Imagine that you are sitting in court, waiting to hear your fate after being caught shoplifting. Then a police officer tells you to meet them outside. What on earth could they want from you now?
Sheena Davenport was 18 years old when she ended up in court. A teenage mother with a 17-month-old child, she was struggling financially. As a result, she decided to do something that she’d come to regret.
Her fiancé’s job had seen the couple move from Georgia to Dothan, Alabama, but soon afterwards he lost his position. Davenport, who had dropped out of high school when her child was born, also didn’t have a job.
Having little formal education meant that Davenport wasn’t able to find employment, and so the couple’s predicament worsened. Money was tight, and they were finding it harder and harder to put food on the table.
So, Davenport did something that she had never expected to do. “I had to feed my family,” she told the Washington Times. The couple only had $5 between them, which wasn’t enough for dinner.
Davenport subsequently stepped into Walmart and left with a few items. However, she hadn’t paid for them. “I stole enough food for supper for a couple of nights, a few snacks and a bag of gummies for my 17-month-old daughter,” she said.
Unfortunately for her, she was caught in the act. Her crime consequently led to her appearing in court, although she had never been on the wrong side of the law before. Davenport was ordered to pay a $700 fine for her actions.
However, little did Davenport know that there was someone paying special attention to her that day. As she explained how bad her situation had become to the woman next to her, somebody else was listening.
The individual in question was police officer Katrina Culbreath. She was touched by Davenport’s story as she eavesdropped on the conversation. Then the officer did something that was completely unexpected.
Culbreath asked Davenport to meet her outside when the court proceedings were over. “She just looked at me. She was so confused,” Culbreath told the Washington Times. “I met her outside, where I told her to follow me.”
So where was the police officer taking her? Well, before long they pulled up at a grocery store. It turned out that Culbreath wanted to buy the young woman some food for her and her family.
In what was an incredible act of generosity, the police officer subsequently spent $139 on Davenport, purchasing food and diapers. Culbreath then told Davenport that if she ever needed any more help, she would step in.
It transpired that Culbreath’s words came from a place of true understanding. Indeed, the officer had been through hard times herself. “I wanted her to know I knew how she felt, but nothing is never worth stealing,” Culbreath told the Washington Times.
Davenport couldn’t believe that a stranger would do something so kind for her, especially upon leaving the courthouse. As a result, she took a photo with Culbreath and posted it on her Facebook page.
The photograph was accompanied by a message that explained exactly what had happened. Davenport wrote, “The world may be jacked up y’all, but there are still people out there to make a difference.”
Moreover, humbled by the experience, Davenport promised that once she was able to, she would pay the favor forward. Then she praised the kind police officer who had stepped in to save the day.
“Thanks to Officer Katrina, I now have hope,” Davenport subsequently told the Washington Times. “She showed me so much that day, she showed me humanity and compassion.” However, Culbreath herself didn’t seem to savor her time in the spotlight.
“I didn’t do this for attention or to be put in the spotlight,” she said. “I did this to help another human being – I felt led to help someone.” Culbreath went on to point out that everyone struggles at some point in life.
Davenport’s Facebook post quickly went viral, with people sharing and liking it in droves. Indeed, it reached more than 10,000 likes within just a few weeks. The story clearly resonated with people worldwide.
What Culbreath did for Davenport when the teenager was down on her luck showed incredible compassion that we can all learn from. It just goes to show that even when a person has hit rock bottom, there is always someone who can help.