Jason Borne stands as an example of what police officers really do on a day-to-day basis. During a call out on Wednesday, the Senior Police Officer in the Austin Highway Enforcement Command made a lasting impact on the lives of a mother and her family.
Officer Borne found 39-year-old mother of two, Lisa Medinnus, on Aug. 9 pushing her 2-year-old daughter down a highway.
“I saw her from behind walking down the frontage road and my first thought was, ‘Oh my God, what are you doing,'” Officer Borne told KXAN.
When Bourne pulled over to ask why she was risking the dangerous walk, Medinnus replied that she knew it wasn’t “the best idea,” but she had no other way to get her daughter home from a dentist appointment, reported KVUE.
Medinnus explained that with no sidewalks in the area, it was impossible for her to push the stroller through the miles of grass between her home and where she needed to travel. She asked Officer Borne, “What would you have me do instead?”
The response she got was not what she expected.
“He had a change of face and demeanor and it really went from warning me about the dangers of walking on the road to ‘Okay, how can I help you out in your situation?'” Medinnus told KVUE.
First, Borne offered to drive the mother and daughter to the grocery store before taking them home. But after learning more about Medinnus’s predicament, Officer Borne wanted to do more to help.
The single mom was facing hard financial times after moving to Austin from Colorado. Medinnus had decided to move to the tech city in hopes of quickly snatching up a job. She has a Bachelor’s degree in computer science.
However, she was only able to find contract work. Things became more difficult when her car broke down. Without a consistent job, Medinnus had not been able to afford a new one.
Despite her trying situation, Officer Borne was touched by the mother’s tenacity to do her best for her children.
“That even kind of spoke to me. She’s on such hard times, yet she’s walking to take a 3-year-old with a mouthful of baby teeth that would be easy for a parent in her situation to ya know just kind of push off,” Borne told KVUE.
Officer Borne felt compelled by this woman’s attitude to go beyond the call of duty help in any way he could. He offered Medinnus his family’s all-terrain stroller to make sure she was able to stay off the highway.
He also reached out to seek support from the community on social media.
In a Facebook post, Borne says that he set up a GoFundMe account that he hopes will help Medinnus secure funds for childcare and a car so that she can get back into the workforce. Borne has also set up an email address for Medinnus to receive job tips.
“This woman has been trying,” said Officer Borne. “She wants to work. She’s been killing herself to support her kids. There’s so many people out there that just sit back and just take these hand outs and just chill. That’s not her. This woman wants to work, but she’s in this situation where she needs a car and childcare.”
Officer Borne even offered that he or his wife can watch her kids while she goes for any job interviews.
What inspired Borne to help this woman?
“I’ve needed a hand, and I got a hand, and I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t get that hand ten years ago, and another time five years ago. And I’ve been very blessed and have been able to thrive because of it, and I really feel that with the right support now that this woman is going to be able to thrive and get these kids everything that she wants for them,” Borne explained on Facebook.
Borne added that he knows he’s not the only one doing such acts of kindness out in the community.
“There are stories like this one occurring everyday. Most people will never know they occurred though,” he said.
Thanks to generous community support, the GoFundMe campaign has raised just over $18,000 for the Medinnus family as of Friday. Donations are still welcome.
Medinnus has been overwhelmed by the kindness of so many strangers, and no longer feels that no one cares. She said she struggled with depression many years ago, even attempting suicide, but her strong sense of responsibility to her children always kept her going.
And now? Medinnus told KXAN that the community’s generosity “changes my life around, it changes her [daughter’s] life around, it changes my son’s life around. It changes everything.”
Earlier this year, Officer Borne and a colleague were able to help out a young school graduate who became stranded on the highway when his tires burst. Through a GoFundMe page, the officers were able to help the teenager afford a reliable car that ensured he could attend to college, reported KXAN.
We asked Borne to describe what compels him to live the life he lives each day, and he said, “I’ve attended many funerals and listened to many eulogies. I just want to leave behind good.”
His father shared Borne’s Facebook post with a heartfelt message: “This is what the human soul can accomplish. One good man can change the life of someone in need with the help of like minded compassionate people. No government, no political party necessary. I am proud to be the father of the real Jason Borne.”