Central Texas man pays it forward with $5 for kids going back-to-school

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - An elderly Central Texas man is making back-to-school shopping a bit easier for local moms, walking the aisles of a Walmart a couple of times a week and passing out $5 bills to those with school-aged children.

The man, who doesn’t want to be identified by name, but does want to be recognized by shoppers as a volunteer chaplain at the Waco Police Department has been surprising families in the store twice a week for the better part of a year.

He wears a hat with the words “POLICE CHAPLIAN” in bold letters across the front.

The man says he loves giving a helping hand to struggling families, while also on a mission to create more trust with police.

“I do it so that they know there are true police departments are here to serve and protect the innocent and fight for those who can’t fight for themselves,” he said.

Lessa Fields of McGregor was one of the moms the man approached Thursday night as she shopped with her three children ages 4, 6, and 9.

He handed her three $5 bills.

“He stopped us and asked us were they going to school, and he said ‘well I’m going to give them five dollars a piece to help you with school supplies,” Lessa said. “So, it was just shocking that you have older people out here that want to give a hand to moms, so it was just wonderful.”

Lesa said she’s spent months saving up and buying supplies along the way so that she could afford everything her children needed.

With just weeks to go until the first bell rings, Lessa said the surprise gift couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Especially in a time like now when times are hard,” she smiled. “It is. It truly is but it was sweet and unexpected.”

The police chaplain says when he fell on hard times a few years ago with an illness related to his wife, the Waco Police Department stepped up to help him out financially and built him a wheelchair accessible ramp at their home.

Now, he’s just paying it forward, he says, adding that he has no plans to stop anytime soon.

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