An unplanned encounter with a 2-year-old led two Texas police officers to pull out all the stops for a mom of six in need.
The officers found the toddler's mother had emancipated herself and her kids, whose ages ranged from 2 to 11 years old, from an abusive spouse, the statement said.
The mother invited the officers into the apartment where her family had been living for a few months with assistance from a local church.
The two women officers, having been partners on the force for years, had the very same instinct and knew they needed to help the struggling mother.
"After leaving her apartment, I looked at my partner (Officer McIntyre) and said, we need to do something to help her," Pesina said in the statement.
The officers, moved by the single mom's situation, rallied round their colleagues and organized a collection to buy things "that most of us often take for granted," the statement noted.
With the money raised from the police department and generous members of the local community, and along with the assistance of volunteer Carol Archer, the officers purchased beds, mattresses, bedclothes, furniture, and clothing for the empty home.
"The show of support was truly amazing and very overwhelming," Pesina said in the statement.
"My first instinct was they just moved in, because there was literally nothing in the apartment," Pesina told the news outlet.
"She literally was washing styrofoam plates," added McIntyre.
Returning to the Old East Dallas apartment, a team of officers assembled the beds and introduced the children, and deeply appreciative mom, to their newly furnished apartment.
"We told the children, ‘This is where you’re going to be sleeping,’" McIntyre said. "The excitement on their face was so heartfelt we had to fight back tears."
For Pesina and McIntyre, there's very little division between the personal and the professional; both officers treat their patrol neighborhoods with the same care and respect as they treat their own.
"I can relate to the kids," Pesina told CBS 11. "I had officers impact me when I was little."
"For me, it’s part of my job description," added McIntyre. "It’s part of my heart."
The mom of six, whose identity was not released for her own protection, responded with heartfelt gratitude.
"I wish I could do more than say thank you to everyone that contributed to me and my children," she said, according to the statement from Dallas Police Department. "We love ya’ll and really love the things you gave us."