Cop Buys Lemonade At Girl’s Stand, Returns The Next Day To Surprise Her.
Business Picked Up
Melissa Garcar / Facebook
Eventually, another cop car pulled up to Gabrielle’s lemonade stand. Before he exited his car, the little girl ran up to him, and got on her tip-toes to speak to the officer through his window. "Would you like to buy some lemonade?" 22-year-old officer Zak Ropos got out of his vehicle and walked over to the stand. He was so surprised by her level of maturity. "I asked her what she wanted to do with the money," shared Ropos. "She said she'd get an iPad to help with school and to play games." Gabrielle’s work ethic and positive attitude impressed Ropos and every other customer she had. It’s why the officer decided to give her a helping hand too.
A Thoughtful Idea
As the line grew, Ropos stepped aside and decided to talk to Gabrielle’s mom, Melissa. He complimented the little girl, and then he offered her an old iPad he had at home. "I knew her lemonade stand wasn't probably going to bring in enough money for a tablet, but seeing that she was willing to work for what she wanted, I was willing to help her," he explained. Melissa was grateful. She wasn’t looking forward to telling her daughter that her hard work wouldn’t pay off. But Ropos’ gift would save the day. So Ropos went home to find his iPad. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t turn on. Now he had no choice but to drive back to the lemonade stand and give Melissa the bad news.
A Selfless Act
Before Ropos could speak to Melissa, Gabrielle went up to the curb and started chatting with him. "How did your lemonade sale go?" Gabrielle’s happiness was contagious. He couldn’t help but smile as she hopped excitedly and said, "Well, I made a few dollars but Mommy's gas tank was empty so I gave the money to her." Ropos was stunned. How was this kid so selfless? She wanted a tablet so badly. So why did she give her money up so easily? "That just made me melt," he said. He couldn’t just leave without giving Gabrielle what she deserved.
Melissa Garcar / Facebook
Everything went back to normal the following day. Gabrielle’s brother went off to football practice, and the whole family showed up to offer their support. But as the crowd continued cheering, Gabrielle saw a patrol car. She waved at it, assuming she served the officer inside the vehicle. But when the car pulled up, and the officer stepped out, she was stunned. It was Officer Ropos! She climbed down the bleachers and ran towards him just as he reached into his vehicle. He grabbed a sparkling pink bag, which made Gabrielle’s heart sink.
Keeping A Promise
Lake County Sheriff's Office / Facebook
Ropos couldn’t give Gabrielle his old iPad, so he went out and bought her a brand new one. "When she told me she gave the money to her mom... that's when I almost started crying because of how great of a kid she really was," he shared. He was so impressed by the little girl’s generosity. "People helped me out in my life, so it was kind of like a pay-it-forward type of thing." Ropos was happy to take money out of his own pocket to make the little girl happy. And Gabrielle couldn’t contain her overwhelming joy.
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