner’s efforts.  The Albemarle Road Home Depot donated a brand new Kitchenaid gas grill complete with a cover and utensils. Quilt Sew Easy, Kim’s Curtains and Interiors and Photographic Elegance have all gotten involved.

Chief Ledford with the new grill donated by Home Depot.

As far as cooking for the officers, Bonner is just getting started.  “You have no idea what I’m going to do for that police department for Valentine’s Day!” says Bonner, throwing out possibilities like heart-shaped pancakes and sandwiches in honor of what she calls her “second favorite holiday.”  Next summer, she’s looking forward to using the new gas grill to cook her famous barbecue chicken.

Bonner continues to be overwhelmed by the community’s response to her project.  “There’s now 248 volunteers that contacted me that want to be involved!” says Bonner, who has had so many people eager to help that she has to draw names for people to serve meals.

For Bonner, an added bonus of her project is giving the people of Mint Hill an opportunity to get to know their emergency responders.  “We tend to be fearful,” says Bonner, “and when you get to know them, there is no fear.  There’s an appreciation, a dedication.  They are so non-self-serving.  I don’t know how they have the courage.”

For Bonner, her work is ultimately about honoring the men and women who work so hard to keep us safe.  “We have some of the best officers I’ve ever met, and I’ve known officers for over 30 years,” says Bonner, who sits on her screened in porch next door to the police department when she can’t sleep at night.  “I see them go all night, all day, 24-7, 365 days a year.  

Bonner plans to continue feeding Mint Hill’s police officers at least once a month.  To get involved, email

Share this:

Previous articleTeaching good sportsmanship
Next articleFirst Meeting of Commissioners for 2018
Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: