A Florida woman was on her way to drop her daughter off at summer camp when she spotted a female police officer alone with a homeless black man on a curb. She pulled out her camera and immediately started taking pictures to have proof of what she witnessed.
It started like any other day for Tianna Greene as she drove her normal route to take her daughter to camp, but things would quickly change after she spotted Sgt. Erica Hay and a homeless man sitting on a curb in Ocala, Florida. While Tianna was stopped at a traffic light, she couldn’t help but notice what the officer had done, and it took her breath away.
The lady officer bought breakfast for the man and herself, and they shared the meal together so he didn’t have to eat alone. It deeply touched Tianna, who posted images of the encounter on Facebook. “What really caught my attention was the fact she then pulled out food for herself and started to eat with him,” Tianna said. “She just seemed very, very comfortable. I got my phone out and started snapping pictures because I was so overjoyed by the interaction.”
“I don’t know this officer, but, I admire her today and every day,” Tianna Greene’s post read. “It appeared that she purchased this gentleman’s breakfast and decided to sit down and have breakfast with him. Absolutely wonderful act of kindness that seemed to come naturally for her. Although I was only blessed to witness less than 2 minutes of her kindness that definitely came from the heart, it truly made my morning!!”
Tianna’s post ended up going viral, and it led to the Ocala Police Department recognizing the act of kindness performed by Sgt. Erica Hay, who said she didn’t plan on running into the man and having an impromptu breakfast date, but after seeing him she wanted to do something nice. “He was just there by himself alone, so I just grabbed food and went back to eat with him,” she said. “Nobody wants to eat alone.”
The kindhearted officer also tried to downplay her good deed and said that she merely wanted to help someone facing daily struggles. “Isolation is the worst part about being someone who is homeless,” she said. “They’re isolated from everyone, and I think any type of interaction is a positive thing. He was great. He was nice to talk to. He’s got a story, just like everyone else. It just happens to be a sad story.”
The 20-year police veteran instead said that Tianna is the one who deserves the attention because she’s the one who went out of her way to show police in a good light. “Tianna is an amazing lady,” she said. “I’m glad she took a minute out of her day to share something positive about law enforcement. I’m just glad that it’s helped others see police officers in a good way. We all need that.”
The two women have since become friends on Facebook, and Tianna Greene says that she’s grateful for Sgt. Erica Hay providing a good example of law enforcement for her daughter. “I just wanted her to know that she was caught doing something nice and I really appreciated it,” Tianna said. “And it helped my daughter understand that not all police officers are bad, that there are good people in all positions. It just depends on who’s carrying it.”
Indeed. There are benevolent acts from police daily, but the problem is that people are often so focused on the negative, and we rarely get to see the positive. Kudos to Officer Hay for going out of her way for a lost soul, and may God bless both women for bringing a little bit of joy to the rest of us in a time when there seems to be so much hate.