A Story Of (Unexpected) Human Kindness *Open Thread*

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Recently, a friend had a really great story up at Facebook. It was heartwarming and hopeful, just the right kind of story for a Sunday. This story of human kindness features a Miami-Dade police officer, and a would-be thief. Now to ABC News for the story:

A struggling Florida mom who was caught trying to shoplift hundreds of dollars of groceries ended up with food and a ride home from a kind-hearted police officer, instead of a ride to the stationhouse.

When Miami-Dade Police Officer Vicki Thomas, 55, was dispatched to look into a shoplifting case at a Publix grocery store, a store manager led her to Jessica Robles.

“She was crying. I said, ‘Okay, what did she take?’ And he pointed to a grocery cart that was full of groceries,” Thomas told ABCNews.com. “I’ve been on [the job] 23 years, and I went, wow.”

“She just filled up the grocery cart and she just walked out, which shocked me and I asked her, ‘Why?’” Thomas recalled. “She said, ‘My children were hungry.’ And that immediately impacted me.”

Thomas said Robles told her through tears, “I’d love to be able to tell you I’ll never do this again, but I can’t because my children are hungry.”

“My grandchildren flashed before my eyes,” Thomas said. “I knew at that time what I was going to do. I knew I was going to buy her groceries.”

Thomas and her partner took the woman to their car, completed her paperwork and then Thomas asked her to wait a few minutes.

“I grabbed my debit card, ran back into the store and bought things that would sustain her for a week or so and when I walked out she saw that I had the cart of groceries and she burst out in tears and asked if she could hug me, which is kind of unusual for the suspect to be hugging the officer,” Thomas said with a laugh. “I let her hug me.”

The compassion Officer Thomas showed is moving indeed, but don’t think she didn’t do her job to the letter:

Thomas made it clear that she technically arrested Robles. The woman had no priors for shoplifting and since the amount of goods she tried to steal amounted to just under $300, the cut-off for a misdemeanor, it was up to Thomas’ discretion whether to arrest her or give her the misdemeanor and get a promise to appear in court. She chose the latter.

The woman didn’t have a car, so Thomas loaded the $100 worth of groceries into the police car and the officers gave her a ride home.

“I’m a full-service cop,” Thomas joked.

At Robles’ house, Thomas met two of her three children. […]

How powerful that must have been, for Thomas, as well as the mother and her children. Wow, what an impact that must have had.

But then there was this revelation from Officer Thomas that I thought was profound:

[…] Thomas hesitantly admitted that she has done good deeds for people she encounters on the job “a lot,” such as buying meals, but admitted this was an unusual case. She said it’s not uncommon for police to go above and beyond their required duties.

She recalled an incident where her sergeant arrested a woman’s husband for domestic violence and the woman didn’t have any gas in her car to go to her mother’s house. The sergeant put $80 of gas in the car.

“We do it silently,” Thomas said. “The victims know and I figure she’s the one that mattered. I just don’t normally buy subjects groceries.” (Click here to read the rest of the story, and to see a video of Thomas and the family she helped.

What a great story, and sad, too. Great that this police officer’s human kindness took precedence over the misdemeanor the woman committed to feed her starving children. And sad that this woman was driven to such a desperate act in order to feed her kids. I have no idea what her story was, but I sure hope things have gotten better for her since this story came out.

As noted above, I was struck, by officer Thomas, acknowledging that police officers are often engaging in acts of kindness toward those with whom they come in contact during the course of their duties. It gives me a whole new appreciation for them and the work they do.

And this story reminded me of the following Randy Newman song, performed here by Norah Jones:

“Human kindness is overflowing,” and it sure was that day. What an inspiring story, don’t you think?

Okay, friends, feel free to discuss any and everything since this is an Open Thread.

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16 Responses to “A Story Of (Unexpected) Human Kindness *Open Thread*”

  1. helenk3 Says:

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/05/04/little-girl-big-heart-savannahs-soldiers-organization-sends-letters-our-troops

    a copy of stories of good will available on this link

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      What a great story, Helen! And what a terrific young woman Savannah is!

  2. helenk3 Says:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3533629011001/volunteer-group-renovates-homes-to-help-the-disabled/#sp=show-clips

    making a real difference in people’s lives

  3. helenk3 Says:

    had to post his here

    http://blog.petflow.com/this-is-a-video-everyone-needs-to-see-for-the-first-time-in-my-life-im-speechless/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      This is a fantastic video. I have often lamented seeing people playing games on their cell phones when they are sitting right next to each other not speaking. Technology is great in a lot of ways, but it has developed faster than our ability to deal with it appropriately, including having good manners abt when and how to use it. Unless you are a doctor or have kids abt whom you are worried, why are you even taking your cell phone into a movie theater? Why answer the phone while in the middle of dinner with someone else in a restaurant? Why text someone else when visiting the home of a friend? All of these things and more people now do, missing the forest for the trees, not smelling the roses, and not being fully present to the environment. Great message – thank you!

  4. helenk3 Says:

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/05/135297-priceless-father-bride-interrupts-wedding-tell-groom-something-important/

    really good wedding story

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I’ll say it’s a great story! It had me crying and laughing, all at the same time! Thank you!

  5. helenk3 Says:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      She ROCKS. Thanks for this – the Judge is SPOT ON. And what Obama said abt Ukraine is ASTONISHING in the face of the repeated claims by this Administration. Surely even Obots can make that correlation, can’t they?? Ahem.

      Outstanding video and message.

  6. foxyladi14 Says:

    Such beautiful stories. 🙂

  7. helenk3 Says:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/03/blah-blah-blah-readers-lambaste-newspaper-reporter-for-extremely-unprofessional-treatment-of-republican-candidate/

    a good lambasting

  8. mcnorman Says:

    This was lovely. A wonderful post to help anyone who reads it set priorities for the week to come. Thank you.

  9. helenk3 Says:

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/05/135273-amazing-9-year-old-girl-significantly-undeveloped-hand-getting-prosthetic-one-thanks-awesome-high-school-students-3-d-printing-technology/

    technology and kids that care

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I saw that story on the news over the weekend. What a great thing those kids did for this young woman. How COOL that they were able to figure it out, and that they cared abt her so much. Truly heartwarming!

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