One kindhearted police officer has gone above and beyond the call of duty to come to the aid of one nine-year-old boy and throw him a fantastic birthday surprise.
Thomas Daniel, who has experienced bullying at his school, was left upset when none of his classmates attended his birthday party last week, despite numerous invites being sent out. Officer Austin Lynema of the Grand Rapids Police Department met the youngster on the day of his party when he gave him a ride to school.
According to Daily Mail, Daniel had missed his school bus, prompting the officer to offer him a ride. The two struck up a conversation on the way to school, resulting in Lynema scoring an invite to the festivities that evening. Daniel confided in his new buddy that he was worried no one would show up. While the policeman did turn up to the party, he was shocked to see that Daniel was right.
Disappointed for the child, Lynema decided to set up a little surprise. The following day, he surprised Daniel and his younger brother with a signing quartet and a Krispy Kreme cake, much to their delight. The police department shared the story on social media, which quickly went viral. Users were touched with how thoughtful the officer was, and how his act of kindness had such a huge impact on the family.
As for the kids that didn't show up to the party, Twitter users were quite vocal about how they felt about that, too.
This 9 year old birthday boy confided to Ofc. Lynema that he is bullied at school. See what happens when GRPD brings backup to the birthday party.....https://t.co/9j3gx8eJk1 #CommunityPolicingInAction #GRPDpride pic.twitter.com/qz2IK9xlQj— Grand Rapids Police (@GrandRapidsPD) April 2, 2019
According to the National Bullying Prevention Centre, about one in every four students report having experienced bullying at some point in their academic lives, which can have devastating effects that reach far beyond school years. The rise of social media in recent years has also contributed negatively to the statistic, as tormenting can go beyond school hours.
Hopefully this nine-year-old will find a newfound sense of confidence after his surprise party. It's unlikely that he'll ever forget the solid that Officer Lynema did him. His new friend has also agreed to attend his 10th birthday next year. Let's hope that the youngster will have found a group of friends that appreciate him enough to attend his special day next year. He deserves it!