Calif. Police Department Hands Out $100 to Grocery Shoppers After Getting $20K Donation for Acts of Kindness

The Oceanside Police Department's Random Acts of Kindness Project is a year-long effort to help out in the community

California Police Department That Received $20K Donation for Good Deeds Gives Out $100 to Grocery Shoppers
Oceanside Police Department. Photo: Oceanside Police Department

Thanks to a generous donation, one California Police Department will be paying it forward all year.

As part of the Oceanside Police Department's Random Acts of Kindness Project, each month officers focus on a different way to help out strangers in their community.

In March, they handed out envelopes filled with cash at local gas stations to help combat rising oil prices, and this month they're helping shoppers with their grocery bills.

"Grocery costs have skyrocketed and Oceanside police officers are heading out to stores to help people overcome food insecurity," the department wrote on social media. "OPD will surprise shoppers with Random Acts of Kindness by helping with the grocery tab in April."

This week, officers have stopped by multiple stores at different times of the day to give out $100, according to ABC affiliate KGTV and CBS affiliate KFMB-TV.

"Are you serious?" one woman asked after being approached by members of the department, per KGTV. "I never thought of anything like that happening, it's remarkable, takes your breath away."

Another shopper was equally stunned after an officer stopped her to ask how much money she thought she'd be spending that day.

"More than I want to!" the Walmart Neighborhood Market customer said, only to be told she was about to get $100 in cash, per KFMB-TV.

"Oh my gosh!" she replied.

The program originally launched in December as a way to "help make spirits brighter in Oceanside" during the holiday season, the department said. At the time, that meant giving away $100 to unsuspecting drivers.

Then, the family behind the original donation decided to give the department $20,000 in order to keep the kindness going year-round.

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"We can think of no better way for us to provide acts of kindness to Oceanside residents than by partnering with Oceanside police officers who are on the front lines and encounter those who need kindness and a helping hand on a regular basis," Wayne Fortin, founder of Trauma Intervention Programs Inc., said in a statement.

The department also hopes the program will deepen their relationships with the community.

"Most of the time when people call the police, it's not under the greatest circumstances," Public Information Officer Jennifer Atenza told CBS affiliate KFMB-TV. "It's when something bad has happened, there's an emergency, there's trauma involved. So, this affords us the opportunity to make connections under positive circumstances."

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