What started with a few sweet treats grew into multiple toys for kids in need and some shared goodwill.

Little changes can have big impacts.

It was on a December day in the year 2017 when a girl named Brooke walked into a Sheetz gas station in Butler, PA, hoping to get something sweet to eat. She had her heart set on some donut holes, but she soon found she had not brought enough money into the store with her.

Brooke was about leave the Sheetz when a man named Chad stepped in.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Chad Savannah is his full title, and he happened to be there in the gas station at the same time as Brooke. When Officer Savannah realized what was happening, he immediately opened his own wallet and bought Brooke her donut holes.

To Serve, Protect, and Treat

Thrilled, Brooke hurried out of the Sheetz and went home. Savannah didn’t twice about his little act of kindness, and went on with his day.

But Brooke was thinking twice about the moment, and she couldn’t let things rest as they were without a formal thank you.

At home later that day, Brooke wrote a note of thanks to Officer Savannah, though she didn’t even know his name at the time. The note read in part:

“My name is Brooke and I am 9 years old. I was at Sheetz and didn’t have enough money. A nice police officer behind me kindly paid for my item. I thanked him, but felt bad because I didn’t offer him the money I had. So, I am donating this money. I want to thank this officer again. Stay safe. Brooke.”

A Gift Given and Then Shared On

She sent the letter off to the police where it was received with so much appreciation that Chad Savannah and his fellow officers just had to keep the loop of kindness going.

Officer Savannah and his fellow troopers quickly pooled $50 and bought a Toys ‘R’ Us gift card for Brooke and sent her a letter of her own along with it. The letter told Brooke she should use the gift card to buy some toys.

And Brooke did buy toys, but not for herself. Instead, she kept on spreading joy. Brooke used the money the officers had gifted her to get toys that she then donated to the Toys for Tots organization, a program the works to ensure all kids have some cherished toys despite the socioeconomic circumstances in which they live.

It’s easy to imagine that because Officer Savannah bought Brooke those few donut holes that December day, many other kids had a happier day sometime later. And the ripples spread further than we can see.