What goes around comes around for brothers Michael McAllister and Marcelino McKinney, two Racine brothers who have spent their summer handing out crosses and bracelets to area law enforcement officers in the Racine area.
This time, these young men received an act of kindness from Kiss the Cook restaurant owners Robert and Kookie Niemec in the form of pancakes. The boys and their grandmother Esther Martinez met up with Sturtevant Police Chief Sean Marschke and two of his police officers at the restaurant to give them crosses and bracelets. But the boys received a meal and a promise that they’ll be able to get a discounted price on their meals as long as the restaurant is open.
Robert, a municipal judge, said he wanted to support the two in their endeavor.
“This is just our way of recognizing these kids,” Robert said. “What they are doing is important work. We are proud of them.”
For the last month, the boys have been making the bracelets, buying small crosses, and meeting up with area law enforcement to tell them to “be safe” in the community.
“With all of the violence happening… a lot of people are against cops,” Michael said. “We wanted to let them know that we are on their side.”
Their story has gone viral. People from all over the country have been sending them materials to make the bracelets. So far they’ve passed out 200 bracelets and crosses. And the boys aren’t showing any signs of stopping. Michael, who makes the bracelets, recently made 61 more. The brothers, who attend church three times a week, said it feels good to connect with the community.
“A ton of people have sent us cards,” Michael said. “Some as far away as Texas… people are thanking us. So we’ve been putting their cards in these binders. We have three of them.”
Martinez and her daughter have worked hard to show the boys everything they need to know: To be careful who they associate with, respect others, and look for ways to help their community.
Marcelino now wants to be a police officer, he said.
“We got invited to roll call… it was fun,” he said with a smile.
On Thursday the two handed Marschke and his officers each a cross and a bracelet, and told them to be safe. To show their appreciation, Robert and Kookie served them plates of pancakes dripping with syrup.
To the boys, Robert said: “Keep being fine young men.”