This Single Mom Donated the Little Money She Had to Help an Injured Police Officer. Then She Got Exactly What She Needed in Return.

She paid it forward—and got something incredible for her kindness.

Shetara Sims; her 12-year-old daughter, Rakiya Edmondson; and police sergeant Jake BecchinaCourtesy Kansas City Missouri Police Department
Police sergeant Jake Becchina helped set up a GoFundMe page for Sims and her daughter.

Shetara Sims had weathered some tough years. In 2012, her eldest daughter was murdered during an argument in Kansas City, Missouri. Last year, the single mother lost her job in the recession. She had only $7 in her pocket as she headed into the grocery store one day last July with her 12-year-old daughter, Rakiya Edmondson.

And then Lady Luck finally cut Sims some slack. She and her daughter found a dollar bill in the parking lot. Maybe this was their day, they told each other. So they bought a lottery ticket—and won $100.

But before they could spend their windfall, Rakiya had an idea. The news in Kansas City that week had been filled with stories about a police officer, Tyler Moss, who had been shot in the head in the line of duty. He was in critical condition. Rakiya and her mother had never forgotten how kind the police had been after their own family member was killed. “The detectives were really there for us,” Sims says. “They came to see my kids. They were fathers, therapists. They were every­thing.” Rakiya wanted to give their lottery winnings to Officer Moss’s family. Her mom readily agreed.

On July 10, Sims called the police and made an anonymous donation. Moved by her generous expression of thanks, the officers did what they do best—they tracked Sims down. When she explained the family’s motivation, the officers could hardly believe it. “With her current financial hardship, we encouraged her to keep the money,” the department later explained. “She refused, saying the officer’s family needed it and police needed to know they were supported.”

By then, that feeling of support was mutual. The police set up a ­GoFundMe page for Sims, whom they dubbed “The Woman with the Heart of Gold.” Their goal was $10,000. As of January 11, 2021, they had raised $165,405. Even better: Officer Moss, who had a 1 percent chance of survival, is out of the hospital and recovering.

Next, read about the heartwarming reason a police officer decided to buy a shoplifter pizza.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest