When Sheriff Daniel Dunlap of Lake County, Ohio swears in his deputies, he gives them advice.
“I tell them, ‘There are many opportunities to be kind in this job. If you are in an older person’s home and they happen to have a beautiful rose garden, tell them that; and if you see a lemonade stand, don’t be afraid to buy some lemonade. You don’t have to drink it’,” said Dunlap, with a laugh. “But [Deputy Zach Ropos] went and out bested me.”
Sheriff Dunlap is referring to an act of kindness from one of his deputies that touched the hearts of strangers around the world this summer.
Deputy Ropos had, as he had been advised by the Sheriff, stopped at a child’s lemonade stand on a hot summer day. He asked the girl tending the stand what she planned to do with her hard-earned money. The 9-year-old, Gabrielle, told Ropos that her family had been having a difficult time financially, and she hoped to save up enough of her own money to buy an iPad. She wanted to play games on it and use it to access the Internet for schoolwork.
Ropos went home immediately after his shift to look for an older iPad, one that he no longer used. When he went to turn it on, he realized it didn’t work. And so, Ropos bought Gabrielle a new iPad of her very own. He delivered it to her in this now famous photo that has been seen more than one million times, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
“I really didn’t want all the media attention. I just wanted to see the smile on a little girl’s face and that was worth a million dollars to me…” said Ropos.