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A single good deed by a Georgia state trooper has netted over $470,000 in donations for four children orphaned on Halloween.
Preparations for the holiday were under way in Newborn, Georgia, for the Howard siblings — Justin, Amiah, Daimean and Trayvion — when Trooper Nathan Bradley knocked on their door.
Bradley had just left the scene of a fatal car crash, in which Crystal and Donald Howard — the children’s parents — had been killed after their SUV careened off a road and hit a tree.
"Unfortunately, I was greeted by four children in full costumes," Bradley told NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta. The 25-year-old trooper decided he couldn’t break the news to the children, ages 6 to 13, without family there.
The Howards’ grandmother Stephanie Oliver, who lives in Florida, was the next closest relative. Bradley called Oliver and told her the news, but she couldn’t get to Georgia for another seven hours.
“I immediately fell ill. Not only would these children discover they lost both parents, but would spend their Halloween in a county jail until somebody could tend to them; it just wasn't right,” Bradley later wrote on a GoFundMe page that he started for the family.
Bradley got permission from the grandmother to delay the tragic news until she arrived the next morning.
He took the kids out for dinner and then back to the station for movies, candy and a sleepover.
Bradley later wrote that 10-year-old Amiah told him, “You turned an F-Minus day into an A-Plus night!"
On Nov. 1, Oliver arrived and took the children home to tell them the heartbreaking news.
"He took care of my kids when they needed them,” Oliver told WXIA. “He was there for them, all the way.”
Before they left, Bradley gave the oldest, Justin, a note with his number on it in.
"It's the first time in the line of duty I told someone I loved them and I do love them," Bradley said. "I care about them a lot."
Justin contacted Bradley to tell him the transportation and funeral costs for his parents would be $7,000. Bradley decided he would help them out with a GoFundMe page.
The page surpassed that original goal and a total of more than $470,000 continues to grow. All excess donations are going into a trust fund for the siblings who now live in Florida with their grandmother.