While I am not a parent, I imagine that saying no to your children isn’t the easiest thing. Of course, in some situations, a no is the only appropriate answer. For example, “No, you cannot wear your princess bathing suit to school today” or “No, you can’t have ice cream for both dinner and dessert.” These aren’t the kind of rejections I’m talking about.
What about when the question is, “Mom, is there any food?” or “Are we eating dinner today, mommy?” To say no to questions like those has to be one of the saddest things a parent hopes to never have to do. Unfortunately, this was exactly the case for one mother in New Jersey.
According to a story posted by Liftable, this mother of four became hopeless and distressed when there was nothing to feed her children, and they hadn’t eaten since the day before. It would be at least a month before her food stamps reloaded, and spending money was low. To make matters worse, her cell phone had no service so the only number she was able to call was 911.
Desperate to feed her children, she was willing to make that phone call. She dialed 911 and spoke to the operator about her situation. “Well this is for police only,” the dispatcher responded. “It’s not for this.”
“I had went to local churches and everything trying to find food for my children,” the woman said to the dispatcher. “My kids have not eaten since yesterday.”
Unbeknownst to this mom, Tondaleya Bagby, a nearby dispatcher, was concerned and wanted to do something about it. “I overheard it,” Bagby later said. “It made me sad. I couldn’t imagine not being able to provide for my child.”
Tondaleya requested that a Camden County Officer, David Hinton, deliver some food over to the family’s apartment. Following that she informed her mother, Camden County Police Sergeant Tracy Seigel, about the sadness of the New Jersey mom’s dilemma.
At that point, not helping out was not an option. The two women, along with a few other officers, came together to buy bags and bags of groceries for the mother and her children.
“I went to two stores to just get as much as I could,” Bagby said.
In all, the were able to gift this family with 10 bags of groceries, all paid for out of their own pockets.
As mentioned by Liftable, “Each of the bags was filled with lunch meats, cereal, bread, milk, toiletries, and other necessities to help the family get by. Items that would ensure the family would have what they needed for at least several days.”
The officers personally dropped the food and resources off, leaving the mother extremely grateful and overwhelmed.
“The kids came down the steps in excitement,” Sergeant Seigel said. “And she thanked us.”
Sergeant Seigal and Officer Hinton were recognized as Camden County Police Department officers of the week because of their compassion and actions towards this family who really needed it.
Stories like this are not easy to come by, but they are appreciated! We need more selfless and generous people like this. Thank you for all that you did for this family and all that you do for your city, officers!