Officer Joel Perez made a big difference in one little boy’s day.
Lemonade stands are pretty popular for kids to run in the summer months, especially when saving up for something special. That was the case for one little boy named Landen in Connecticut this past summer when he set up a stand with his grandmother, Wendelyn Narvaez, in front of the family home.
A Surprising Visit
Landen wasn’t just selling lemonade at his stand — he was also offering cookies and brownies for a buck a piece. According to Wendelyn, her grandson was trying to earn enough money to buy himself a pair of blue sneakers for school when something surprising happened: A local police officer named Joel Perez stopped by.
In a post that has since gone viral, Wendelyn explained how Officer Perez asked Landen what he was selling lemonade for. The boy told the officer his goals, and after finding out the boy’s shoe size, Perez left. When he returned a short while later with a box in his hands, Landen was shocked.
“He came back with brand new blue sneakers, making Landen super happy,” Wendelyn wrote, sharing several photos of the sweet moment. “The smile on Landen’s face is priceless.”
New On The Job
Officer Perez is a former military officer who has only been with the Ansonia Police Department since March. But it sure seems like he’s already making a big impression within the community.
Perez also shared the viral Facebook photo on his own social media page, reminding people of the importance of giving back.
“I am honored to work for such a great community,” he wrote. “Giving back is not only a blessing but a daily reminder of where I came from. Landen, I hope you enjoy your new sneakers and never forget how great of a kid you are. May God bless you and continue protecting you and your family!”
Community members weren’t the only ones to take note of the kind act. State representative Kara Rochelle also shared the post and photo with her followers. “Spotlighting local excellence,” she wrote. “Ansonia Police Department Officer Joel Perez for this act of kindness. Thank you for the joy you brought to Landen and his [family].”
Selling lemonade is a rite of passage for many children. It’s often a kid’s first job, and many get creative by selling cookies, snacks, or other goodies to help supplement their beverage income. These days with social media, savvy parents are also spreading the word and helping their little ones earn a few extra dollars for something they want or donating their proceeds to charity.
It may seem like a small thing, but heading out and buying one of those glasses of lemonade or a quick nibble can make a big difference in a kid’s day. Not only are they learning the value of a dollar or potentially giving back by raising proceeds, but they’re also learning about business, sales, customer service, and more.
That’s why it’s so heartwarming to see a police officer go above and beyond for one little boy who just wanted sneakers. While we don’t all have the funds to make such a nice contribution, many of us have a couple of extra dollars we could donate. We’ll certainly be keeping this story in our back pockets the next time we know a kid selling cookies or wrapping paper for a school fundraiser, chocolates in the community, or other products for their local sports teams.
After all, instilling charity, kindness, and giving back in children can only lead to a brighter future for everyone.