A father tried everything he could to make sure his daughter arrived on time.
But life wasn’t doing them any favors lately and they missed several school bells. He didn’t think it was that bad, just an hour here and there. Until, one day, he saw a group of people waiting for him – and they all wanted to know what was going on.
When 41-year-old James Schweikhard and his 10-year-old daughter left Oklahoma for Lakewood in Denver, Colorado, they hoped to settle quickly.
“I packed everything up that we own in the truck there and we just drove here,” James says of the move to Lakewood. “It was more of a risk staying in Oklahoma. I couldn’t get a job for anything, couldn’t get a place to live.”
But it was a tough start in the new state for them and not long after enrolling his daughter into a new school, administrators there started to notice something was off when the young girl turned up late a couple of times after walking in with James.
They tracked her father down to his truck. And were shocked by what they found. So they called the cops.
Officer James Butler went over to have a look and found the family’s home. Schweikhard could not drive and had lost his job, but had continued walking his daughter to school.
The Lakewood community came forward to help the family. With everyone’s efforts, the family finally moved into their first apartment in almost two years, while many businesses also offered Schweikhard work.
The father said, “I’m in shock, I think. This has actually restored my faith in humanity.”
The cop’s good deeds didn’t end there. Butler, along with others at the Lakewood police department, are actively doing everything they can to get this man and his child into permanent housing faster. James is touched that anyone, especially a cop, would go to this length for the least of those in their community.
The father added, “I’m not used to getting help from cops.”
“It was the right thing to do,” Officer Butler said. “Because at any point in time in our lives anyone of us can be in that same situation offering assistance to another human being is the right thing to do.”
James is very appreciative of all the help he’s received, not only from Butler but from all his colleagues. Various different Lakewood cops have helped out in little ways.
“I think it’s awesome, I think it’s really cool, very unexpected, but very cool,” James said.
He’d only ever had negative experiences with the law, so it’s good to see the police – and just people in general – giving him and his daughter a brighter outlook. It looks as though Lakewood might well be the place for them…