TiAnna Greene was taking her daughter to summer camp one recent morning when she witnessed an act of kindness that took her breath away.
While stopped at a traffic light, she saw a Florida police officer sit down on a street curb next to a homeless man and hand him some food and a cup of coffee.
“What really caught my attention was the fact she then pulled out food for herself and started to eat with him. She just seemed very, very comfortable,” Greene said. “I got my phone out and started snapping pictures because I was so overjoyed by the interaction.”
Greene posted the photos on her Facebook page, wanting to share with friends the stranger’s kind act, something “that seemed to come naturally for her,” she said. The post went viral, particularly after the Ocala Police Department also shared the photos on social media.
“I didn’t know who she was but I really wanted her to know that it touched me and I’m pretty sure it touched that gentleman,” said Greene, who was thrilled her 7-year-old second grader also got to see the gesture. “I told my daughter, ‘See. That is truly a sign of compassion,'” she said. “It really brightened my day, and I actually had several good days after from that one encounter.”
The Ocala Police Department identified the officer in Greene’s photos as Sgt. Erica Hay, who told TODAY.com she was on her way to get breakfast at a local donut store when she noticed the homeless man. “We’re not a large community so I know most everybody, especially the homeless in the area, but I didn’t know him,” Hay said.
“He was just there by himself alone, so I just grabbed food and went back to eat with him. Nobody wants to eat alone,” she said, adding: “I like eating with anybody.”