A random act of kindness can turn a person’s day around, says one Smyrna police officer who got soaked in the rain but ended the day on a positive note.

A little boy named Levi brought a ray of sunshine in the form of a letter and a $1 bill into Officer Zach Little’s rain-drenched day.

The officer with the Smyrna Police Department said it began when he was helping provide a funeral escort on Sunday, Dec. 29 for a family that had lost two relatives. There were about 50 cars in the procession, which took place during torrential rainfall. SPD provides a lead and end car for escort, plus one or more cars that “hop” to block intersections, Little said.

He said he was one of the officers doing the hop; those officers stand outside their car with hand over heart to show respect to the family driving past.

After the procession, Little said, he was parked in a bank parking lot trying to dry off with a towel. A car pulled over. While he was getting out to see what was the matter, a boy whom he estimated was about 10 got out and handed him a letter. The boy said, “Thank you for your service, sir.”

Little said he asked the boy what the envelope was but does not believe he heard the question. He asked the woman driving the car about it, and she said it was a random act of kindness and please be safe.

“I didn’t get to thank them like I wanted to,” Little said. “I couldn’t open the letter in the rain. I wanted to give him a genuine thank you and tell him how much it meant to me.”

So, Little posted his story on Facebook.

The typed note said:

“Hi Officer or Deputy, You may think why did you get this letter. Well I want to tell you why. To me you are the bravest men and women I ever knew and due to the hate and harassment you all may get and have some low spirits do to that. Being part of backtheblue movement I want to raise your spirits. So because your my number 1, I wanted to give you THIS.”

The $1 bill was taped below the word “THIS.” The note ended with Levi’s name and “#backtheblue.”

Little wrote on Facebook: “After getting back into my car I open the letter and it made my day! Thank you, Levi and thank you to his mama for teaching him to LOVE and not hate! #backtheblue #thankyou.”

The Smyrna Police Department also showed its appreciation on Facebook by saying, “Thank you, Zach, for sharing this story. And thank you to Levi and his mother for reminding us the power of random acts of kindness. #backtheblue.”

Little said he has been with the department for two years. He has worked in law enforcement, including the military police and as a corrections officer, for eight years.

Little said that it’s common for first responders in Smyrna to hear someone say “Thank you.” 

“That makes you feel good and appreciated,” Little said. “This hits you in the heart when you’re having a bad day and working a funeral and my hopes are down. This is something I’ll never forget. Always love your neighbor.”

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