Most of us are a privileged bunch in the United States, as we get to enjoy things that people in over half the world don’t.
It takes a lot of effort to look beyond our own enjoyment and acknowledge someone else’s just like what Deputy Chris Shelton of Bowling Green, Kentucky, did when he noticed that his students had never had Chick-fil-A in their lives.
Deputy Shelton is a school resource officer at Lighthouse Academy and Jackson Academy and loves working with kids and recently while talking to them about manners, kindness and respect, he used the example of the employees at Chick-fil-A.
But when the kids drew a blank at that reference he decided to do something for them that blew their mind. “Some of the kids were like, well, I — I’ve never had Chick-fil-A, I don’t know, I don’t know anything about that,” Shelton said.
“We take for granted that, you know… just going through the drive-thru or, you know, bringing food home,” he said. It’s nothing. We don’t think about that. A lot of kids don’t have that opportunity. They don’t have that luxury. We wanted to be able to give back.”
That night when they were going to order their dinner from Chick-fil-A, they decided to do an act of kindness for the students and with a green signal from the Director of the alternative placement schools, Eric Wilson, they went ahead on their plan.
“Deputy Shelton is just that kind of person,” Wilson said. “And he came to me a couple days ago and said, ‘Hey, um, do you mind if I bring Chick-fil-A for the students?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely, that’d be great.’
“He just said, ‘You know what,’ he said, ‘I was talking to some of the students and they never had that experience for it and I’d like to give that to them.’ And I said, ‘Oh, by all means, go right ahead.’ And he is the epitome of a school resource officer.”
When our SRO learned that many of our students had never eaten @ChickfilaBGKY he took it upon himself to change that…by buying the ENTIRE school a sandwich! Making memories, providing experiences, loving students, changing lives. #ourSROisthebest. pic.twitter.com/mKaczGkjEF
— Jackson Academy (@JA_WCPS) March 16, 2021
Shelton made sure that every student at both schools got to experience a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A and spent $220 to witness that magical moment.
“I seen smiles yesterday on kids that I’ve never seen smile in this building before,” he said. “It was a really good reaction, worth — worth every penny just, just to show them, hey, you know, just because I wear a badge and a gun and [I’m] a law enforcement officer … we’re not bad. You know, we’re just, we’re here to help.”
“A lot of times, they get the negative connotation of being a police officer, being bad, the kids are scared of them, they don’t want to talk to the police, but, in his case, he comes in, builds a relationship with our kids,” Wilson continued. “And they appreciate that and they feel comfortable going to him and asking anything. And he tells them, ‘Ask me anything, I will help you out.’”
Jackson Academy Coordinator Leslie Miller agreed that it was an amazing act of kindness for the students. “Our students were so appreciative that someone had gone out of their way to do something for them. They are in an alternative school,” she said.
“And so they’re removed from a lot of their, their friends and, and things going on back in their school. And so they felt so privileged to be in an alternative setting, yet I’m getting a reward. And … that’s what we strive for, we want them to know you are worthy of that.”
Student Keikelani Harden said it was nice to know they meant that much to Shelton. “Well, it means that, like, someone cares about us and someone’s thinking about us and keeping us in their minds,” Harden said. “So, it’s nice to know that someone’s, I don’t know, caring about us.”