LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Birthdays are typically a time to celebrate another year.
They are also seen as a time to receive gifts from loved ones.
However, for James Shoemaker, 29, he spent his special day doing just the opposite.
“It’s about paying it forward,” says Shoemaker, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday.
Shoemaker posted to social media the encounter with the police officer just moments after he gifted him $100 gift card to Sonic Restaurant.
“It wasn’t to boast – but to remind people that being kind is important – even if it’s to a stranger,” he explains.
He says he didn’t know if the officer would even accept his gift but was excited he did.
“We all have hectic schedules but taking five minutes out of your day to hold the door open for somebody – small acts like that shows graduate towards other people even complete strangers,” he says.
Shoemaker recently started his own car detailing business, called Diamond State Car Salon LLC and says he got the idea when he saw an officer standing outside on a typical hot summer day.
“I’m lucky I can wear a shirt and shorts, but these guys are dressed from head to toe,” explains Shoemaker. “I can’t imagine how hot they must get so I wanted to give them something so he can cool off or hydrate.”
He says, in the end, it’s about being grateful for the small things in life.
“I am grateful I can feel safe in my community and why not show my appreciation – I mean, I can be a little selfish on my birthday,” he says jokingly with a smile.
Shoemaker also donates 10% of the processed from his car detailing business to Children’s Hospital.