Widow Facing Fines 'Couldn't Believe' When Officers Show Up To Build Her Fence

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If you were on your own, strapped for cash and were given notice that your property is in violation of several codes, who would you turn to? Some people are blessed to have family or friends who could help them tackle the job.

Other people don’t have anyone free or nearby who could help. If you knew you could be fined for those code violations and then cops show up at your front door, what are you supposed to think?

Mary Joy Lott in Arlington, Texas, was in that situation and recently opened her door to find four officers in plainclothes. Sgt. Robert Robertson and officers Emilio Rivera, Jeremy Lee and Leonard Moon had heard about her situation.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do because the city was going to start charging me and I didn’t know what to do,” Lott told Fox 10.

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But they weren’t there to enforce any kind of citation; they were there to help her avoid it by fixing up her property for her.

The woman’s fence was dilapidated and in disrepair, and her yard needed straightening up. Between the four of them, they paid for fencing and concrete. They poured hundreds of pounds of concrete to anchor the fence and then patched it up.

“This is my first fence,” Lee said. “This is the foundation of police work is. We serve the citizens and this is one way we can give back to the citizens of Arlington.”

The four attended to her plants and lawn, too, working so late they had to use their vehicles’ headlights to illuminate the yard so they could complete their mission.

“Nobody donated anything to us, we did it all upon ourselves, just to do a good deed for a lady in need,” Moon said.

Not only was this act of kindness much needed and much appreciated, but it also turns out the widow’s husband had been a sheriff’s deputy with Lampasas County, bringing their charity full circle.

“Great read about the compassion and kindness some of our officers showed this elderly member of our community,” the Arlington Police Department wrote on Feb. 26, sharing the cops’ story.

The city featured the four do-gooders on its website, as it has a special section devoted to local acts of kindness.

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“The City of Arlington, which launched a Kindness Initiative in 2017, applauds these officers for their efforts to make The American Dream City a great place to live, work, play and learn,” they wrote.

“People are encouraged to report acts of kindness that they perform, witness or were the recipient of through the City’s Ask Arlington mobile app, on the Acts of Kindness website, or by posting on social media using #ArlingtonKindness and @CityofArlington.”

Their handiwork has certainly been appreciated, especially by Lott who is still shocked by their selflessness and willingness to reach out and help her.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Restored my faith in people.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking