AYNOR, SC (WMBF) – When a police officer pulled up to a house in Aynor Tuesday and asked to see a mother's two boys and her nephew, at first she was confused, but the act of kindness that followed is now gaining attention on social media.
"It makes you feel good that people are acknowledging it and accepting it because you do hear so much negativity towards them," DiNedra Smith said.
Smith posted on Facebook about how Aynor Police Officer Wayne Llewellyn was very polite, so she went into the house and told the boys to come back outside. The officer then walked up to the boys with a football and handed it to them, Smith posted.
"They will not put it down," she said. "One of them has it in their hands at all times it seems."
Officer Llewellyn said he had driven by earlier on his way to work and noticed the boys throwing a pine cone to each other. He was running late for work already, but he decided a few extra minutes wouldn't hurt. He went to Kmart in Conway to buy the boys a brand-new football.
"You see children out in the yard, you don't see it often in this day and time with technology," he said. "So you see them with a pine cone, it bothered me a lot."
The boys, Christian, 8, David, 5, and Christopher, 4, were appreciative of the football.
"They can just treasure this and enjoy it. Hopefully they can get a lot out of it," Officer Llewellyn said.
He was late for work that day, but the Aynor police chief said once he heard the reason, the tardiness was easily excused. Although Officer Llewellyn works in Aynor, he lives in Conway. The police chief said kindness knows no jurisdiction.
Christian wrote Tuesday's date on the ball in permanent marker, so he can always remember the day he got it. He only put it down to sleep last night.
"We put it on our shelf and then when I woke up, I looked to see if it was still there," he said. "It was."
Christian said he wants to play football for the Panthers when he gets older. Officer Llewellyn found out Christian had received an award this week for playing football.
"I was just like, "'Well, keep playing hard and maybe one day you can be a star,'" he said. "And I can enjoy watching him on TV."
Smith said the boys have a football, but it was in her car at the time and their grandmother was watching them while Smith ran an errand.
However, she said what's most important is the sentiment behind the football from Officer Llewellyn. She's satisfied knowing the boys' first real interaction with a police officer was positive.
"You worry about that all the time like, ok, I'm raising kids and the things that you're hearing and what's going on in society already, I feel like that was the perfect first impression of them and an officer," she said.
Smith posted the photo and story to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, and as of Wednesday evening, it had been liked more than 300 times and shared over 3,000 times.
"…I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to shout him out for that…oh how I wish they all were as thoughtful," Smith stated in the post.