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Paralyzed On Duty, Chicago Cop Now Seeks Funds For Homemade Apple Sauce Company

Jim Mullen with his Wife Athena and his daughter Maggie.

Jim Mullen with his Wife Athena and his daughter Maggie.

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Jim Mullen claims to make the planet’s greatest apple sauce. Are you ready to help him prove this to the world?

17 years ago, former Chicago cop Jim Mullen was shot while on the job in Rogers Park. The bullet entered his cheek and spine, instantly paralyzing him and making him dependent on a respirator to breath.

Now, nearly twenty years later, Mullen says he is living his dream by producing the same apple sauce his mother made him when he was a kid.

The label on his apple sauce looks quaint, reading “Officer Mullen’s Apple Sauce” in large letters. What was meant to just be a lark, a way to make his mother, Audre Mullen, happy by getting her homemade apple sauce on the shelves of their local grocery store, has now turned into a full fledged hobby — you can find Mullen’s Apple Sauce in over a hundred Chicago-area stores.

Officer Mullen's Apple Sauce

Officer Mullen’s Apple Sauce

Three years after his mother’s death, Mullen now wants to take her apple sauce from the hobby stage and turn it into “a real business” and a “force to be reckoned with.”

This is where Kickstarter comes in.

Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform; a website where people present their dreams and ambitions to the internet in the hopes strangers will help fund their endeavors. Let’s say someone has made a beautiful children’s book, but has no way to print or distribute it. They can show the book off on Kickstarter and hope that the people who see the webpage feel impressed enough with the book to donate money to their cause. There are different price points. A dollar could get you a quick thank you note, maybe ten dollars would get you a copy of the actual book, and twenty might get you a copy of the book with a custom sketch from the author.

Unlike the book in the example above, Mullen’s Apple Sauce is a reality. Jim Mullen is asking the internet for $25,000 dollars. If Mullen meets his goal, the money will be used to meet the production costs to make enough apple sauce for 14 additional states — Mullen’s Apple Sauce will be able to flourish outside of Chicago. This should also allow Mullen to hire someone to be his “arms and legs,” to make the trips Jim can’t make so Mullen’s Apple Sauce can be distributed all over the country.

If you donate enough to Mullen’s Kickstarter, you’re liable to get a number of things — from magnets to jar openers and even a jar of Mullen’s Apple Sauce. While you’re allowed to donate as little or as much as you want, donating $10,000 bucks will get you the ultimate reward: apple sauce for a year.

That’s a lot of apple sauce.

Those looking to donate can visit Jim Mullen’s Kickstarter page here. You can also visit the Mullen’s Foods website here.