Struggling single mother donates lottery winnings to Mo. officer shot in line of duty

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMBC/CNN) - After a struggling single mother donated her $100 lottery winnings to an officer shot in the line of duty, police from Kansas City, Missouri, are raising money to pay her back for her act of kindness.

With only $7 to her name and bills past due, Shetara Sims, a single mother who lost her job a month ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, found a $1 bill in a grocery store parking lot and bought a scratch-off ticket, winning $100.

Shetara Sims donated her $100 lottery winnings to a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer who remains in the intensive care unit after he was shot in the line of duty.
Shetara Sims donated her $100 lottery winnings to a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer who remains in the intensive care unit after he was shot in the line of duty. (Source: KMBC/Hearst/CNN)

Despite her financial struggles, Sims immediately agreed when her 12-year-old daughter, Rakiya Edmonson, suggested they donate the money to a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer who remains in the intensive care unit after he was shot in the line of duty on July 2.

“She won $100, and I said we should donate it to the police officer that got shot for his family to go eat and see him,” Rakiya said.

Sims and her daughter know what it’s like to hurt. Her daughter, Rakiya’s older sister, was murdered in Kansas City in 2012. Sims says the detectives who worked her daughter’s case supported them with daily messages, family visits and more.

“The detectives were really there for us. They were there for us more than anyone I can imagine. They did things they didn’t have to do,” Sims said. “They came to see my kids. They did a lot. They were fathers, therapists. They were everything.”

Sims says many people don’t realize how wonderful officers are until you’re the one calling for help.

"I never seen the empathy that they had from strangers. They just gave us hope. They were good for us," she said.

To give officers some of that hope themselves, Sims called July 10 to make her $100 donation. She did not leave her name or number.

Police, who were overwhelmed by her kind gesture, spent days tracking her down.

“To hear her call and just express thanks for no reason other than she’s thankful, it’s really impactful to us, and it’s really touching to us,” police Sgt. Jake Becchina said.

JULY 17 UPDATE: By popular demand, we were able to track down this woman (though it took a while). Her name is Shetara...

Posted by Kansas City Missouri Police Department on Monday, July 13, 2020

Hundreds of people who heard the story had reached out, wanting to help. So, once they learned her identity, officers started a GoFundMe for Sims. It has raised more than $12,000.

Becchina says it’s kindness from people like Sims that motivates officers to keep serving.

Copyright 2020 KMBC, Family photos, GoFundMe, Hearst via CNN. All rights reserved.