Today's joyful news is that human generosity is an incredible force:
A struggling single mother in Kansas City donated her $100 lottery winnings to an officer shot in the line of duty.
With only $7 to her name and bills past due, Shetara Sims, a single mother who lost her job a month ago due to the pandemic, found a $1 bill in a grocery store parking lot and bought a scratch-off ticket, winning $100.
Sims' 12-year-old daughter, Rakiya, suggested they donate the money to a Kansas City police officer who was shot in the line of duty on July 2. The officer has remained in intensive care.
"She won $100, and I said we should donate it to the police officer that got shot for his family to go eat and see him," Rakiya said.
Despite her financial struggles, Sims agreed.
That would be enough to inspire joy in me - and hopefully in you, too - on most days. But there is more to this story.
To fully appreciate this story, you might also have to know that Shetara's daughter, Rakiya's older sister, was murdered in 2012. They both talked about the incredible impact that several officers had on them during that unbearably painful time. They wanted to repay the officers kindness. They wanted to help the family members, suffering indirectly from an act of senseless violence. Finding compassion and gratitude amidst devastating loss is a joyful thing, indeed.
Finding compassion and gratitude amidst devastating loss is a joyful thing, indeed.
This story has grabbed the hearts and attention of many - it is especially powerful in the context of a country that is struggling mightily with questions about race and safety.
So, when the Kansas City Police Department put together a GoFundMe for Shetara and her family, what would you suppose happened?
The fundraiser has been wildly successful - with over $109,000 raised (as of this writing). If you have the time, I encourage you to visit the GoFundMe and read through the comments from those who have contributed. There is a hopeful joy in many of their words, inspired by the generosity of strangers.