JAMESBURG, NJ (WTXF) - Civilians paying for police officers' meals is a nice gesture one might see from time to time, but it typically doesn't involve a little girl as young as 8.
Patrolman Joseph Quinn headed to Helmetta's Villa Borghese on Friday to pick up some food when he encountered a pleasant surprise: Mikayla Raji, 8, insisted on paying for his meal.
The reason? Mikayla happened to have a special place in her heart for police officers, which the Jamesburg Police Department learned after some diligent police work.
Mikayla's father, Thomas Raji was a police officer in Perth Amboy, and was tragically killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver in August 2008. Born in March 2009, Mikayla never got the chance to meet him.
After the random act of kindness, the Jamesburg Police Department has started a GoFundMe campaign to finance Mikayla's education.
"To Mimi", the department wrote on its Facebook page, "On behalf of all the members of the Jamesburg Police Department, we want to thank you for Tommy's service as well as yours. Mikayla is a great kid, and you should be very proud of her."
The police department also had some kind words for Mikayla:
"Thank you for buying Ptl. Quinn's dinner. 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. If you ever need us for anything, you can guarantee we will be there for you."