However, thankfully, there are people in the world who manage to stay positive even in a seemingly dark situation. Something that people often do out of the kindness of their hearts that can help others is pay if forward, meaning to do a good deed for someone else instead of repaying the person who did the original good deed.
You have likely heard of this as there are often videos and stories posted on social media in which people do good deeds for others in the hopes that the receivers of a gift will do something nice for someone else. For example, if someone opened the door for someone else, this might give the person that walked through the door a good feeling and prompt them to help a stranger cross the street. Although these acts are meant to be small and may not seem like anything that could make a huge impact, they can really change someone’s life for the better. This is especially true if someone is having a rough day when even a small act of kindness can uplift their spirits.
This was the case for one woman who couldn’t seem to catch a break until one small act of kindness turned her day around for the better. The woman was a single mother of two who was struggling to support her children and get through the daily challenges of life. Amanda Cantin was going through a difficult time in her life as her father had recently passed away and her son was rushed to the hospital after becoming ill. But after her son wrote a note to someone at a restaurant, he changed everything.
Amanda Cantin was a single mother who was struggling financially like so many other single mothers in America. She was working hard every day to support and care for her children but it never seemed to be enough. When it looked like things could not get any worse, Amanda’s son got sick and she was beginning to lose any hope she had left. However, everything changed when her son left a note with a police officer in their town.
Almost too much to handle
In life, we all face challenges that we have to overcome but sometimes so many things pile up on top of each other that it can seem overwhelming for us to handle. For Amanda Cantin, a mother of two from Florida, going through hard times was becoming her daily reality. Amanda was having a lot of bad luck in her life and it did not seem like it would ever change for the better.
More bad news
One major loss that Amanda faced was the death of her father. He passed away suddenly in 2015 and his death obviously affected Amanda in a negative way. In addition to losing someone she loved dearly and who she was very close to, the funeral costs were accumulating and Amanda could not handle all of the financial stress. In addition to this, Amanda was about to make another devastating discovery.
While she was grieving
While Amanda was at her father’s funeral and grieving for him, she received a ticket from the local police. While the police did not know what Amanda was going through in her personal life, she felt that the world was out to get her and that nothing was going right. Everything in Amanda’s life seemed to be falling apart and it did not get better from there. In fact, they were about to get even worse…
Ticket at a funeral
Amanda could not figure out why a police officer thought it was acceptable to give a ticket to someone attending a funeral and she went down to her local courthouse to fight the ticket. She was going through a lot in her life and even though it may have been a small amount of money to some, for Amanda, the ticket was just another expense she could not afford. Could Amanda’s luck get worse?
Amanda was not having any luck in her life at that time and it got even worse when she walked outside to see the same officer giving her yet another ticket on the same day. It was like Amanda’s day was out of a movie and she decided to go back home in order to stop all of the negative things from occurring. Unfortunately, things were bad when she got home, too.
Despite Amanda’s day going terribly, she knew that coming home and seeing her children would make it at least a little bit brighter. She worked long days as a waitress at Denny’s and cherished her time off that she could spend with her two children. However, on this particular day, when she finally did get home, Amanda got a pit in her stomach and her heart felt as if it had dropped to her feet.
Amanda was already struggling financially, she had just lost her father and on top of it all, she just got two tickets from the same police officer. Surely there must have been one happy moment in this horrible day Amanda was having, but when she got home there was something posted on her door that made her day even worse. Amanda’s landlord was evicting her. She did not know what to do, so she gathered some of her things and left.
The same cop
Later on, Amanda was heading to the courthouse to settle the dispute with her prior tickets. When she came out, she could not believe that the same cop that had written her prior tickets was standing their again writing another ticket! Amanda really could not catch a break and she was beginning to wonder if anything in her life would go right. But she knew that she had to push forward and keeping going for the sake of her children.
No good news
Amanda had a lot on her plate and with tickets piling up and the costs of her father’s funeral, she needed a miracle. In addition to all of that, Amanda needed to find a place for her and her kids to live since she received an eviction notice. Amanda’s energy and her finances were already stretched so thinly but they were about to be used even more because an unforeseen issue was just around the corner.
A sick child
Amanda’s son Noah was not feeling well and it got so bad that he needed to be taken to the hospital. While Amanda knew that the hospital visit would be another setback for her financial situation, she could not risk her son’s health and she needed to get him medical attention immediately. Things were not going well for Amanda, but she needed to ensure the health of her children, who were the only happiness in her life.
Thankfully, after the trip to the hospital, Noah was doing better. However, when Amanda received the bill for the visit she could not hold back the tears. The amount was so staggering and Amanda had no means to pay it. She tried to keep it together in front of her children so they would not be worried but on the inside she was upset and getting ready for a fight at the hospital.
