Police officer shares a meal with a homeless man because he's 'just another person'

Sgt. Erica Hay's simple and kind act has stirred heartwarming reactions all over social media. Hay, of the Ocala Police Department in Florida, bought food and coffee for a homeless man and herself when she saw him sitting on a curb earlier this month. She joined him on the curb as the two ate their meals together.

Facebook user TiAnna Greene spotted the pair sharing a meal and took pictures that she then uploaded to Facebook. As of Monday, the post has been shared more than 2,100 times by people inspired by Hay's generosity and humility.

I don't know this officer, but, I admire her today and everyday. It appeared that she purchased this gentleman's...

Posted by TiAnna S. Greene on Thursday, July 16, 2015

The sergeant told HuffPost that she was simply treating the man the same way she would anyone else. She said:

"He's just another person, just like I am. I know I enjoy company when I eat. I just sat down and ate with him. He's ... just like any other citizen. He's homeless, he might need our assistance more ... but he needs us just like everyone else does."

Hay explained to HuffPost that she spotted the man when she was on her way to pick up breakfast for herself after a meeting. Over their meal, she and the man discussed his background and some of the daily struggles he faces.

Greene saw the pair and snapped the photos while she was taking her 7-year-old daughter to summer camp. She told HuffPost that the beautiful act of kindness taught her daughter an important lesson. She said:

"I looked over and said to [my daughter], 'See? That's a real good sign of compassion -- that you care for other people no matter where they are in their lives.' It was a real teachable moment for her. It showed [her] that not all law enforcement are bad."

Watch this video if Hay's act of kindness inspires you to do a good deed:

United We Serve: What Is Your Good Deed?

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