This cop took an 8-year-old boy to McDonald’s after no one picked him up from school on his birthday

Wisconsin police officer Darryl Robinson knows a thing or two about paying it forward. Robison recently helped an 8-year-old boy who left alone at school when no one came to pick him up—on his birthday. The incident reminded Robinson of his own childhood, when a local police captain took him under his wing.

Howe Elementary School called Robinson, an officer from the Green Bay Police Department, because no one could pick up the student from school. The boy’s mother is in jail and she had removed other family members from the emergency contact list, according to BuzzFeed News.

Robinson had actually met the boy before when he responded to a child custody dispute between his grandmother and mother. Robinson got permission from the boy’s grandfather, who was injured and babysitting the boy’s other siblings, to take him for a ride in his police car. He gave the boy some Green Bay Packer cards and took him to McDonald’s.

“He was in good spirits and was really excited when he got his Happy Meal, they still put the toys in there,” Robinson told BuzzFeed. “He thought it was cool to ride in the squad car and seemed happy to have an afternoon like that.”

The Green Bay Police Department posted the story on their Facebook page recently and it has since been shared more than 12,000 times. People commented on the post, thanking Robinson for his caring actions.

Check out the post below:

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“As a child who was taken out of a bad situation and the officer removing me from my home took me to eat at KFC I will always remember that,” Jessica Wabdankwe Murphy-Smith commented on the Facebook post. “I was 6 years old and that memory is burned in my mind. Officers like you make a difference.”

The incident hit home for Robinson, who grew up in a single-parent household across the river from the 8-year-old boy who he helped. When Robinson was about 5 or 6 years old, Bill Bongle, a former Green Bay police captain, took him to get candy on his birthday. That experience inspired Robinson to become a police officer. Bongle and Robinson have stayed in touch. Robinson said that he wants to develop a similar mentor relationship with the 8-year-old boy he picked up from school.

“We grew up on the opposite of the river but it’s the same neighborhood and it’s easy to get into trouble if you don’t have anyone to connect with in a positive way,” Robinson told BuzzFeed. “You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. If it wasn’t for that officer I don’t know if I would be doing this today.”