OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - The Oceanside Police Department is doing a year of random acts of kindness and this month are surprising strangers with $100 bills to pay for their groceries.
The project started when a donor sponsored a Secret Santa project at the end of 2021 and after seeing the kindness go a long way, donated $20,000 to the department to continue with random acts of kindness for the next year. Every month, they’re planning new surprises for the community.
This month, with grocery costs jumping, they’re giving $100 to people shopping in grocery stores.
ABC 10News was there as two officers surprised a handful of shoppers at a Stater Bro’s in Oceanside. The officers approached strangers and told them they’re doing random acts of kindness and helping people during a hard time by gifting them the cash.
One woman didn’t believe them.
“Are you serious?” she asked the officers, later saying “I never thought of anything like that happening, it’s remarkable, takes your breath away.”
Another man’s first reaction was to turn it down.
“Why don’t you give it to someone who needs it more?” he told them.
One mother, who stopped in to buy food for her daughter, was instantly speechless.
“Seeing that and seeing the impression I left her today with her daughter, it makes me feel good. It reminds me every day why I do this job,” said Officer Jelena Sosa, one of the two handing out the bills.
Officer Sosa is an Oceanside native and said giving back to her community reminds her why she chose this career.
“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,” said Officer Sosa.