This picture, capturing random acts of kindness by an officer, sparked thousands of views on Facebook and gained national attention.
Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post in Time Square on a cold November night. Officer DePrimo noticed an older barefooted homeless man as he sat on 42nd Street, with no shoes and blisters on his feet. He found out the man’s shoe size, went into a neighboring store and purchased a pair of all-weather boots for a little more than $75. Upon returning, he knelt down to help the man put on the shoes. The man’s face lit up at the sight of the boots.
The random acts of kindness would have gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for a tourist from Arizona watching. The tourist is a civilian communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona, named Jennifer Foster who was vacationing in the area. With her cellphone, she took a snapshot of the action and posted it to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday. The act of kindness displayed by the officer made him an overnight internet hero.
The next day after the picture was posted to Facebook, it had been viewed nearly 1.6 million times and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and over 16,000 comments.
The officer offered the man a cup of coffee to warm him up, but “as soon as the boots were on him, he went on his way, and I just went back to my post,” said Officer DePrimo. He never got the name of the homeless man he helped that day, but he still holds on the receipt from the pair of boots he purchased for him. He carries it in his vest as a reminder, “that sometimes people have it worse.”
Officer DePrimo, 25, joined the department in 2010 and lives with his parents on Long Island. Many from the area were shocked by the officer’s kindness. Store manager Jose Cano, 28, said “most of us are New Yorker’s and we just kind of pass by that kind of thing. Especially in this neighborhood.”
Officer DePrimo touched a heart and impacted a nation with his heroic action of kindness. We can each make a difference and have the same effect on others, if we just reach out and help another. American Guru, Leo F. Buscaglia says it best in his timeless quote, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which can have the potential to turn a life around.”
Live life and live it victoriously!