GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colorado -- Naomi Norelli experiences all the daily struggles of a single mother, but the last 15 months, she says, have been particularly rough.
When she was pregnant with her second child, she was diagnosed with cancer. After she beat the disease, she and her kids moved to Denver for Norelli's new job. Unfortunately, the job fell through after she arrived. She quickly found work, but then her car stopped working. When she stopped at a dealership, they assured her everything was set with her new car--but it turns out the dealer neglected to mention she needed new registration tags, and those would set her back another $400.
"Trying to cover rent, child care, food, groceries, the whole nine yards on one budget is really hard," said Norelli.
So Norelli wasn't totally shocked when a police officer pulled her over because she was driving with expired tags. She tried to explain her situation, but he still wrote her a ticket.
"Well it's between the tag and the groceries, essentially," she told the cop. "I am a single parent with two kids under the age of 5 and just trying to make those ends meet with the kids is really challenging."
Once she got to work, Norelli struggled to hold back tears. By the time she calmed down and was seated at her desk, another group of officers walked into her office. In their hands they had groceries for her and her family.
"I was totally and completely stunned," she said.
She sent an email to the department, thanking the officers for their act of kindness. But then she had another encounter with the local police. This time, the police chief personally called her to tell her that her thank you note was appreciated by everyone at the station.
And Norelli's ticket? A kind stranger paid for her ticket, and the officers pooled more money to buy her additional groceries, a Starbucks gift card, and a toy for her son.