We are tired of tragic news stories. We are tired of every recent, police-involved story being one where we feel angry and hopeless, where we have to mourn another fallen officer, where we have to reckon with the fault lines in our society that can seem so irreparable. We are ready for hope, and kindness, and reconciliation, and we’re going to look for it wherever we can. We will admit, however, that we never expected to find it so incredibly demonstrated in a Kansas City Chili’s— but that’s where it was this past March.

As WBAF Fox 4 reports, Officer Rance Quinn and his co-worker were having their lunch break in their local Chili’s, discussing the challenges of their job lately and trying to refuel for the rest of their shift. “It just seems like there’s a lot of anti-police type of activity going on. I know we’re unwanted but it makes us feel like we’re under-appreciated,” Quinn told WBAF. So the pair never expected to receive attention while in the restaurant, and if they had predicted any, they certainly wouldn’t have guessed it would be of the kind that came their way, or the form it would take: a teenage girl, who casually walked to their table, dropped off a napkin, and disappeared with her family.

That napkin had writing on it, and what it said?

Note from teen to police saying Thanks for keeping us safeWDAF Fox4 Kansas City

That’s right— the short note says, simply and sweetly, “Thanks for keeping us safe.” The message absolutely touched the hearts of Quinn and his fellow officer. “This young lady touched us in a way she might not have realized and before we could react to it the family walked out. We sat there and talked about what a fantastic gesture,” they wrote in a statement on the Kansas City Kansas Police Department Facebook page. Even better, the gesture touched off a chain reaction of kindness, with other families and individuals coming up to the officers to offer gratitude and a friendly face.

Kansas City police officer Rance Quinn received note of thanks in Chili'sWDAF Fox4 Kansas City

“We’re human too. We like to feel the love just like everybody else does,” Quinn tells WBAF, and they like to share the love, too. When one of the grateful families insisted on giving the officers a gift card to Chili’s, they passed it on to a local family in need. Hopefully, that kindness keeps getting paid forward, and maybe our world will be just a little bit better.

And to think, it all started with a napkin.

Watch the full heartwarming story in WBAF’s report below, then share the love, spread compassion, and be kind to one another.