Eight-year-old Mikayla Raji truly has a heart of gold. And the best part, she likes to do good deeds without asking for recognition.
Mikayla was having dinner with her mother Mimi Jimenez-Raji at the Helmetta Township eatery when they spotted an officer picking up his food. Mikayla caught sight of Officer Joseph Quinn and immediately smiled. They also talked for a little bit.
“He engaged in conversation with the little girl [and] unbeknownst to him, the little girl […] wanted to buy him dinner,” Jamesburg Police Department Chief James Craparotta told Inside Edition. In fact, Mikayla told her mother about her plan and Mimi agreed. That is how Mimi ended up paying for Officer Quinn’s dinner. However, they had wanted to treat him anonymously and the restaurant agreed to help.
And so when Officer Quinn went to pay for his meal, he discovered that it had already been paid for. The restaurant also remained tight-lipped about who paid for it. Nonetheless, this did not deter Officer Quinn from finding out. He said he used “diligent police work” in order to uncover who it was. That it how he came to know that it was Mikayla.
Mikayla had lost her father in the line of duty.
During his research, Officer Quinn also discovered that tragedy had struck Mikayla’s family before she was even born. Back in 2008, Mikayla’s father, Perth Amboy police officer Thomas Raji, was killed when a drunk driver had broadsided his cruiser. ” Mikayla unfortunately never got the chance to meet her father, because she was born in March of 2009, 7 months after he was killed,” the Jamesburg Police Department said. Meanwhile, Mimi had also been a Perth Amboy police officer but has since retired.
Learning of Mikayla’s history, Officer Quinn and his entire department thought it would be nice to return the favor. ” This was just such a kind gesture by such a sweet little girl, that we felt like we needed to do something to pay-it-forward,” Chief Craparotta explained.
Jamesburg Police Department decides to return Mikayla’s touching gesture.
For starters, the Jamesburg Police Department has invited Mikayla over. “You have an OPEN invitation to stop by Headquarters whenever you want, and this time dinner is on us! Your dad would be so proud of the person you are,” the department said. At the same time, they also decided to set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Mikayla’s education. ” Mikayla is a wonderful kid with a big heart who loves to do kind things for people,” the post said. The officers hope to raise as much as 20,000 for Mikayla. Today, they have already managed to raise over $10,000.
More than anything though, it seems both Mikayla and Mimi discovered a new group of men and women to call family. “If you ever need us for anything, you can guarantee we will be there for you,” the department told Mikalya in a heartfelt message.
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