(Photo: Screen Grab via NBC/Today)
An 11-year-old boy seeking to honor the memory of his grandfather, a former police officer who died in the line of duty before he was born, inspired a community of givers after he donated his entire savings of $10.03 to his local police department.
"This little guy walked into the department Friday and left the change he had saved up to donate to 'the police.' He left before we could get this name. Very sweet gesture. THANK YOU!" noted the Greenfield Police Department in Wisconsin on their Facebook page on Sunday.
With the message, they included a 46-second surveillance video showing the boy walking up to the clerk at the station last Friday dropped off his donation and walking right out.
"You don't expect that every day: Little guy to walk in and throw up his change," Brittany Eickhorst, who was working at the desk when the boy walked up, told NBC News. "You know most kids are saving up for an Xbox or this game or that. (It's) just really heartwarming."
A day later, however, after some investigative work of their own, the police found out who their mystery donor was 11-year-old Max Siepert of Greenfield.
"We've learned our mystery donor is 11-year-old Max. Max donated the money in memory of his grandfather, a Milwaukee Police Department officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1974. Max rode his bike to the police station without his parents' knowledge and didn't expect the attention. THANK YOU MAX and THANK YOU to your grandfather for his sacrifice," noted the station in a post on their Facebook page.
Max told Fox 6 Now that he had heard about the hard work of police officers and firefighters in his sixth grade social studies class and just wanted to do something good. He explained that he had been saving the money to make a donation for a few months and had told his parents about his plan. However, he didn't know who he was going to donate the money to.
He made the decision to give his savings to the police department while he was at his friend's house, not far from the station.
"I never thought so many people could pay attention to me. It's just been awesome," Max told Fox 6 Now on how his life has been since reports of what he did became public.
Max's heartwarming donation has since inspired many others from his community to make donations to the police department.
"Sent a check today to match Max's donation," wrote Lisa Roeder Locati on Greenfield Police Department's Facebook page.
One woman, Khoi Le, was so inspired by Max's generosity she noted: "He is like the widow in the Bible, gave more than anyone I know. His parents raise [sic] such a gentleman!! Bravo to you."