GOOD NEWS
12/12/2014 08:43 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Police Deliver Groceries To Struggling Grandma Caught Shoplifting To Feed Family Of 6

This kindhearted officer's unique approach to enforcing the law meant helping someone who needed it most.

Helen Johnson, of Tarrant, Alabama, went to a grocery store last Saturday to buy eggs. The 47-year-old had been in a tough financial spot and found that she was 50 cents short of being able to afford the carton of eggs. Johnson says she was desperate, as her grandchildren hadn't eaten in two days, according to WIAT.

“I actually thought that if I didn’t feed those babies, they were going to die," she told the outlet.

So the grandmother decided to put three eggs in her jacket pocket, WIAT reported. However, the eggs broke and a store employee who caught her stealing called the cops. When Tarrant Police Officer William Stacy arrived, Johnson expected him to arrest her -- she thought wrong.

"She started crying," Stacy told ABC 33/40. "She said, 'I need help. I need help Officer Stacy, I need to put food in my babies' stomachs.' That's what got me. That's what hit me the hardest. I told her [to] park on the side of the parking lot, I ran in, bought the carton of eggs, came back outside, handed them to her and she got very emotional, very apologetic."

The officer's kind act was caught on camera by a bystander who posted the clip online. It quickly went viral racking up more than 650,000 views.

Johnson's family of six, including her two daughters, two grandchildren and a niece, have been living off of disability and welfare. The welfare check she was supposed to receive this month had gotten lost in the mail, according to AL.com.

And while Stacy's decision to lend a helping hand was a generous one, the kindness didn't stop there. The Tarrant Police Department has since signed Johnson's family up for a local toy drive and collected food donations from the community, eventually delivering two truckloads of groceries to the 47-year-old's apartment.

"I was just getting eggs and now that's saved my life,'' Johnson told AL.com. "I've never been more grateful in my life. I'm so overwhelmed with the goodness of these people."

"My heart is wide open right now,'' she added.

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