FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) — Kelley Hoover is a preschool teacher at Brentwood Elementary School. Tuesday morning – with temperatures around 20 degrees – she noticed one of her students had a different set of gloves.
“So I just asked him if he had a new pair,” said Hoover. “And he said, ‘No, the police gave them to me.’ And that just sparked my interest.”
Turns out, he forgot his gloves at home. A Fort Wayne Police officer saw him walking to school and offered him a pair.
“And I just thought, oh my gosh,” recalled Hoover. “What an amazing thing to do.”
Her student didn’t know the officer’s name, so Hoover posted a thank you to the mystery officer on Facebook – a post that caught fire with more than 800 likes and 200 comments.
One of those comments was the officer’s wife, which is how we tracked down 11year FWPD veteran officer. Andy Haines.
And this isn’t the first time Haines has done this. He was assigned crossing guard duty on East State Blvd. when something kept bugging him.
“A while back I started noticing kids walking up to the bus with their arms tucked up in their sleeves of their jackets,” said Haines.
Those kids invariably told him they either forgot their gloves or just didn’t have any.
“At that point I talked to my wife,” said Haines. “And she started collecting hats and gloves.”
Now Haines takes a bag full of spares with him to the crosswalk to pass out to kids in need.
“They are very grateful children,” says Haines. “All the way across they tell me thank you, even when they’re all the way across, they wave thank you.”
“It’s just nice to know that there was someone else looking out for these kids on their way to school that they were safe and warm,” said Hoover.
Haines says he isn’t the only officer who does this – he knows many officers who bring spare hats and gloves for schoolkids braving the bitter cold.