7-year-old girl warms heart of every law enforcement officer she meets
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - Every day police officers suit up to protect and serve. One Midland's girl has found a way to thank them for all they do. Abby is 7 years old and proudly wears a vest full of patches and pins she's personally received from law enforcement officers.
"I met a K-9 deputy and he gave me this. He ripped it off his shoulder," says Abby, pointing to one of her patches.
Each one is a reminder of a surprise visit she knows made a difference. Abby has been meeting and surprising officers with goody bags, hoping to send a message to others.
"I want them to be nice to the police. They help the community and they help people," says the 7-year-old.
Her sister Taylor says Abby has always been interested in law enforcement and helping people. Abby says all the items in the bag are useful for officers on the job.
"That's what's so amazing is they're very practical. She has a cooling towel, tissues, energy bars, water; it's a one-stop shop after a long day's work," says Chief Skip Holbrook at the Columbia Police Department.
Abby makes sure to document her journey of giving along the way by getting officers' autographs in her special autograph book. She wants to be a Richland County K-9 deputy when she grows up, and Holbrook says they're already starting the paperwork.
"If there's ever a moment that warms your heart you just have to look at Abby, a 7-year-old. She has a heart of service. We talk about this profession putting service before yourself," says Holbrook.
Holbrook says the message is especially impactful for law enforcement because it's a reminder that there are people who care. Abby's family says she's given goody bags to nearly 200 law enforcement officers in multiple states. Follow her journey on Twitter where she posts photos with every officer she meets.