Courtney was already having a terrible day. Her feet felt heavy, and her back hurt more than usual. She couldn’t wait to finish her shift and go home.
When she saw what the officer had left for her on the table, she burst into tears and ran straight to her manager. “I can’t do this anymore,” she said, sobbing. “I quit!”
Courtney Cadigan from New Jersey was eight months pregnant, but she couldn’t afford to quit her job. So she picked up as many shifts as she could at the Lamp Post Diner.
She knew how important it was to save as much money as possible so her child could live comfortably. But when one police officer left a note for her on the bill, it was the last straw. She couldn’t do it anymore.
Courtney had recently broken up with the father of her child, and now she had to face motherhood alone. Would her salary be enough to support her child? Would she need to work overtime?
These thoughts were racing through her mind when she suddenly saw an officer she didn’t recognize walk in. Something about him seemed off, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
“Can I have a green salad and a glass of water, please?” the officer asked Courtney. “Sure thing!” she replied as she put his order in the system.
When Courtney returned to his table with a glass of water, she saw that the diner had filled up. At least ten new customers were waiting for her to take their orders. A couple seated themselves at the booth behind the officer, so she rushed to greet them.
“I was telling the people at the table behind him that it was my first baby,” she recalls. “I was going out of work soon.”
Courtney chatted to the friendly couple for a while, completely unaware that the police officer was listening to their conversation. He was about to do something that would shock her to the core.
About half an hour later, the mysterious police officer asked Courtney for the check. The total came to exactly $9.00.
He thanked Courtney and walked out of the restaurant. With the diner becoming busier and busier, Courtney didn’t notice that the man had left until it was too late.
As she cleaned his table, she saw a note that instantly brought her to tears. “He must have overheard my conversation with other customers,” she recalls.
The police officer’s note for Courtney read: “Enjoy your 1st. You will never forget it.” Next to the note was nine dollars in change and a $100 bill!
Courtney couldn’t believe what she was seeing! With tears in her eyes, she ran to her manager to tell her what had happened.
Courtney’s manager was just as shocked as she was. ”It’s truly a blessing to come across people like him, and I’m forever thankful for that,” Courtney told Gloucester Township Patch.
Courtney ran out to the parking lot, hoping that the officer was still there, but he was nowhere in sight. As soon as she finished her shift, she called the Voorhees Township Police Department to try to find the generous man.
Courtney’s father, Brian, was so taken aback by the officer’s generosity that he shared the photo of his note on social media.
“It’s not the amount, it’s the humanity of it,” Brian wrote.
“He saw she was struggling and a young girl. She was working in a diner while pregnant, standing with that kind of weight on her, and it was his way of saying, ‘I understand your struggle.'” But that wasn’t all that the kind officer did that day.
“You always hear about how bad the police are, how they treated you like dirt, how they are on a power trip,” Brian continued.
“I am sure there are some bad apples, but most of them are just doing their jobs, they deal with the worst of society every day and have to keep going back every day and deal with it all over again.”
Brian’s Facebook post went viral in less than 24 hours, receiving over 10,000 reactions, thousands of shares, and thousands of comments!
People were so touched by his story. ”What a wonderful thing to do, this story warms my heart. I’ve always respected police officers,” one Facebook user wrote.
Since Brian’s post went viral, Courtney began to receive messages from people all over the world. Some people even called the restaurant she worked at to get in touch with her.
A lot of people wanted to donate money to help Courtney with her expenses.
“They wanna know if they can help her because it’s the first child,” Courtney’s manager, Victoria Sierra, said.
“It’s the gesture about somebody helping somebody else.” But did Courtney ever manage to find the officer?
The generous police officer asked to remain anonymous. So, Courtney and her father decided to visit the Voorhees Police Department to hand out boxes of donuts for the entire team.
“Thanks to Brian Cadigan & Courtney English for bringing in treats for our staff this morning,” the Voorhees Police wrote.