Anyone with young kids can tell you that they become obsessed with the most unusual things sometimes. Children can become fascinated with trains or garbage trucks the way other kids are preoccupied with the latest toy or TV show.
It’s especially notable in children with autism, who can become fixated on very specific interests.
That’s the case for one little boy named Cameron, from Michigan, who is fascinated with a particular household object. And with his birthday coming up, his grandmother wanted to get him something he’d love.
And she found it, thanks to some extraordinary employees.
On June 7, Denise DeMara Haight was shopping at her local Home Depot in Gaylord, Michigan. She was browsing their selection of mailboxes, and two associates named Gary and Lorel asked if she needed help.
She told them she wasn’t looking for a mailbox herself—it was for a birthday gift.
It was for her young grandson Cameron, and while the mailbox section of a Home Depot seems like a strange place to shop for a child’s birthday, she knew well what he liked.
“I explained to them that my 7 year old grandson had Autism and was fascinated with mailboxes,” she wrote on Facebook. “He loves to put things in, take them out, open the door, close the door, raise the flag, lower the flag over and over (not necessarily in that order!)”
So Haight wanted to give Cameron his own mailbox, something sturdy enough for a child to carry around the house. While it was an unusual request, the employees seemed up to the challenge.
After some brainstorming, Gary told the grandmother he would take care of it.
“Gary told me to trust him and asked if I could come back Saturday morning,” Haight wrote. “He said he had a few ideas and would put something together.”
Haight agreed, and arrived back at the store on Saturday.
But what she found blew her away:
The employees had built a beautiful, custom mailbox for Cameron!
“I immediately teared up and told him it was perfect!” Haight wrote.
And the mailbox wasn’t the only gift—inside were a few surprises for Cameron’s birthday: “There was a Home Depot apron, a stuffed bear and a few small toys inside the mailbox.”
Haight was thrilled, and asked for the price tag so she could check out. And that’s when they revealed yet another surprise:
They gave the mailbox as a gift, no charge.
“There is no charge for the mailbox, tell that little boy Happy Birthday from Home Depot!” Haight recalled Gary telling her.
Haight knew their gift would make a world of difference to the boy on his eighth birthday. In addition to being autistic, the child is also non-verbal.
“Cameron is an amazing little boy!” Haight told Love What Matters. “He’s fearless and independent like many autistic children are. He’s cuddly, loving and very affectionate with those in his circle.”
And he loved his mailbox:
And Haight praised the Home Depot employees for their above-and-beyond customer service and for making her grandson’s dream come true:
“I must have looked like an idiot pushing the cart through the check out crying like a baby!” she wrote. “Thank-You so much to Gary & Lorel as well as Gene, Laura and Don who built the mailbox!”