MOLINE — The big-hearted cop has struck again. This time, though, he had a pair of holiday helpers with hearts of equal size.
On gorgeous wind-swept November Monday, Moline Police Officer Patrick Moody made the season much brighter for Rock Island’s Jennifer Rentfro and her three children, presenting them with a 2002 Buick LeSabre.
It was the second “pay it forward” vehicle Officer Moody has bestowed upon a local citizen this month, the third since 2016. Early in November, the 25-year law enforcement veteran presented Courtney Groharing and her family with a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup to ease their travel struggles.
This time it was Dale and Sharon McClain, who assisted Officer Moody and his wife, Melissa, in giving Ms. Rentfro and her children, Jasmine, Adam and Zachary, a nudge forward.
The McClains, retirees from Geneseo with deep Moline ties and goodness in their hearts, were looking to sell their 2002 LeSabre. But when they saw what Officer Moody did for the Groharing family, they called him to offer their car to help better the lives of others.
“Officer Moody stole our hearts,” Dale McClain said, just before an emotional meeting with Ms. Rentfro and her children. “We had it for sale and nobody called, but then we saw in The Dispatch what Patrick did with the other lady and decided he could find our car a great home. The Lord brought the car our way for a reason years ago and today — being here — is that reason.”
The vehicle, a silver LeSabre Limited 4-door with silver interior, was surrounded by hugs and tears when as soon as Officer Moody handed the keys to Ms. Rentfro.
“Awesome, absolutely awesome,” Ms. Rentfro said, just before telling the McClains, Officer Moody and Melissa Moody, how in a matter of seconds, her life changed for the better. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I didn’t know what was going on with this; it caught me off-guard. It’s been a struggle lately, but this, this wonderful gesture, is a start to things getting better.”
To get Ms. Rentfro to make the trip to the Moline Poilce station for the presentation, she was told Officer Moody had Christmas gifts for her children. They would be part of the “Kids and Cops” program due to recent hardships.
“I kind of bent the truth,” Officer Moody said just before the Rentfros arrived. “But I do have gifts for the kids, drones for the boys and a camouflage sweatshirt for Jennifer’s daughter. The the real reason is the car and a way for Jennifer to get through one of those valleys we all go through in life. I hope this is a good first step.”
Officer Moody said the vehicle is a gem on all fronts.
“It’s in immaculate condition, runs perfect and comes with a new set of tires,” he said. “You can tell they took care of the vehicle. I cannot thank the McClains enough.”
It is the McClains, though, who were were extolling the virtues of the veteran police officer with the monster heart.
“We were touched by the display of compassion and kindness from a police officer,” Mr. McClain said. “I lived down the street from two Moline officers for 12 years, and they were amazing neighbors. They all do a great job, but Patrick is really something special in our eyes.”
Officer Moody, who paid the taxes on the vehicle and paid for its registration, also filled the gas tank.
“I don’t share these stories to win trophies or medals,” Officer Moody said. “I do it with the hope than an act of kindness will inspire others to do the same. This vehicle giveaway did just that, as it would not have been possible without the generosity that was displayed by Mr. and Mrs. McClain.”
And the big-hearted cop who lives to pay it forward.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or at Media
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