One child from Green Bay, Wisconsin, was having one of the saddest days of his life—but the kindness of a stranger turned things around, big time.
It was Monday afternoon, and all the young students at Howe Elementary School were going home for the day…
All except one.
He was an 8-year-old boy, and no one showed up to pick him up from school. The faculty waited with him—but when they checked his records to find someone to contact, they discovered the story was even more heartbreaking than they imagined.
His mother was incarcerated, and there was no other emergency contact listed.
To make things even worse: it was the child’s birthday.
With no one else available, the school followed procedure and contacted the police to escort him home.
It seemed like a miserable day: the kid was forgotten at school, on his birthday, and was now being taken away by the police.
But luckily, Officer Darryl Robinson showed up.
Officer Robinson, from the Green Bay Police Department, was heartbroken when the faculty explained the child’s situation.
So he decided to take him out for his birthday.
After reaching out to the boy’s grandfather for permission, Robinson did all he could to try to lift the boy’s spirits and give him a special birthday, driving him around in his police car and getting him some treats.
“He’d never been in a police car before and was very excited to ride in one,” Officer Robinson told WBAY. “We gave him some Packer cards and a little Green Bay Police tattoo. And then I brought him to McDonald’s.”
Robinson added that while the boy loved the gifts, it was just the gesture itself that really meant the most, saying he was “just excited to hang out with a police officer and get away for a little bit.”
Robinson later dropped the kid off to his grandfather and siblings.
It was an above-and-beyond act of kindness, but Robinson insists it was all part of the job.
“Officers do this every day, not just police but different public service jobs as well,” he told NBC26.
“All of us do this, it’s not a rare occurrence.”
But Robinson also had a special personal reason for wanting to help the kid: he reminded him of his younger self. He wanted to make the same impression that his local police officer, the department’s former captain Bill Bongle, had left on him.
“It brought back a lot of memories from when I was growing up,” he told WBAY. “I think I met [Bongle] on one of my birthdays when I was younger and he was, he always came around. If I needed someone to talk to or anything he was always there, helping me out.”
“And he’s the reason I wanted to go into law enforcement. I wanted the opportunity to do for another kid what he did for me.”
And Robinson hopes he can continue being a mentor for the birthday boy in the same way—and maybe even inspire an interest in the police force.
“I do plan on making contact with him in the future and checking on him and see how he’s doing,” Robinson told WBAY.
“And if he wants to come tour the police station or see more stuff that we have to offer here, like the SWAT vehicle or other emergency vehicles that we have, and play with the lights and sirens, I’d be happy to do that with him.”