"Way to go Orono PD!" wrote on commenter on Facebook. "That is awesome!"
Minnesota police officer Matt Siltala went the extra mile this month to help an elderly resident with some long-overdue gardening work.
The patrolman was doing a wellness check alongside colleague Jay McCoy when he volunteered for the task. McCoy snapped the photo of Siltala hard at work, and the sweet moment — shared by the Orono Police Department on Facebook — soon spread across social media.
“I cannot say how proud stuff like this makes us,” a staffer in the initial Facebook post on Thursday. “Very cool.”
So what inspired Siltala to get behind the gas-powered mower?
“Officer Matt Siltala was called to this resident’s home on a welfare check [on June 6],” the department’s post explained. “She was ok and Matt asked her why her yard is so unkempt. She said she doesn’t have anyone to mow for her. He grabbed her mower and cut the front yard.”
“Not sure why Officer McCoy…couldn’t grab the trimmer,” the Orono staffer joked. “Must be a union issue…”
Followers online were quick to praise Siltala.
“GREAT story….” wrote one person. “Thank you for your kindness, your service, and giving us all something great to hear about in the news. Minnesota nice, indeed!!”
“Kindness and compassion needs to be taught from a young age,” added another. “Love wins again. Thank you to the officer who took the time to help this lady out. Remember everyone you will be elderly some day.”
The department said in a follow-up comment that they were exploring ways others could help the elderly woman. “We have had a few people inquire about helping this resident,” they wrote. “We will do some checking and get back to those who have shown interest. It’ll be a few days though.”
Siltala is just one of a few officers who have brought smiles to resident’s faces in recent months.
Back in March, Sheriff Grady Judd of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Lake Wales, Florida, delivered a new bicycle to a 13-year-old boy with leukemia. The boy, Daylin Campbell, was gifted a bike for Christmas but was too weak to ride it at the time. Just when he got strong enough to take the wheels, the bike was stolen.
“We’re sorry you lost your bike,” a deputy told Campbell, in a Facebook video shared by his mom. “We’d like to find out who stole it from you, but we decided to bring you a brand new one.”
Authorities later shared the video in their own Facebook post, revealing that Campbell went into remission.
“It just didn’t sit well with us knowing someone stole 13-year-old Daylin Campbell’s bike off his front porch Monday in Lake Wales,” the post read. “This week we kindly received a donated bike and surprised Daylin with it to cheer him up.”