It was a simple show of faith and respect by Courtney Groharing, her wearing the blue rubber bracelet. It read: "Blue Lives Matter.''
The gesture, kind and supportive during a rough stretch for local law enforcement, has long been etched in the mind -- and heart -- of Moline Police officer Patrick Moody.
Monday, Ms. Groharing's faith in those who protect and serve, was rewarded through a monster act of kindness by Officer Moody, a 25-year law enforcement veteran.
In a surprise workplace visit, Officer Moody "paid it forward'' to Ms. Groharing, giving the married mother of two, a 1999 red Dodge Ram pickup truck.
The used vehicle featured new tires, exhaust and a full tank of gas. Tim Clifton, of American Family Insurance in Moline, agreed to charitable sponsorship of a policy that will insure Ms. Groharing and her husband, Jacob, through the upcoming holiday season.
The generous gesture drew hugs from both sides.
"Awesome,'' Ms. Groharing, 27, of Moline, said while taking some good-natured ribbing about her being petite and the truck's cab being rather roomy.
"I'm at a loss for words. I remember him (Officer Moody) from where I used to work. My mother got the bracelets for her and I out of respect. This does so much for us, my family. I'm so at a loss for words right now, but this is a total surprise and it is awesome. I know I'm saying that a lot, but it is awesome.''
It must be noted, Officer Moody's good deed on Monday was not spur-of-the-moment. He has been working on what he hopes will become an annual pay-it-forward gesture for quite some time. In 2016, he replaced a car for accident victim Danielle Robinson. That generous act drew national attention.
"It is a platform,'' Officer Moody said of working to enrich the lives of those in need. "It's something I believe in, have done for many years, and will continue to do. It is pretty simple. You give and you do your best to make the lives of others better. It is much more than receiving.''
When searching for someone who could use a boost, Ms. Groharing's name was passed on to Officer Moody. He said he recognized it and remembered her from the convenience store where she worked and how faithful she was to those who serve and protect.
"She is a genuine and caring person,'' Officer Moody said of Ms. Groharing. "Law enforcement, in general, has come under more scrutiny in the last couple of years. During the most difficult and challenging time for myself, my co-workers and my extended law-enforcement family throughout the Quad-Cities, I noticed her wearing a “Blue Lives Matter” bracelet while at work one day.
"Courtney told me she worried about and prayed for all the police officers that she got to know from the store and she wanted to show her support for all of us during our difficult time. She faithfully wore that bracelet every day for several months, up until she left the job a few weeks before giving birth to her latest child. That act of support and concern about her police friends, spoke volumes to her character.''
Life, Officer Moody was told, had become a struggle for for Courtney, Jacob, and their two daughters, Lillian, age 6, and Vanellope, 9 months. He learned the family car was shelved and repairs to fix it were more than its worth. It left Ms. Groharing and her husband to ask others and use public transportation to get to and from their respective jobs.
"When I went in search of someone to help, I was told Courtney is the type of person that would give her last dollar to a friend in need,'' Officer Moody said. "Courtney’s struggles are real just as many others that live in the Quad-Cities. I know they have been without a car for several months, that she lost her job when she gave birth, but is back working, but there was a gap when they were without her income.
"I know they went several days without heat -- and struggled with carbon monoxide issues -- until a faulty furnace could be fixed. They seemed like they could use a helping hand, so here we are.''
Upbeat and positive about the world around her, Ms. Groharing's faith took a tick upward Monday with Officer Moody's kind and generous act.
"He is just a good man,'' she said. "This is beyond generous. All the Moline officers I got to know were great. I'm shocked he thought enough of me and my family to do this. You never think like this, that someone is going to pay it ahead to you.''
Monday's act of kindness, Officer Moody insisted, was to show that paying it forward should be the norm, not the exception.
"I’m encouraging others to help people even when you know that they can’t help you back,'' he said. "Please be mindful that the winter holiday season can be more difficult for many therefore it is important to do good deeds for those that are in need without asking or expecting anything in return. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of it.''
"This is a total surprise and it is awesome. I know I'm saying that a lot, but it is awesome.''
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.