A mother of four grew desperate when she had no way to feed her children. They hadn’t eaten since the day before.
Her food stamps wouldn’t arrive for at least a month, and she had no money. And on top of that, her cell phone had lost service and the only number it would connect for was 911.
Out of options, she dialed 911 and told the operator her situation. “Well this is for police only,” the dispatcher responded. “It’s not for this.”
The New Jersey mother explained that she’d been to churches nearby, begging for someone to help, but this was her very last resort.
“I had went to local churches and everything trying to find food for my children,” the woman said to the dispatcher. “My kids have not eaten since yesterday.”
Meanwhile, another 911 dispatcher who had not taken the call could hear the conversation. Her name was Tondaleya Bagby, and she was also a mother.
“I overheard it,” Bagby later said. “It made me sad. I couldn’t imagine not being able to provide for my child.”
Bagby immediately sent a Camden County Officer, David Hinton, to a restaurant to bring food back to the family’s apartment.
After that, she also told her mother, Camden County Police Sergeant Tracy Seigel, about the upsetting situation.
The women knew they wanted to do more to help the woman and her family. So they called in the help of a few more officers and went to the supermarket.
The mother and daughter, with the help of retired Lieutenant Scott Bagby and Lieutenant Janell Simpson, pitched in to buy the family groceries.
“I went to two stores to just get as much as I could,” Bagby said. In total, they were able to buy 10 bags of groceries for the family with their own money.
Each of the bags was filled with lunch meats, cereal, bread, milk, toiletries, and other necessities to help the family get by. Items that would ensure the family would have what they needed for at least several days.
Bagby and Seigal then went to personally deliver the groceries to the family. They said the family was “overwhelmed.”
Both the mother and her kids were extremely grateful. “The kids came down the steps in excitement,” Sergeant Seigel said. “And she thanked us.”
Sergeant Seigal and Officer Hinton were both honored as Camden County Police Department officers of the week for their kind actions. It looks like reaching out for help was finally successful for this family in need.
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