Just days before turning 9 years old, Samya McLaughlin of Detroit, Michigan, sat with her grandmother and watched news coverage of the devastating July 7 shootings of Dallas police officers. The news hit her hard, and after discussing the situation with her mother and how she felt about it, she was moved to do something for local police.
“I was thinking that I should feed the police officers because I wanted to show them that I support them and I thank them for all that they do,” Samya said. “I wanted to show them that all lives matter.”
So this little girl—who isn’t even in the double digits, age-wise—used her birthday money to buy the supplies to make bagged lunches for local officers. The lunches consisted of a sandwich, fruit, a cookie and chips. On July 9, the day before her birthday, Samya delivered the lunches to officers in the 11th Precinct.
The officers were, of course, incredibly touched. As Officer Norma Black put it, “To have such a small body with such a large heart and want to share her birthday with us like that, it was phenomenal.” Samya was thanked profusely, given a special badge and named “Officer of the Day” with a special certificate and everything.
As for her parents, well, how could they not be beaming? Samya’s dad, Sam Walker, said, “It makes you feel proud. She has a big heart and she knows how to care, and she knows how to appreciate what’s going on.”
But the story doesn’t end there.
Samya’s act of kindness had a ripple effect. According to Officer Black, “Since Samya did this for us, we've gotten a lot of phone calls about churches wanting to send us food and other people thanking us, so she has really fostered togetherness.''
Samya’s kind gesture brings to mind the words of Shakespeare (and Willy Wonka), “So shines a good deed in a weary world.” May we all be inspired by this kind and thoughtful child.