As we near the holiday season, things change: we move from summer to fall, trade swimsuits for sweaters and enjoying a chill in the weather. Most of us are lucky enough to be able to focus on the joys of Thanksgiving, holiday movies and the impending Christmas season. But the change in season also means that the less fortunate among us have to be concerned about the cold more than we do.
One day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, someone noticed that an abandoned house in their neighborhood seemed occupied. The woman phoned police and what they discovered saddened them.
A family was living in the house on extremely cold nights, with no running water, electricity and no heat! The house was utterly freezing inside. It turns out the mother, having lost her job, how nowhere to live and nothing to eat.
Police officer Daniel Resnik explored the house. In one of the bedrooms he pulled back some bedsheets and discovered a toddler trying to sleep in the coldness, with layers of jackets on. “I came into the bedroom and observed winter sheets on the bed. I just moved the sheets and that’s when I saw the two-year-old for the first time,” said Officer Resnick.
Officer Vincenzo Paolo, Resnik’s partner, grabbed up the 2-year-old and took him to warm up in the squad car. “But because of his jacket, his three coats, he couldn’t get his hand inside the bag of chips. It was so thick and I actually had to feed him chips,” said Officer Paolo.
With compassion, the officers also helped feed the boy some food that had retrieved from a local fast food restaurant.
“I was trying to do anything I could to occupy him and kind of take his mind off of what was going on,” said Officer Paolo.
This was not Officer Paolo’s first act of compassion by a long shot. It turns out that the officer and his wife have five adopted foster children, all from the Milwaukee area. “It hurts my heart to see children like this. It’s unfortunate, but we see this quite often,” Officer Paolo said.
Officer Paolo’s adopted children
Now the mother of the toddler is receiving help, and the child has been placed with Child Protective Services. Though the few moments of food and warmth offered by the police officers occurred for just a short time, it is safe to say that their kindness and caring will stick with the little boy forever. Said Officer Paolo, “I was trying to do anything I could to occupy his mind and take it off of what was going on. I know these kids go through a lot of difficult times. I try to make every encounter with the police a good encounter.”