If you are in the United States and need to go to the hospital without insurance, just remember one thing – all of the prices are super jacked up. The reason for this is because insurance companies will negotiate the prices lower, but the prices still will enable the hospital to make a profit. However, if you are uninsured, then you get the same exorbitant rate as the insurance companies! So how can you make it cheaper? Well…
Even though Amanda was trying to keep her children out of her financial issues, they ultimately found out the truth that day at the hospital. Amanda was unable to pay for the sum that she owed and she decided to take up the issue with the doctor who treated her son. They began arguing so loudly that soon, the whole wing of the hospital knew that Amanda could not afford the bill, including her children.
As Amanda was discussing her bill with the doctor, Noah could not help but overhear the conversation. Even though he was very young, he knew that he had to do something to to help his mother. But he was only a kid, what could he do? He had no money to help his mother with her desperate financial situation but he couldn’t stand by and watch as she struggled.
It is totally possible to negotiate the price of your health care at a hospital, especially if what you were going in for was an emergency procedure. There are websites with the average prices of certain medical devices and operations in your area, and you can negotiate your providers to those lower prices. Additionally, ask the billing office if there are any discounts available. One woman saved 10% off her bill when she figured out there was a discount when paying by phone!
Going to breakfast
Amanda ultimately had to overdraft her account to afford her rent, parking tickets, and her son’s hospital bill. She had almost given up hope as she only had $15 left to her name. With the small amount of money in her pocket, she took her son to Denny’s where she worked as a waitress to get breakfast to cheer him up after his ordeal at the hospital. It was this ordinary trip to get breakfast that turned Amanda’s life around for the better…
When Amanda and her son came into the restaurant, Amanda immediately saw something that made him stop and made her do a double take in disbelief. The same police officer who had given Amanda multiple tickets was sitting and eating breakfast at Denny’s. Only moments before, Amanda was arguing with the doctor at the hospital and now her patience was being tested. She felt so much frustration toward this police officer and she could not believe he was right there, in front of her again.
Noah did not know who this police officer was or that he had previously given Amanda tickets. Noah had always wanted to become a policeman and he wanted to show this police officer how appreciative he was of the hard work he does. An idea then came to Noah’s mind and he asked his mom if he could do something special for this police officer. When Amanda heard Noah’s idea, she got a big smile on her face and agreed that it was a wonderful idea.
Writing his thoughts
Noah consulted his mother before going through with his plan. She agreed with his idea and she watched him walk to the front of Denny’s and ask for a pen and paper from a waitress. Noah sat down and began writing something down on a small piece of paper. While he did not know that the police officer’s reaction would be, he thought it was worth a try and he needed to do something and he could not let the moment go by.
Shaking with nerves
Noah was visibly nervous with his new plan. How would the police officer react? The brave young boy knew that no matter what, you should always be kind to others. As Amanda never wanted to worry her children, Noah had never known of the parking tickets. However, it looked as though in a twist of fate the pair were about to have an unlikely introduction. Could Noah be about to save his family, or was it too late?
Officer Benitez was happily eating his breakfast when he spotted young Noah, but did he know that he was the son of a woman he had given so many parking tickets to recently? Although the officer assumed that Noah was there with his mother, he quickly noticed that Noah had kept looking over to his table. Maybe Amanda had told her son about the tickets? Was Noah about to storm over and give Benitez a piece of his mind?
Officer Benitez continued to eat his breakfast until it came time to grab the bill. Over the morning the officer had continually caught glances of Noah looking in wonder at what he could possibly be doing. Benitez assumed that Noah might want to come and say hello. The Lakeland police department has a lot to do with the young generation in the community; perhaps Noah recognized him? Benitez never believed what was about to happen when Noah finally approached his table…
The moment came
After Noah was done writing down his statement, he bravely walked up to the policeman’s table and placed the note in front of him. Officer Benitez was confused at first but he picked up the note and read it. Upon reading it, Benitez immediately got up to chase Amanda and Noah before they could leave the restaurant. Noah did not mean to upset the officer but it was clear that the note had an effect on him.
Pay it forward
Benitez was not upset about the paper but rather extremely touched. The small paper was not just a note but rather his bill, which Noah had taken care of. At first, Benitez could not understand why this small child would want to pay for his breakfast but after reading some words that were scribbled on the receipt, the officer felt very grateful for what the little boy had done.
A thoughtful note
On the receipt, the nice-year-old Noah wrote that he wanted to be like the police officer when he grows up in addition to thanking for his service. Although the bill was for less than eight dollars, this was a big deal for Noah who used part of his birthday money in order to pay for the officer’s breakfast. While officer Benitez thought this was a very kind gesture, after catching up to Noah and realizing who Noah’s mother was that Amanda’s luck took a turn for the better.
