Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest more and more people all across the country are experiencing random acts of kindness from people even amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A mother cried when an officer told her what her son had done outside an Independence Hy-Vee on Sunday, and now the Independence Police Department is searching for the teenager to take him out for dinner.
Officer Joe Holt was eating at the Hy-Vee near 45th and Noland Road when he saw the random act of kindness unfolding in the parking lot.
“All of a sudden I see this teenager running across the parking lot taking his coat off,” he said.
He sat in his patrol car and watched as the teen draped his coat over an older woman struggling to get to her car, escorting her the rest of the way.
“I was just totally thrilled by it,” he said. “I couldn’t let it go unnoticed.”
He followed the teen to his mom’s car and told her what he’d seen.
Holt recalled: “She teared up pretty good. It was a moment between the both of us. I mean, I teared up a little bit. I told her that I was very impressed with him and that he should be proud.”
He posted a picture on Facebook, later stating: “It has gone viral. I mean there’s people from New York and Brunswick.”
Holt captioned the post: “Do you know him? With as much love that kid displayed that day, that kid could go places and I think he could set an example for what society needs to be.”
Holt wants to treat the teen to dinner.
“He’s the hero. I’m just the photographer in this situation,” he said. “So, it’s wherever he wants to go. It’s on my dime. So, he can pick.”
Holt stated that the teen could reach out to Independence Police Department to cash in the free dinner, and an added bonus of a good conversation with officers.