The family of fallen hero Justin Billa and law enforcement across the Gulf Coast are seeing an overwhelming amount of support. This afternoon, we ran across a little girl who's hoping to put a smile on the faces of police at the 3rd precinct.
Nine-year-old Madison Williams says she saw our story Wednesday night with Officer Billa's commander at the 3rd precinct, Captain Douglas Parmenter. She says the story tugged at her heart and prompted her to help, the only way she knew how.
"I saw the captain. He was so upset, and I was watching videos of his family, and it was just heartbreaking to me so I went for it," said Madison.
If you're driving on Airport Boulevard, It looks like just another Girl Scout cookies stand. But there's a little more to this story. Little Madison is a pro at selling cookies. Last year she was the top seller in the region selling 2,150 boxes. Now she's using those skills for a bigger cause.
"I am honoring Police Officer Billa, and I'm donating boxes to the police station, and I'm just trying to support the community and his family," said Madison.
It's a small gesture of support that's sure to satisfy a sweet tooth, if nothing else. Madison is asking people to buy a box of cookies and put them in a box she's bringing to the 3rd precinct. Her goal is to raise 100 boxes and the crutches she's on won't stop her.
Madison's mom Samantha is her biggest supporter. She says the idea was her daughter's alone.
"It makes you proud. Especially in this day and time. You need more compassion so its a privilege to see her want to step up to help," said Williams.
Folks coming up to buy were more than willing to donate a box. After Officer Billa's tragic death, Williams says this has restored her faith in humanity.
"Its touching. Nothing's going to help the pain. I think as a community what we need to do now is show our support. Let our police officers know that we appreciate them," added Williams.
So if you see Madison standing on Airport Boulevard and Spring Station Road, where they're set up, waving, don't hesitate to stop.
"I'm just happy to be supporting the community. I'm just happy to be helping out," said Madison.
Madison's mom Samantha says they'll be back out tomorrow from 8 a.m. until dark and they'll be out again next weekend. She says they plan to reach out to the precinct to set up a time for Madison to bring the cookies some time after Officer Billa's funeral on Tuesday.