Help from mom
Even though Amanda knew who the officer was from their previous encounters, she didn’t want her bad feelings to rub off on her son, especially as he had wanted to do something so thoughtful. Amanda was able to put all her personal feelings behind her as she sat down with her son in front of the receipt. As Noah was nine years old at the time, he needed some help spelling out his gracious words; words that were about to change everything.
Calling the captain
Officer Benitez spent some time hanging out with Noah at the restaurant and the two even took a photo together. Amanda thought that this meeting would be the last time she would ever interact with the policeman, but he then made a phone call that touched her heart: after their chance meeting, officer Benitez made a call to his captain and asked to cancel Amanda’s tickets. When she found out about this, she could not believe his kindness.
Grateful force (after first calling the captain)
Noah’s mother, officer Benitez, and the entire Denny’s restaurant were all left speechless after Noah’s actions. How could one young boy do something so kind-hearted without any prompts from anyone else? It wasn’t just the people at the restaurant that were affected either. When the Lakeland police department heard about Noah’s actions, they dedicated a post on their Facebook page to the youngster in appreciation, as well as wishing him a happy birthday. Noah was quickly becoming a local hero.
People in the local area began to applaud Noah after the post made its way onto social media. However, it wasn’t just the locals that were left speechless. In fact, people from all across America began to comment on how impressed they felt. Some spoke of how they wished their children and grandchildren would grow up to be just like Noah, while other mentioned they felt as though the young boy had restored faith to their lives that good people do still exist.
“Meant everything to him”
Later in an interview, officer Benitez explained that the gesture. “Meant everything” to him. For him it was proof that his job was worth doing and that he had a reason to get up in the morning and go to work. He went onto say, “I need to keep trying to be a good example to all these young guys.” This small gesture clearly had a big impact on the policeman and it taught him a lesson about how important his job is.
A burden lifted
While Amanda still had financial struggles, the fact that she no longer had to pay her tickets relieved some of her stress as they would have cost her a significant amount of money. The fact that Amanda raised her son to be a caring and thoughtful person paid off and Noah had a great impact on officer Benitez. Benitez still carries the receipt that Noah wrote on in his uniform as a great reminder of the kindness of others.
Amanda has spoken about how proud she is of her son for his gracious actions, even if he is growing up so quickly. The mother of two is proud of both her children, but Noah’s encounter with officer Benitez opened her eyes to how kind-hearted her son is. For Noah, the note was a simple act of kindness. For Amanda and officer Benitez, it was the opportunity to build bridges after the rocky start to their relationship.
Growing up, Noah has never hidden the fact that he aspires to become a local police officer. In fact, it was at just five years old that the youngster admitted how much he wanted to make sure he spent his life in uniform. However, there is a lot of work Noah will have to put in before he is able to claim his badge. The youngster will have to graduate from high school, as well as meet their rigorous training demands. None of this is enough to put Noah off.
Becoming the good guy
Noah admits why he wants to become a police officer when he older. While carrying handcuffs and the flashing sirens may just be an added perk of the job, Noah wants to help make the world into a better place. He believes the best way to do this is by getting the bad guys off the street. Other youngsters may dream of growing up to become superheroes, but Noah has his sights firmly set on a lifetime serving the force, perhaps even with his local Lakeland department.
Looking to the future
Amanda continued to praise Noah for his actions. The mother added that she would be the proudest mom if her son grew up to one day himself work as a police officer. In fact, putting on the uniform and getting his very own badge would always remind Amanda of the kind heartedness her son was able to show that day. While Noah has at least ten years until he can sign his name up to the force, he has plenty of time to continue with his generous ways.
What it takes to be a cop
If you want to be a police officer, there are several hoops which you must jump through before you can even be considered. While what you need to do in order to become an officer my vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, you will first and foremost want to make sure that you have a high school education (and some jurisdictions even require a college degree!). Most places will also require you to be a citizen of the United States and have a valid driver’s license.
Next you must pass an entrance exam in order for the police force to determine whether or not you are the right person for the job. This test includes a physical test, and interview, and a multiple choice test which helps to see if you have the right amount of logic, reasoning, and general knowledge to become a police officer. There is even basic math on the test as well, and many people spend a lot of time studying for the exam.
If you are lucky enough to be accepted to the police officer’s academy, then you will be in a very intense learning environment for up to half a year. You will learn everything from firearms training to investigations to criminology, and even how to properly write out a report. There will be many tests along the way, and if you fail even one of these tests, then you will be dropped from the police academy.