So many people take health and youth for granted, but old age creeps up before you know it. If you don’t have a healthy nest egg or a devoted family, the financial uncertainty of old age can be a frightening thing.
That’s where the community steps in, especially those tasked with protecting and serving the community.
For one sweet man in Austin, Texas, his local police became a ray of hope in his cold, lonely world.
When 92-year-old Louis C. Hicks found that someone had been stealing tools from his shed, he called the police to file a report.
Officer Chastity Salazar arrived at Hicks’ home to take his statement, but she made a startling discovery that left her in fear for the gentleman’s safety: Hicks had been using his gas oven and a fan to heat his home.
“I had realized that he’s using the oven. I know that’s not safe. His gas is on,” Salazar explained to local news outlet KVUE.
Salazar wasn’t content to simply return to work knowing that Hicks, who had served his country with honor in World War II, was in danger in his own home.
Hicks needed a safe way to keep warm, and Salazar was going to see to it that he got it. “That’s just what we do as police officers,” she said.
Salazar reached out to her fellow officers at the Austin PD and, with the help of several local nonprofits, she was able to return to Hicks’ doorstep with a tremendous gift.
Salazar was able to find a heater and, not long afterward, an electric fireplace! For the first time in who knows how long, Hicks could be comfortable—and safe—in his home.
“I’ve never had no one to do nothing for me,” Hicks said in a tearful interview with KVUE. “After my mother passed away and left me to take care of my two sisters — nobody never did nothing to help me.”
Another of Austin’s finest, Officer Bino Cadenas, began making regular trips to drop in and check on Hicks, as well as take note of other basics he may need.
“Big things are coming his way,” Cadenas tweeted, excitedly reporting that the APD had been able to connect Hicks with various community supports and even find some long-lost relatives.
Salazar knows it breaks Hicks’ heart of gold to be in a position to need charity, but she is thankful he’s accepting the help of his community.
“He’s just offered me a lot of kindness, too,” she said. “So to know that he’s also served, and now I’m able to serve and give back to people like him.”
As for Hicks, the sudden outpouring of help has shown him one thing abundantly clearly: God has His hand on him: “The things I’ve been trying to do since the ’40s. I’ve been asking for help and now it just came in. God is good.”