Being a police officer must be one of the hardest jobs anyone can have. Every day they deal the challenging people and situations in our communities. The Greenfield Police Department in Wisconsin got a big pat on the back recently from an 11-year-old philanthropist.
The pack-wearing boy walked into the police station and donated the money he had saved over the summer, all $10.03 of it. After handing over the money to Brittany Eickhorst, who was on desk duty, he walked out.
The gesture touched the Greenfield police, who wanted to thank the anonymous donor. So they posted the surveillance video on YouTube and on their Facebook page. That led them to sixth-grader Max Siepert. He had been inspired by stories of police and firefighters whose heroic efforts on September 11, 2001 made a difference to New Yorkers. He also wanted to honour his grandfather, a Milwaukee policeman who was killed in 1974.
Today News picked up the story, which went viral, inspiring others to make donations as well. Interviewed about his act of kindness, Siepert said, “If every person would do that, we would have such a great world. It would be awesome.”
Siepert’s gesture was inspired by an assignment his teacher, Nick Costantini, gave his sixth-grade class. To mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11, he asked them to write about some way they could make a difference. He told WTMJ Radio, “I’m extremely proud. I’m not only proud of him but of the other 80 kids I have who have plans.”
Siepert himself has other plans. His mother offered to match the original donation, and Siepert plans to give the money to a Wisconsin girl in need of a kidney transplant. The first donation inspired others. He hopes this one will do the same.
One classroom assignment and one boy’s response have lit up the online world. Max Siepert and Nick Costantini are two more people who give me hope.
My thanks to Elizabeth Elza Clarke for posting the link on This Gives Me Hope’s Facebook page.