It is a hard concept for some people who have it all to grasp that in North America there are people starving! After working in Social Work my eyes were slammed opened to just how badly some of these systems can, and do fail people. When people are at the mercy of circumstances that are out of their control, like job loss, illnesses, the death of a spouse, or a desertion, and social safety nets like welfare don’t come through, they are left to do without. Some single mum’s have to choose to stay home, and take care of their kids because to work, and pay for daycare, transportation etc. comes out to less in the end after deductions than welfare. They are no further ahead, and their kids needs are not met properly by an exhausted single parent. Then we see behavioral problems! I have also seen food banks only give small amounts of food to people, and say to them, “we have already helped you and cannot give you any more for the rest of this month.” I have seen food banks run out of food, and have to deny people because their resources were limited. Many people especially single mum’s often have to make a choice between paying the rent, or feeding their kids, then obviously they can go homeless, or starve. Something that this day in age should not still be happening.
Hellen Johnson’s welfare cheque of only $120. per week was feeding her family of 6 people. When the cheque got lost in the mail they had nothing for two days, and were starving. When she entered a Dollar General store she was desperate, and intended to steal something to eat. The eggs she tried to steal broke in her pocket, and were dripping through her clothes. The police were called, and she was busted before she could even attempt to escape. Honest people usually make lousy thieves, and Hellen has even admitted she is not a good thief! It turned out getting caught would be one of the best things that ever happened to her! It is amazing how God can turn even the worst situation around and he did.
The officer who showed up was William Stacy and he knew she had no prior record, lived in poverty, and was not stealing for gain, but for the survival of her family and self. He showed the greatest compassion by not kicking this woman when she was down, but in buying her the eggs, and then bringing her a truckload of food the next day. As you can see from the pictures her shock, and gratitude is through the roof! The fact that he helped, instead of judged is awesome. He did hold her accountable, and made her promise never to do that again. He has made a huge difference in this woman’s life.
We all know there are a lot of instances where there has been brutality by police officers, and that is never, ever acceptable. But it is also important to remember every human is an individual, a different person, with different values, and beliefs, and we should never judge all people as the same, that is wrong! If he had done that she could have been sitting in a jail charged, with a criminal record, in an unending cycle of poverty, that would just continue on down the family line. Instead he and others are helping her get on her feet, and move forward. There is a saying that, “many hands, makes little work,” and it is so true. If we all did just a little to help others, a lot of starvation, and homelessness would be eliminated. If we all did something small everyday, that could really add up in huge ways.
Well done officer William Stacy! Don’t change, and please continue to be an example for others of what real justice, generosity, and compassion look like!