It was a normal day in Coral Springs, Florida until a three-car crash occurred. Janet Balestriero, a passerby, stopped to witness the chaotic scene. But amidst the confusion and commotion, she noticed something that truly touched her heart.
A police officer was sitting calmly with a young boy at the side of the road. The child’s parent had been involved in the crash and was occupied with talking to other officers. The officer, recognizing the child’s parent may be in shock and too distracted to attend to their child, took it upon himself to keep the child company and distract them from the distressing scene.
It was a small act of kindness, but it did not go unnoticed by Balestriero. She was moved by the officer’s thoughtfulness and compassion toward the child. This simple act of kindness would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for her.
The officer, Bryan Dougherty, chose to take a moment to sit with a young boy at the side of the road during a tense clean-up of a crash.
The moment was captured by a passerby, Balestriero, who posted the photo on the Coral Springs Police Department’s Facebook page. Balestriero described the act as one of kindness and said, “I try to find a little kindness every day in a world that’s gone crazy.”
The photo quickly went viral, showing the power of a small act of kindness in a difficult situation. Coral Springs Police Chief Clyde Parry said on Facebook: “So proud of our officers. Things like this happen often, but are rarely reported on.”
Balestriero was on her way home from a doctor’s appointment when she was caught up in a car crash. She noted that thankfully, no one was seriously hurt in the accident. While she was waiting to speak with an officer, she noticed Dougherty, a police officer, talking to a young boy. The boy’s parent was occupied dealing with the accident.
Balestriero participates in the Kindness Rock Project, a community initiative that encourages people to paint messages on rocks and leave them for others to find and collect.
As a gesture of appreciation for Dougherty’s kindness towards the young boy, someone in her group plans to paint a rock with the image of a Disney character and Dougherty’s badge number. They will leave the rock at the Coral Springs Police Department as a reminder of the good deeds that are done every day. “A single act of kindness can have a ripple effect,” she said. “We have to see the kindness in the world.”
It’s always inspiring to witness police officers going above and beyond their expected duties. They often put themselves in dangerous situations and put their lives on the line to protect and serve the community.
Thankfully, Janet was present to capture the moment for us to see and appreciate the dedication and compassion that these officers have for their work. This is a beautiful reminder of the sacrifices that these brave men and women make every day.
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