California police officers hand out $100 in cash to unsuspecting strangers thanks to one family’s generous $20,000 donation

Police in Oceanside, California are surprising residents of their community all year long with random acts of kindness thanks to a generous donation at the end of 2021.

This month officers are gifting unsuspecting shoppers with $100 cash to use at the grocery store.

The initiative began in December 2021 as part of a Secret Santa operation, and it quickly grew into a year-long project after receiving a $20,000 donation, according to the Oceanside Police Department.

“My family and I enthusiastically support the Oceanside Police Department Acts of Kindness Project. We can think of no better way for us to provide acts of kindness to Oceanside residents than by partnering with Oceanside police officers who are on the front lines and encounter those who need kindness and a helping hand on a regular basis,” Wayne Fortin, Founder of Trauma Intervention Programs Inc. and whose family donated the $20,000 to the police department, said.

Last month officers surprised Oceanside residents at the pump with envelopes filled with cash so they could pay for gas.

This month they hit the grocery store, another area where many are feeling sticker shock.

“Are you serious?” one woman said when an officer approached her at Stater Bros. Market. “I never thought of anything like that happening, it’s remarkable, takes your breath away.”

Officer Jelena Sosa, an Oceanside native and officer who was handing out envelopes filled with cash, said after she gave a mother money, it reminded her of why she is a police officer.

“It kinda takes me back to why I first joined this career was to help those who can’t necessarily help themselves, to protect those who can’t necessarily protect themselves,” she said.

Not only is it an opportunity for officers to surprise residents, but they say it gives them a chance to interact with community members in stress-free environment.

“Most of the time when people call the police, it’s not under the greatest circumstances,” Jennifer Atenza, the Department’s Public Information Officer, said. “It’s when something bad has happened, there’s an emergency, there’s trauma involved. So, this affords us the opportunity to make connections under positive circumstances.”

The Oceanside police department’s random acts of kindness initiative will continue through the rest of 2022. Where will the officers show up next?

How inspiring! I think this is a great way for officers to interact with their community. Wouldn’t it be great if more police departments did this?

Please share if you agree.