Some children may feel fear towards police officers, but for 4-year-old Alexis Randle, every officer in uniform is a reason to give hugs.
It all started a few years ago when they met Deputy Bryan Woodard from the Fort Worth Marshal Division at a car wash. The officer gave stickers to Alexis and her older sister.
Seeing that Alexis’ single mother needed help, Woodard began spending weekends getting to know their family.
Soon, he and “Chicken Nugget,” the nickname he gave her, became inseparable. Woodard, who is neither married nor a father, started sharing funny videos he made with Alexis on Facebook, and everyone loved it!
“She’s funny,” says Woodard. “She’s cute, and she looks like a little adult inside a little person.” Johnniesha Randle, her mother, adds that her daughter loves him with all her heart:
“He’s the father she never had, and she deserves a good father figure in her life, and that’s him.”
Approaching Alexis’ birthday this year, Woodard decided to do something special for her. He reached out to his Facebook followers and invited all single parents and their kids to a surprise party at a trampoline park.
The theme would be two of Alexis’ favorite things: tutus and unicorns. In essence, he was throwing the best possible party! His fans evidently agreed! Gifts poured in from all over the country, many simply addressed to “Chicken Nugget.”
“It shows that there’s a lot of kindness in this world,” Woodard said. “And just because someone is absent doesn’t mean the world will turn its back on you.”
When Alexis arrived at the trampoline park and saw the pile of gifts and all the people waiting to celebrate with her, she was thrilled. Then, wearing a unicorn hat and tutu, she had a wonderful time with her best friend!
Johnniesha said this sweet friendship has uplifted her entire family: “It’s a Godsend that she has support behind her.
As a single mother, I’m trying to do my part and do my best, and that’s all I can do. I get up and go to work. Mr. Bryan helps me when I don’t have a babysitter.”
As for Woodard, it’s the opposite. “She really helps me,” he explains.
“Because after a long day dealing with people, some have attitudes towards law enforcement because we have a reputation that circulates, but she eases that pain a bit. It’s like medicine. She helps me.”