ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A simple act of kindness has become a big hit on social media.
A school resource officer with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office saw a little boy lying next to his bike on the sidewalk in Orange City and turned around to help. It turns out that the boy and his brother had a heartbreaking story.
"I had a feeling something was up," explained Deputy Jerry Sasser. "I looked in the mirror and saw a kid on the side of the road with a flipped bicycle. I hit the emergency lights and checked out who I come to know as Owen. He was fixing his bike. It was cold. I could tell he had been at it for a while."
The deputy said he saw other children passing Owen, pointing and laughing. He helped Owen put a chain back on his bike, which appeared badly damaged. Owen told the deputy that he fixed his bike every morning, so he and his brother could ride to school.
"After checking, I realized that the two boys have been considered homeless and their father works two jobs and is doing everything he can to provide for his boys," Sasser said. "The two boys also lost their mother years ago and they are being raised by their father."
Deputy Sasser told Owen he would see him in a few minutes back at the school.
"He gave me a look of surprise, and it was a bigger surprise when we showed up at the school and the principal set it up where I could meet with the boys later in the day," Sasser said.
Deputy Sasser showed up at the school with brand new bikes and jackets for the boys.
"He told us to walk down the hall, and there were two bikes ... and stuff in the office," said Owen.
"It took me back. I was raised in the foster care system. It made me who I am today," said Sasser.
After the story was posted on the Volusia County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the family began to receive help from other law enforcement agencies, including holiday dinners, money and gift certificates.
"I think it's good cuz someone is helping us out a lot, with gift cards and stuff. This will really help us," Owen said.
"Now, I have three new friends and the support we are getting for this family is overwhelming," Sasser added.