Recently, my dear wife said to me that she was becoming increasingly depressed by all the negative news these days – the Ebola outbreak, the war with ISIS, the political gridlock in congress, the situation in Ukraine, and even the disappointing reality that the Baltimore Orioles will not be in the World Series this year. Oh, yes, she was becoming really depressed. Couldn’t I find something “happy” to write about? I have lived with this woman long enough to know that this was not merely a gentle request. It had more of the force of “don’t just stand there; do something!” to it. I knew that I had better respond in a positive manner. So I did the only thing that a man can do at such a moment: I told her that I would look into it and see what I could do.
Luckily, I found the following story that I believe fills the bill. So, honey, this one’s for you. (The rest of you are invited in as well.)
I would be surprised if you ever heard of Ben Hall, so let me tell you his story. Ben Hall is an Emmett Township, Michigan public safety officer with a big heart and a lot of compassion.
In the course of his duties, Hall pulled over a vehicle because a five-year-old girl was not secured in a booster seat. Not having a child secured in a booster seat is a violation of the law, but Ben Hall decided rather than write a ticket, he would do something else.
Do you know what Ben Hall did? He bought the five-year-old a car seat.
Hall was later reported as saying, “A ticket doesn’t solve the situation. What solves it is the child being in the booster seat like she should be. It was the easiest fifty bucks I ever spent. I did nothing that police officers don’t do on a daily basis a thousand times across the country. I am happy to be able to shed some good positive light on law enforcement and the township. I in no way, shape or form expect to be paid back. It is a ‘pay it forward’ situation completely.” (“Pay it forward” is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.)
It seems that Hall was on patrol in Emmett Township when he pulled over a vehicle after someone reported that it had an unsecured young child inside. Inside the vehicle was Alexis DeLorenzo and her five-year-old daughter. When questioned about the absence of a booster seat, Hall said DeLorenzo told him that she had fallen on hard times and could not afford a booster seat.
“I was in a spot where I could help her,” Hall said.
DeLorenzo said she knew that she should have been ticketed, but instead, Hall told her to meet him at a near-by Wal-Mart, where he bought her the seat.
Hall’s boss, Emmett Township Chief Mike Olson said Hall’s decision was an officer’s discretion and he thought, “What a class act. He turned a bad situation into a good one for the sake of the child. He could have written a ticket but the benefits for the child ought to be more important than the ticket. People sometimes lose sight that we are public servants and public safety officers across the country have the common mantra that we protect and serve.”
“It changed my life,” DeLorenzo said. “For a police officer that could have just given me a ticket, and gotten me in a whole lot of trouble, he, out of the kindness of his own heart and out of his own pockets did something for me and my family that I’m never gonna forget,” she said.
DeLorenzo said the generous officer gave her some much-needed hope with his selfless act. “He did his job and above and beyond that, just to protect a little girl and to help a family that can’t help themselves right now. I’m never going to forget him. And neither will my daughter.”
And that, my beloved wife and anyone else reading this, is the happy news for today! I will try to find more in the future.