The incident started on Monday, when Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Ropos spotted the little girl selling lemonade while he was patrolling in Painesville, Yahoo! reported. Ropos bought a glass of lemonade from Gabrielle and talked to her for a few minutes about her stand and why she was trying to raise money.
“I talked to the little girl, gave her a speech about how courageous and admirable I think her efforts were to save up her money,” Ropos said. “I asked her how much she saved up, and she said she only had a few dollars.”
The little girl said that she had more, but her mom’s car ran out of gas, so she handed over the money to her so she could fill up the tank. Apparently, that struck a chord with the deputy.
“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,” Ropos said.
Ropos had asked Gabrielle what she intended to do with the money she had raised, and she told him that she wanted to buy an iPad. As it turned out, the 22-year-old happened to have an old one at his house, but when he went home and turned it on, it didn’t work any longer.
“I went home that night, fired up the iPad, but it just wasn’t updated anymore … nothing really worked on it,” Ropos explained.
The next day, he hunted down a store that would split the cost of a new tablet for the little girl. Later in the afternoon, he went back to Gabrielle’s lemonade stand and presented her with the gift.
“She just wouldn’t stop hugging me,” Ropos said. “Seeing her face is how I remember Christmas when I was 5 years old. She couldn’t stop smiling. Her smile was worth a million dollars.”
Ropos has only worked at the sheriff’s office for eight months, but he’s left a good impression on his boss.
“He’s always liked to do stuff for people, and now it’s part of his job,” said Lake County Sheriff Dan Dunlap. “He’s a really good guy. He’s done such a good job here.”
Dunlap said he didn’t speak with Gabrielle or her mother, but from what he understands, “both the mom and girl were in tears. Tears of appreciation and joy. From what the deputy said, they were surprised and extremely grateful.”
Kudos to Deputy Ropos for leaving a lasting impression on this little girl and doing something genuinely kind.