A deputy sheriff went above and beyond the call of duty on Sunday when he used his own credit card to purchase a tank of gas for a woman who said she could not afford to otherwise get home. Now, a post from the Facebook post detailing his simple act of kindness is going viral.
“This job isn’t just about carrying a gun and a badge — it’s about serving others,” reads a post from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office about Chris Owen, of Forsyth County, North Carolina.
Owen, 30, was on duty in Walkertown early on Sunday morning when he was approached by woman in a black car.
“The driver explained that she was on her way home and needed to get gas. The lady told me she was handicapped and asked if I could pump her gas for her,” Owen tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The deputy “gladly” agreed to the her request and met her at a nearby gas station.
When the driver, who never identified herself, handed Owen only $8 in cash to fill up her tank, Owen asked where she was headed. He doubted it would be enough to get her home, and decided to foot the bill himself.
“I asked if she thought that would be enough to get her home, and she told me where she was going and that she thought it should cover it,” Owen recalls. But, he adds, “I did not want her to run out of gas and be stranded, so I decided to just swipe my credit card to pay for her gas.”
The grateful driver thanked Owen several times before driving off.
The heartwarming Facebook post by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office has already garnered over 3,600 likes.
“How wonderful! Thank you, officer, for your compassion and putting your life on the line every day to keep us safe!” one Facebook user commented.
Another user thanked the “sweet officer” for going above and beyond his responsibilities in a job that people often take for granted. “God bless this sweet officer and all of our LEO’s they have a very hard job with sooooo much responsibilities that they don’t get the credit they sooooo deserve !!” the Facebook user wrote.
While Owen’s single act of kindness has earned him praise from thousands of people on social media, he says it simply “felt like the right thing to do.”
“She was not having a great night and I wanted to do what I could to make it better,” Owen says.
Public affairs officer Christina Howell says the selfless act was “nothing out of the ordinary for [Owen],” who has worked for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for more than six years.
“Many individuals who go into law enforcement do so because they want to make the world a better place by both protecting and serving others,” Howell says, adding that instances of police officers serving their community happen on a regular basis around the nation, but that they occur “without being photographed and shared, and therefore go unnoticed by the general public.”
Owen just hopes that people will learn that any small act of kindness is priceless. “You never know someone's circumstances or what challenges they are facing every day, and a seemingly small act may end up making a difference for someone,” he says. “Just pay it forward and treat everyone you encounter with respect and understanding.”
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