Spirituality Magazine

An Act of Kindness in the Mean Streets of New York

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

The streets of New York are busy with the hustle bustle of urban life. But, like so many big cities, those streets are also full of human pain and misery.

On November 14, 2012, a tourist — Jennifer Foster of Florence, Arizona — witnessed someone reduce that misery by a notch, with an act of kindness.

An NYPD officer gave a shoeless homeless man with blistered bare feet a pair of warm winter boots.

Foster took this photo with her cell phone, unbeknown to the officer. The photo has since gone viral.

An act of kindness in the mean streets of New York

Liz Klimas reports for The Blaze, Nov. 29, 2012, that Foster is the communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. This is her account of what she saw:

“Right when I was about to approach [the homeless man], one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching. I have been in law enforcement for 17 years. I was never so impressed in my life. I did not get the officer’s name. It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost on myself or any of the Arizona law enforcement officials with whom this story has been shared.”

The police officer is Lawrence DePrimo. The photo has made it onto news sites and blogs around the world, as well as posted on the NYPD’s official Facebook page, which has received over 315,000 “likes” and shared more than 74,000 times. According to the New York Times, as of yesterday evening, the pic has been viewed by more than 1.6 million people.

Thank you, Officer DePrimo for reminding us there is still good in this world.


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