Dear friend,

It has been over two years since my husband, Greg Alia, was shot and killed in the line of duty. When he died, there was a negative focus on law enforcement and a divisiveness that permeated throughout the country. This divisiveness deeply impacted me when Greg died, and made me feel as if his service and sacrifice were not valued. It led me to start Heroes in Blue as a way to raise awareness of the positive acts of service that so often go unnoticed in our communities.

I am proud of all that we have accomplished over the past two years through Heroes in Blue. However, I know there is much work left to be done. The divisiveness that impacted me two years ago continues to grow and the pain left in its wake is not mine alone. It threatens the well-being of police officers and citizens alike.

I believe that we can take action to end this divisiveness and that we can do so by creating connections between the people who are called to serve our community, both citizens and police officers, because I believe that when police and community come together, we ignite improvements in well-being for everyone.

To propel us into this next phase of work, I’m pleased to announce that we are refining our mission to put more emphasis on the partnerships that empower, build trust, and create lasting impact. We’re updating our name from Heroes in Blue to better reflect this expanded position to:

Serve & Connect Logo

A part of our focus will remain the championing of officers, departments, community organizations, and individuals who exemplify the best of community service. In addition, we will continue the important work of supporting the families of fallen officers.

We are excited to enter this new phase and to help foster transformative relationships that build community. It’s important work, and we couldn’t do it without you.

With hope,

About Our Founder

Kassy Alia Ray is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Serve & Connect. She founded Serve & Connect in memory of her late husband, Officer Gregory Alia who was killed in the line of duty on September 30, 2015. Under her leadership, Serve & Connect has grown from a hashtag to a movement for change, touching countless lives and receiving national attention for it’s impact.

Kassy has received several awards in recognition of her service to community, including the South Carolina Law Enforcement Citizen of the Year (2016), Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Individual Philanthropist of the Year (2017), the Post and Courier’s Golden Pen Award (2017), City of Columbia Police Department’s Outstanding Citizen (2018), The State Newspaper’s “Top 20 under 40” (2018), Columbia Business Monthly’s Top 35 under 35 (2018), and Midlands Fatherhood Coalition’s Hero of the Year (2018). Kassy earned her Master’s in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina and is working to complete her doctorate. She is the proud mom to son, Salvatore, and in October 2018 married Mitch Ray.

Take some time to

View Our Story