Officer Zach Little had just finished helping with a long funeral procession in the rain on Sunday when he received the kind note
Officer Zach Little
Credit: Smyrna Police Department

A Tennessee police officer is praising one little boy and his mother for spreading love in his community after they recently surprised him with a random act of kindness.

Patrol Officer Zach Little with the Smyrna Police Department had just finished helping with a long funeral procession in the rain on Sunday when he was approached by a young boy, only identified as Levi, with a letter in hand.

Raving about the unexpected and serendipitous encounter on Facebook shortly after their meeting, Little, 25, explained that Levi, who appeared to be around 10 years old, came up to his vehicle as he was drying off in a bank parking lot.

“I just got soaked to the bone and [was] feeling bad for the family lost two members in this funeral,” the police officer wrote. “[Levi] hopped out of this car and ran me an envelope and said to me, ‘Thank you for your service sir,’ as he ran back to his mother’s car in the pouring rain.”

Before they could drive away, Little said he went up to their car and asked Levi’s mother why he had been given the note.

“She simpl[y] replies it’s an act of kindness and [to] please be safe as they pulled away,” he recalled.

Officer Zach Little
The letter Officer Little received
| Credit: Smyrna Police Department

The patrol officer, who has been working for Smyrna’s department for nearly two years, then went back to his car and opened the letter to find an even kinder surprise — a heartfelt appreciation note from Levi along with a $1 bill inside.

Addressed to either an officer or deputy, Levi wrote, “To me you are the bravest men and women I ever knew and due to the hate and harassment you all may get and have some low spirits do [sic] to that.”

“Being part of the BackTheBlue movement, I want to raise your spirits. So because your [sic] my number 1, I wanted to give you this,” he continued, attaching the dollar below.

Though the monetary value wasn’t much, Little said the random gesture was incredibly meaningful and ultimately “made my day.”

Officer Zach Little
The envelope Officer Little received from the boy
| Credit: Smyrna Police Department

“Thank you Levi and thank you to his mama for teaching him to LOVE and not hate! #backtheblue #thankyou” the police officer wrote in his Facebook post.

Little tells PEOPLE that while the Town of Smyrna “always has our back and we are thanked every day,” this was the first time that he had received a “gesture of this nature.”

“It was very heartwarming. I was having a difficult day and this really lifted my spirits,” he explains, adding that if he could speak to Levi and his mother today, he’d tell them, “Thank you for your generosity and always continue to love your neighbor.”

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Little also said he hopes people who hear about Levi’s kind act realize how a small gesture can have a major impact and that it inspires others to perform similar actions.

“I hope that people are reminded of the power of random acts of kindness,” he says.