How A Letter To The Wrong Sheriff Turned Into A Little Boy’s ‘Trip Of A Lifetime’

A little boy from Chester County, Pennsylvania, was excited when he saw an online contest that offered a prize close to his heart. Alex Collins, 9, desperately wanted to go hunting, but as he lives alone with his mother who is ill, it seemed like his dream would never come true. When Alex saw an online contest with a prize of a hunting trip with the sheriff of Chester County, he was ecstatic and immediately entered. However, there was one problem. The contest was actually being held 600 miles away in Chester County, South Carolina, not in Pennsylvania as the boy had thought.

According to the Herald, Alex wrote a letter to the sheriff holding the contest, Sheriff Underwood, asking for consideration for the hunting trip. Alex noted that he lived at home with his mother and that his mother was ill. Due to her illness, his mother would never be able to take him hunting or fishing and he feared he would never get the chance to live out his small dream.

“I hope you pick me to go. I don’t have anyone to teach me. It’s just me and my mom, and she’s too sick to do stuff.”

Not only did Alex write a letter, but his mom and Alex’s teacher also penned a letter, noting what a spectacular kid Alex really is and why he deserved the special trip. Alex was so excited about the opportunity he hand-delivered the letter to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office in West Chester, Penna., himself. However, Alex’s mother didn’t know that he son would be “heartbroken” and leave the sheriff’s office in tears.

“But nobody ever heard of Sheriff Underwood when I went to the police station.”

When the Collins arrived at the police station to deliver the letter, deputies informed the pair that there was no Sheriff Underwood. Instead the boy spoke to Sheriff Carolyn B. Welsh, who was the county sheriff and had never heard of the hunting contest. Alex’s mother says her son left the station highly upset.

“Alex was heartbroken. He left crying.”

Fortunately for the determined little boy, Chief Deputy George March was not to keen on sending a crying kid and his sick mother home without resolve. March contacted Underwood’s office in South Carolina and asked if there was any way that they could work Alex in. Sheriff Underwood said he would be happy to take the little boy hunting and fishing if he could get to South Carolina.

Police from both South Carolina and Pennsylvania were so moved by the boy’s story that they decided to pitch in and help purchase the boy a plane ticket so that he could have his “trip of a lifetime.” In fact, Chief Deputy March put the plane ticket on his personal credit card to ensure the boy’s spot would be held.

During Christmas break, Alex Collins’ dream came true and he was flown to South Carolina to meet Sheriff “Big A” Underwood and have his big two-day excursion. “Big A” and “Little A” had quite the adventure and Sheriff Underwood had a soft spot for the child. The sheriff ended up purchasing much of the boy’s hunting and fishing supplies with his own money.

Chester County Sheriff
Alex’s first big catch with Sheriff Underwood.
Sheriff "Big A" Underwood
Sheriff “Big A” Underwood tears up as he sends his new friend back home to Pennsylvania.

Alex returned from his “trip of a lifetime” with a new nickname “Little A,” a bucket of fish, and an even bigger bucket of memories.

[Image Credit: Chester County Sheriff’s Department Facebook]

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