A facebook post by the mother of an autistic child reveals in a powerful thank-you letter how one ‘simple act of kindness’ by an Apple store worker in Nashville, TN, lifted her spirits during a challenging shopping trip.
LynnMarie Rink, 50, and her nine-year-old son, James, stopped at the Apple store in the Green Hills mall on their way home. James wasn’t feeling well that day and as soon as they got off the elevator he bolted and hit a wall.
LynnMarie took James to get an iPad that he uses to communicate. She felt the eyes of every stranger looking at her 9-year-old son with judgment and disgust. That’s when Andrew Wall, an Apple employee steps in, and what he did has gone viral.
Andrew sat on the floor with them and helped James with his new iPad until he calmed down. The Nashville mother posted a heartwarming thank-you note to Andrew, who went above and beyond to help her son with special needs.
In her post, she wrote:
“Dear Apple Store in Green Hills,
I’m writing to let you know how great your employee (pictured in this photo) was to me and my son, James, yesterday when we came to the store to buy a new iPad.
When James was about three-years-old we bought him his first iPad. It turned out to be more than a device to watch videos. It became a way to help James communicate.
Because James was born with Down Syndrome, and at six-years-old was diagnosed with Autism, we use his iPad everyday as a learning tool. Sadly, even with a life-proof cover, after seven years of use, James’ first iPad was no longer working. We had replaced the screen several times and it just kept breaking. It was obviously time for a new one!”
She continued: “I had lunch with a dear friend, who noticed the ‘state’ of my iPhone 5. I told her that it was covered in snot, and limping along, not because of me, but because of James. (My phone became the replacement to his iPad.)
To make a long story a bit shorter, that friend happens to be on the board of a charitable organization, The Fiona Rose Murphey Foundation Charitable Trust, who graciously offered to provide James with a much needed new iPad.
On Thursday, James and I made our way to the Apple Store in Green Hills. While looking at the iPads James must have seen something that sparked his interest in the mall, and he took off running full speed out the door. The problem was he wasn’t at the door, but at the clear glass wall. He slammed into the wall full force which knocked him over. The entire store gasped as they heard the sound of James’ head hitting the glass and then the floor.
I ran to him and tried to comfort him. James has a very high tolerance for pain, so his tears and ‘fat lip’ were brief. Mine however were not. As I hugged him sitting on the floor your employee came over and sat down next to me. He asked if he was okay and if there was anything he could do. I think it was at this point that he realized James had special needs.”
“I think we’re gonna be okay,” I said. “But it looks like he’s gonna have quite a goose egg on his forehead.” Your employee asked, “What can I do for you?” (I wanted to ask for a margarita or a donut but I was pretty sure they didn’t have any of those in that secret back room.) I said, “Well, we actually came here today to buy an iPad which was donated to James, but if we’re going to proceed would you be willing to sell it to us and set it up… down here on the floor?”
And so he did. Your awesome employee sat with James on the floor of the store and set up the new iPad. There are no words to accurately describe how grateful I am that he took the time to ‘meet us right where we were.’ He didn’t have to sit down on the floor with us. He could have easily waited for us to stand. Could have easily waited for us to come back another day. But he hung out with us in the midst of our pain. He even got a fist bump from James, and I snapped this photo.
Life is a learning journey. And I walked away from this experience with the reminder to always meet people where they are at. It’s so easy to be so focused on our own mission or plan (or sale) that we fail to see what people really need. I long to be better at this. I long to not be so self-absorbed that I never miss an opportunity to love exactly like someone needs in the moment.”
Watch the report below, and please SHARE this awesome act of kindness!