A 6-year-old boy reportedly left a touching gift for a group of local police officers dining at a Pizza Hut restaurant in Charleston, West Virginia.
Noah Knauff, who had just graduated kindergarten, was having lunch at the pizza establishment in the Kanawha City neighborhood of Charleston with his mother, Jennifer, on June 2 when he saw three police officers sitting down to eat at a nearby table, WSAZ reported.
The youngster was reportedly excited to see the officers because he had always had a great admiration for police.
"He respects people in uniform," Jennifer told WSAZ about her son. "They're his heroes."
"They always like to help people," Noah said. "If you're stuck up a tree, they might help you a little bit."
Although Noah was too shy to go talk to the officers, he decided to show his appreciation for their service in a different way. He asked his mother if he could pay for the officers' meal.
"They really help our neighborhood because they arrest bad people," Noah told WSAZ, "and I really wanted to pay for them."
"I was pretty shocked," Jennifer commented. "But Noah is very bright. He's very caring, and he's been empathetic to other people."
According to a post on the Charleston Police Department Facebook page, Noah paid for the officers' lunch with a gift card. When the officers later went up to the register to pay for their meal, they were told that the little boy had already taken care of their tab.
"That's a really big act of giving for a child that age," Sgt. Paul Perdue, one of the three officers, told WSAZ. "It was a very touching moment for all of us. We deal with a lot of negative stuff day to day, and it's one of those things that not only makes your day, it makes your year."
The Charleston Police Department posted a message to Facebook on June 2 thanking Noah for his thoughtful gesture.
"Some of our days are so full of negativity, pain, and suffering," the post read. "This young man brought smiles (and near tears) to our faces. His act of generosity has inspired me to pass it forward. Thank you to that young man for making 3 police officers day, week, and maybe year."
In another Facebook message posted on June 8, the department revealed that Noah had been presented with a Community Leadership award for his act of kindness.
Sources: WSAZ, Charleston Police Department Community Services/Facebook (2) / Photo Credit: Charleston Police Department Community Services/Facebook