VANCOUVER, Washington (KPTV) — In these freezing temperatures we could all use a story to warm the heart, and the recent act of kindness shown by a Vancouver police officer fits the bill.
In the freezing weather Monday night, someone called 911 to report a woman who appeared to be homeless sitting outside of a Walgreens in Vancouver. The caller was worried it was too cold for her to stay outside.
When Officer Charlie Ahn responded, he found the woman was still there.
“I asked her if she had any place to go, and then she said no and that she’d be moving on soon and I said I wasn’t worried about that, I just wanted to make sure she was somewhere warm,” Ahn told KPTV in Portland.
But he went far beyond the call of duty.
Ahn bought the woman dinner at McDonalds out of his own pocket, asked about her family and circumstances on the street, and drove the woman and her precious few belongings to the front door of the Live, Love shelter at Vancouver’s Living Hope Church.
“She just said she was very appreciative, and she thanked me,” he added. “I didn’t want it to be some big thing, I just wanted to make sure she was somewhere warm.”
Greg Williamson, who works security at the shelter, took a picture of Ahn arriving – and also another photo later that night of an officer from Battleground doing the same thing.
“Just seeing the cops show up, especially with everything going on this week, seeing that they are humans, they have hearts and they do care… it touched my heart,” Williamson explained. “That guy could have driven right on by, but he didn’t.”
However, the church doesn’t just help people who come to them. Tuesday night, pastors and volunteers drove into downtown Portland to deliver a truck full of sleeping bags, tarps, socks, toiletries, gloves and food to people in need under the Burnside Bridge.
“It’s the extreme weather that brings us out here,” Pastor John Bishop said. “Especially with that’s going on in the world with all the riots and protesting – protesting’s not going to change the world, kindness is and working together is.”
“There’s no person that usually comes out here to give out food like ya’ll,” one man sleeping on the street told Bishop. “Thank you for y’all help.”