After Sofia Reed's husband suddenly up and left her and their four children, she decided to spend most of her life savings to move to Oklahoma City.
Rather than spending money on Christmas presents, the single mother of four decided to have a special dinner instead. Unfortunately, most of her money went towards their first month's rent and the security deposit, so presents for the kids were not an option.
“We was expecting a nice dinner for Christmas and just be together and just show love to each other,” Sofia told CBS 11.
As the Reed family began settling into their new home, Sofia noticed something odd about her 13-year-old son, Darius. He kept disappearing for hours on end. She believed that he was preparing to run away.
After Darius didn't return home one December evening, Sofia called the police.
“I was afraid he was going to get in trouble,” Reed’s daughter, Deneisha, said. “I just didn’t want to say anything because it would blow the whole thing.”
When Darius encountered Officer Roland Russel of the Oklahoma City Police Department, he told the officer that he had been collecting cans in an effort to raise money to buy his mom a Christmas present. At this point, Darius had gathered hundreds of cans and collected just $13.
“I just wanted to do something for my mama,” Darius said.
“On my way out to my car, I go down the stairs, and I see him sitting there,” Russell said. “It was, like probably, 30 degrees outside, and he had a little T-shirt on.”
After Officer Russel discovered Darius' plan, he decided to keep his secret. Once Russel returned to his station, he told his fellow officers about Darius with the intention to help the young teen. With the Oklahoma Police Department's support, Darius was able to raise over $900 to buy gifts for his mom and siblings.
“I started getting messages from all kinds of people,” Russell said. “I didn’t think I was going to and it ended up turning into a pretty big deal.”
What do you think of Darius' determination to bring some Christmas cheer to his family? Also, what do you think about the police department's support? Share your thoughts with us! In other news, a police officer was ambushed by three men. It wasn't until his K9 partner saved his life! Check out the heroic story here.