MARION, Ohio (WTXF/STORYFUL) - Who do you call when you need help? For Molly Draper’s 10-year-old daughter, it was the police – even though her problem had to do with her schoolwork.
Saturday, the girl messaged the Marion Ohio Police Department on its Facebook page asking for help with her math homework. (Having trouble with embedded graphics? Just scroll through the images. They're all in order!)
My daughter. Cause... She's my daughter. Thank you, Marion, Ohio Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community.Posted by Molly Draper on Friday, 17 February 2017
Somebody got back to her pretty quickly, and gave it their best attempt.
They guided the student through the math problem -- something Draper was very grateful for.
A teacher-turned FOX 29 producer noticed the first answer was correct: do work inside the parenthesis first.
Her second problem was a little more complicated because, according to this former teacher, it involved order-of-operation and another Facebook user caught the fact the answer given was an incorrect one.
The mother, apparently not noticing the error, seemed pleased with her municipal workers.
“Thank you, Marion, Ohio Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community,” she wrote in the post.
Then, the police department responded to Draper -- recognizing the workers’ error -- as seen in a screenshot from Sarah Manley.
“Hoping it is truly the thought that counts since apparently I cannot!” the message reads.
The good deed quickly went viral.
Draper’s post has earned more than 2,000 reactions and 2,612 shares, and her story was also shared to the good news Facebook account, Love What Matters.
The Marion PD took down its Facebook page for a while but returned it with this message:
To all of our new friends to the page, thank you for liking or page. Although our recent story detailing the (well intended) help we provided to an area elementary student with her math homework has received much publicity, a quick check of our page will reveal that this is really just who we are as a Police Department. We are deeply connected with our wonderful citizens and they are incredibly supportive of their Police. MPACT is Marion Police And Community Together, so this is very much all of us. Today I have communicated in one form or another with news affiliates in Washington DC, New York (times 2) Boston and Denver and have fielded several more inquiries from all over the US. We appreciate the news organizations who are highlighting a post which really just tells the story of Marion, Ohio. Simple gestures that result in an enormous impact...or MPACT. To our new friends, go back a couple days and see our work with Marion Harding's Multi-Cultural Club as we visited care facilities and Boys and Girls club to hand out flowers and cookies. We created “Cops, Kids, Cookies and Cocoa” and invented “Hotdogs and Heroes” and so many other programs which seek to increase transparency and improve trust, all while humanizing our officers. We are a department filled with great people who work in a community comprised of great people. We were invited to the White House last July and held up as an example to others around the country. We are getting it right and our fans keep us on that track! Molly's daughter Lena has perfectly captured the essence of MPD. She once received an MPACT shirt from us at an event that we attended. We like to shoot our MPACT shirts from a T-shirt cannon and according to Molly, Lena really liked that shirt...to the point that it came to be in pretty bad shape. When I spoke with Molly today, she shared this story. We really wondered what first made this child think to call upon us for help with homework. We don't mind and it's not unheard of but still pretty rare. I believe the answer is simple...she was made to believe that we are good people who are worthy of her trust and who will be there for her in a pinch. That kind of thing does not happen by accident. Hard work goes into that, along with a sincere compassion and love for our people. If we are not out connecting with people in our community, then maybe she doesn't think of us in a time of difficulty. Sure, “difficulty” this time was homework, but that seed of trust has been planted. If she hadn't once seen her mom message MPD on Facebook to ask a simple question, perhaps she would not have known that doing so was even a possibility. The fact that this particular problem (third grade math) was over our head was not the important part. What's important is that an environment has been created in this community, quite deliberately that nurtures a sense of connection and belonging and trust. Because those things exist, this rather popular Facebook post was able to happen. We are active in the community, from parks to schools and everywhere in between. We are active on social media and because of all of those things we are achieving our goals of being more accessible and responsive to our citizens. We inform you on Police matters but also seek to inspire you with great stories of wonderful people doing fantastic things. We create an environment where an adult can feel comfortable revealing a deeply personal problem and also one where a ten year old feels she can ask for homework help without being turned away or ridiculed. Don’t get it wrong…MPD is a busy place. We just aren’t too busy to go above and beyond every now and then as we continue to "feed the garden" as Chief Collins says. We are so blessed to have experienced all of the positive comments you have sent our way today. We are looking forward to tomorrow as we go to Lena’s school to visit with her and provide her with a NEW autographed (per her request) MPACT shirt. We will post more information (pics and videos) on this tomorrow as we have continued to field questions from national news outlets. Thanks to the Marion community and to all of you across the country who have reached out with a kind word or comment. Thank you Lena for feeling comfortable enough to come to us in a time of need, as doing so has brought such great attention to our deserving community!#MarionMade #MarionProuD #PositiveMPACT