COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — It was a touching reunion Tuesday as Corporal Sonny Wiseman received hugs and gratitude from a family he helped in their most desperate time.

“I wanna thank you for everything that you’ve done for us,” mother Ashley Murphy said to him.

Wiseman responded to a missing child call at the Murphy home back on August 23. When he got there, he found 4-year-old Ainsley safe and sound, but the home in disarray and an almost empty fridge.

He says in that moment, he made a judgement call.

“The little girl, her birthday was the next day, and I just couldn’t take her parents to jail. I didn’t want her to go to bed starving half to death, because I have kids of my own,” Cpl. Wiseman explained to News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton.

Officer Wiseman drove straight to the Walmart on Victory Drive. With the help of the store’s loss prevention officer, Dominique Stout, the two bought the family more than $200 worth of groceries, plus birthday gifts for Ainsley.

“I felt in that moment it was the right thing to do. You know, I was alright, my kids are alright, so why not help somebody in need?” Stout says. “If I were struggling, I would appreciate someone doing that for me.”

Cpl. Wiseman’s CPD supervisor Sgt. Justin Alger says he was proud but unsurprised by Wiseman and Stout’s generosity.

“We have many officers here who truly care about kids and about families and go above and beyond on a daily basis to help these families out,” Sgt. Alger says. “This gives a positive impact to that young girl, so that if she does need help in the future, she won’t be scared to flag down a police officer. She’ll know we’re there to help.”

“We are human and we are here to help when people fall on hard times,” Wiseman says. “We’re not just there to make arrests.”

Cpl. Wiseman adds he did document the incident just in case, but he’s happy to report a followup with the family showed they’re doing much better.

Ashley Murphy says Wiseman and Stout’s generosity helped her family through a tough time.

“The house was completely destroyed when they came, I can see how that would look bad. I’d also had some health issues I was dealing with, so everything was really tough,” she explains. “What they did, it wasn’t anything I expected, but they really helped us out and I was just so excited and happy.”

Murphy says this is a story she will always repeat to Ainsley to teach her the generosity of her local police officers and the community.

“They’re there to help you and just like they helped me and Ainsley. I’m gonna tell her they were there to help you when you were younger,” she says.