Columbia, SC (WLTX) - It seemed like an ordinary enough act of kindness on a rather unordinary day, but to one little girl and her parents, it meant the world.
Of course, it's never an ordinary day when snow falls in "famously hot" Columbia, SC. Adults and children alike marvel at the beautiful white flakes as they float down, knowing it won't last for long. And so it was on Sunday, when big, fluffy white snowflakes came down steadily for a few hours straight.
12-year-old Miyah Washington set out to find some friends in the neighborhood to play with in the snow, but couldn't find any. Disappointed, but not discouraged, she decided to make a snowman by herself. That's when Richland County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Blanding came along and asked if he could help her build the snowman. And that's just what they did. Miyah says he was really nice and very helpful. "I thought it was pretty cool that he would even stop his car to help me," she said. When they finished the snowman, Miyah says she ran into the house to get her dad to take a picture. "It was absolutely cool that a policeman would even think to take a picture with me with my snowman, and it was exciting, too!"
As much as that fun time meant to Miyah, Deputy Blanding couldn't have known how much it would mean to her parents, who very much wanted to be out frolicking in the snow with Miyah. You see, Miyah's mom DaVida is battling breast cancer. She was also fighting off a cold on Sunday, and simply didn't feel up to it. And Miyah's dad, who was caring for DaVida, had only left her for a few minutes to go outside and take the picture for Miyah.
When Miyah and her dad took the picture upstairs to show DaVida, she was so excited to see Miyah had so much fun in the snow with this kind deputy. It meant so much, DaVida posted the picture to the WLTX Facebook page with a message of thanks. She wrote, "Look who stopped to help my baby build a snowman!! Thanks so much to this Richland County Sheriff! We didn't get his name, I was trying to make the name out on his vest but couldn't. Thanks so much from Miyah W.!!!" She rounded out her post with the hashtags #DoYouWannaBuildASnowMan and #ProtectServeAndBuildSnowmen.
The post didn't surprise Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott in the least. “Our Deputies do much more than enforce the law. Deputy Chris Blanding demonstrated that by just playing in the snow yesterday with the young girl. He didn't do it for publicity, he did it because he saw an opportunity to make a young person smile,” said Lott.
DaVida Washington agrees. "Leon Lott should proud to have him on his team!!" she added.
One small act of friendliness. An hour or so of time. A memory that will last a lifetime.
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