Sheriff’s deputy rewards little girl’s efforts at lemonade stand with special gift

A sheriff’s deputy out of Ohio is being hailed by his community for going above and beyond the call of duty

After Sheriff's Deputy Zach Ropos stopped at a lemonade stand in Lake County, Ohio, he gave a little girl a memorable gift. (Photo: Lake County Sheriff's Office via ABC News)

A sheriff’s deputy out of Ohio is being hailed by his community for going above and beyond the call of duty to help a little girl run her lemonade stand.

Deputy Zach Ropos was on duty Tuesday when he came across a girl name Gabrielle operating a lemonade stand. Gabrielle’s family had been up against some financial difficulties. She’d been saving up money from the stand in hopes of buying an iPad to use for schoolwork and games.

Instead of just paying for lemonade, though, Dep. Ropos decided he wanted to help Gabrielle achieve her goal. Ropos was going to give her an older iPad he had at home, but when he figured out that it no longer worked, he went out and bought a brand new one for her instead.

“I went home that night, fired up the iPad, but it just wasn’t updated anymore … nothing really worked on it,” Ropos explained.

The next day, Ropos found a store that agreed to contribute to the cost of a tablet with him. Later Tuesday, Ropos met up with Gabrielle and her mother.

“I talked to the little girl, gave her a speech about how courageous and admirable I think her efforts were to save up her money,” Ropos said. “I asked her how much she saved up, and she said she only had a few dollars.”

Ropos’ gift became even more valuable when he learned that Gabrielle had offered to give up the money she earned from her lemonade stand to buy gas for her mom’s car.

“When she told me she gave the money to her mom … that’s when I almost started crying because of how great of a kid she really was,” Ropos said.

“She just wouldn’t stop hugging me,” Ropos said. “Seeing her face is how I remember Christmas when I was 5 years old. She couldn’t stop smiling. Her smile was worth a million dollars.”

“You really make a difference. And all of the best to Gabrielle and her new iPad,” Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page alongside a photo of Ropos delivering the iPad to Gabrielle.

The post quickly went viral, amassing over 100,000 likes and 32,000 shares.

Copyright 2015 WRIC

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