SIDNEY — It all started with an end-of-summer lemonade stand for 9-year-old Zander Deubner, of Sidney. Out of that stand grew “I Got Your 6,” Zander’s non-profit organization with the mission of “Backing the Blue through acts of kindness.”
“It’s actually used quite a bit in the military. Grandpa is retired Navy. And he wanted to be a pilot. It originated with pilots. ‘I got your six; I got your back,’” Zander’s mother, Jill Deubner, said of how they came up with the name I Got Your 6, and what it means.
“Especially after COVID, it is important for law enforcement to know there are still people who stand behind them and respect them,” she continued.
Zander wanted to have a lemonade stand, but she told him he had to do something good with the money, Jill said, while sitting with him at their I Got Your 6 booth at The Great Sidney Farmer’s Market.
Zander, also the son of Jennifer Deubner, first had the idea to buy a K-9 for the Sidney Police Department with money earned by charging a higher cost for a cup of lemonade. But after some discussion, Jill said they agreed on selling it at much lower cost of 50 cents a cup and delivering a snack to law enforcement officers. It would be a much easier task to undertake, she said. So after OSP Trooper Charles Burton with the Piqua post happened to stop by his lemonade stand, Zander decided to drop-off donuts to the OSP Piqua post and area police departments.
Although Zander wanted to continue on with his stand, his mom said she knew they couldn’t keep a lemonade stand going long-term, and instead decided to create and sell bracelets that say, “I Got Your 6,” going forward.
“So we started with our bracelets, and we made a Facebook page, and we were contacted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to invite Zander to come out to the sheriff’s office,” Jill said. “Sgt. (Ed) Garrett was just amazing. He took Zander under his wing. Took him on a big tour of the jail and was very sensitive to his special needs. They’ve all been amazing (at the sheriff’s office).
“The community as a whole has been amazing, as far as them all coming out and supporting (Zander),” Jill said.
Zander previously had delivered donuts, but for his visit to the sheriff’s office, he and his mom Jill showed up with pizza for everyone and arm bands to sell.
Zander said, in a quiet, shy voice, that he was “a little nervous” when he visited the sheriff’s office, but enjoyed his visit and seeing the K-9 officers.
The ultimate goal, Jill said, is to offer support to law enforcement. They aim to raise enough money to offer a $2,000 scholarship toward a student attending the police academy and to assist family members of first responders who have lost their lives “protecting ours.” They also plan to send dog toys and newly-made blankets to the Shelby County Animal Shelter at Christmas time. The organization is seeking volunteers to help with their Christmas for K-9s project and also funds to buy toys and fleece for the blankets, or will accept new dog toys.
“He is such a fine little man,” said Shelby County Sheriff Jim Frye about Zander. “They brought the arm bands, I Got Your 6. And a lot of the staff and deputies was giving him $20 for seven of those. It was pretty neat. It was such a neat experience and such a great cause for such a young man to be involved in. And what they are doing is just amazing also that they are doing this to bring awareness to law enforcement, and also sponsor a scholarship for those possibly interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.
“With the state that our nation is in right, when you meet someone like Zander, such a fine young man, it just gives me hope for our future generations. It’s great to see that we have parents that are raising our children the right way,” Frye said.
I Got Your 6 arm bands are $3 per band, or $20 for 7. They also have yard signs available for $15, and are taking pre-orders for T-shirts through Oct. 15, for $20. Jill said they will make arrangements to meet up in Sidney or deliver locally, from the Wapak to Troy area. Those interested in supporting I Got Your 6 can visit the organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/I-Got-Your-6-102385738864042/?ref=page_internal