ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Eleven-year-old twins Ethan and Owen Reed made a lifelong friend on Monday, and they learned a lesson about the contagiousness of kindness. It started when Deputy Jerry Sasser spotted Owen trying to fix his broken bike.
Deputy Sasser said, "I knew this kid, he has to fix his bike. I flipped his bike over and I could tell it was broken. He got on it and forced it to go somehow, I told him I'd see him later."
When the deputy showed up at their school a few hours later, the boys thought maybe they were in trouble. Instead, they were surprised.
Deputy Sasser went to Walmart and bought the boys new bikes, shirts, helmets and locks for their bikes. The manager there was so touched she gave him a 50-percent discount.
"He told us to walk down the hall and there were two bikes with a bikes and stuff in the' office," said Owen.
"When I saw the clothes he was wearing and things like that, I knew I had to help, because I saw me sitting there," Deputy Sasser said. "I'm not gonna let a kid go without -- or and adult for that matter -- I just can't I can't do it."
Deputy Sasser posted the boy's story on his personal Facebook page, and in a matter of 24 hours an entire community came forward. Single dad Russell Reed was brought to tears.
"It's been me and them since they were eight months old. Their mom took off, so I raised um on my own," he said. "When he showed up and helped my kids, it's the biggest blessing I could ever ask for -- to know that people actually really do still care. It's kinda hard not to cry and i can't say thank you enough."
Reed has two jobs. He says he works hard but just just can't seem to get ahead. His kids sure appreciate it.
Owen said, "He's helpful with homework. He cares so much, and he's hardworking."
The Reed Family's struggle hits Deputy Sasser especially hard.
"I was raised in foster care in Louisiana; my brothers were separated from me at an early age. Then, I was by myself and I acted out."
He is hoping this lesson in kindness will encourage these boys and others to do the same.