Thursday, January 29, 2015

"His heart is so big"

Last Christmas eve, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jared Clanton was driving near the mouth of American Fork Canyon in Alpine. It was near midnight when he noticed something shiny by the side of the road. He turned around and drove back to see what it was and found a wrapped Christmas gift with no name on the box. When he unwrapped it and discovered a Lego robot, he knew some child would be disappointed not to get it. "I didn't have much to go on except the label of the store in Minnesota that sold it," he said, so he posted it on the Utah Highway Patrol Facebook page and and called all six branches of the store in Minnesota to pass the word. Two weeks later, his cell phone rang. It was Amy Fish. She had purchased the Lego set for her son Stuart, and after it was lost, she went back to the store to buy another one. The cashier happened to remember the Utah trooper who called about the toy, and told her. She couldn't believe it.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Clanton mailing toy to Minnesota

"I was so grateful for Jared Clanton's determination to make sure a child didn't go without a Christmas gift, she said. "His heart is so big."

But that's not the end of the story. Stuart celebrated his 11th birthday in January. Clanton paid to ship the Lego set overnight so it would arrive on Stuart's big day. He also enclosed a $10 bill and a note that said, "Stuart buddy, I heard you lost something but you didn't know what it was. I also heard it's your birthday as well, so happy birthday." When the package arrived, his parents recorded the moment when Stuart opened the gift and read the note aloud, fighting back tears. "It shows he's really nice," Stuart said, "and right now a lot of people think a bunch of cops are bad, but this shows a lot of them are also good, really good people."

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