Maryville — People across East Tennessee are taking today to show appreciation for men and women in uniform.

"I truly believe being a police officer is a thankless job sometimes, they run towards danger while we are protected," Ashley Shepherd said. "They are God's light to us, and we want to do the same and be the light in a dark world and show them how much we love them."

In Blount County, the movement has been spear-headed by Ashley Shepherd since 2016.

It was created to honor law enforcement after a wave of violence struck officers in tragedies such as the Dallas police shootings in July 2016.

Shepherd took to her online ministry, Beautifully Designed, to show her enthusiasm and passion and in turn inspired a movement nationwide.

"I just challenged the readers to love on their officers on a day in August," Shepherd said."

Barely three weeks after the first "Back the Blue" day, Maryville Police officer Kenny Moats was killed in the line of duty. His life was honored by a memorial motorcycle ride on Sunday.

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Three years later, the growth continues for Back the Blue, with local schools and businesses in her area jumping in to donate goods and money to treat the officers in their community.

Volunteers spent Sunday stuffing goodie bags with snacks, gift cards, Chapstick, hand sanitizer, car decals and other items. Children from nearby schools and churches crafted hand-made cards and signs.

They received so many monetary donations that the group was able to help the 'Shop with a cop' program for this Christmas that serves underprivileged children.

The group will deliver 250 cases of water and more than 500 bags of supplies to officers in Blount County on Monday afternoon.