‘Just do what’s right’: Missouri teen is no stranger to good deeds

Posted at 2:25 PM, Sep 08, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A small act of kindness that made waves across the Internet was nothing special for this teenager - caught in the act of kindness.

Although he's not used to getting all this attention, there's nothing new about Tyrea Pryor lending a hand.

"I've been doing that since I was young, just like helping people," Pryor said.

He's made helping people a habit. The 14-year-old volunteers every week at local schools talking with fourth- and fifth-graders about following their dreams.

It was an officer who snapped the viral picture of Pryor.

A woman was struggling to get to her car in the pouring rain. Pryor ran across the Hy-Vee grocery store parking lot, took off his own jacket and shielded the 93-year-old from the rain all the way to her car.

"It looked like she needed help," Pryor said. "I was raised to, like, do right toward anybody. It doesn't matter what race or anything."

"It just filled my heart. I was just happy," Pryor's mom, Ebony Findley, said.

Findley said it's a common occurrence.

"Sometimes you can't find him like, 'What were you doing?' 'Oh, I went and helped so-and-so cut the grass,' or 'I went over here and did this.' You know? He's always offering to help someone with their groceries," Findley said.

During Pryor's lesson with those elementary students, they showed WDAF's original story of the officer trying to find the teen.

"He didn't do that act of kindness because he wanted attention or anything like that," Pryor's uncle Nigel Johnson said.

But taking care of that woman and her groceries scored him a free meal. Officer Joe Holt made good on his promise and took Pryor and his mom out to dinner at Red Lobster.

"He said, 'Buy anything you want.' I'm like, for real?" Pryor said, "He said, 'Yeah'."

Findley said they've built a special bond and will continue to stay in touch.

"What he felt that day and the compassion he had was wholehearted," Findley said. "So I appreciate him."

She appreciates Pryor, too. Findley said she loves how he soaks up life lessons like a sponge and encourages others to do the same.

Pryor's mom posted a picture to Facebook saying the manager at the Hy-Vee where he helped the woman even gave him a job.

"It doesn't matter who it is, just do what you know is correct," Pryor said.