A North Carolina Home Depot became the scene of a touching act of kindness when a manager at the home improvement store went above and beyond to help a mother and her special needs son.
Aimee Mcilroy walked into her local Home Depot with her son Jackson on Tuesday night. She was just expecting to pick up the refrigerator box that manager Valerie Baker had been holding for her, as well as some supplies, then go straight home to work on her 7-year-old’s Halloween costume for his wheelchair. But when she met Valerie, she ended up doing a lot more than just picking up a box for her son.
“I first knew Valerie was awesome when she got down on the floor to cut the box down for me,” Aimee wrote in a Facebook post that was shared on LoveWhatMatters. “She had beautiful nails and I told her that they weren’t meant for a box cutter; and she said that her vest meant that she was made for whatever I needed!”
But that was just the beginning.
Valerie and Jackson hit it off right away.
Jackson was born with a neurological disorder, and as a result, he has a slowed processing capacity and other complications. But that’s never stopped the little boy from having fun—especially on Halloween. In fact, Aimee often helps Jackson create amazing and elaborate customized costumes—and this year he wanted to turn his wheelchair into a police car.
But she needed a huge cardboard box, and that’s why they stopped by the Home Depot. After Valerie unboxed a refrigerator to get the cardboard box—which Aimee said was kind enough in itself, she offered to help them find all of the supplies they needed for Jackson’s costume.
“We walked around the store trying to find things to make Jack’s costume, and by the time we got to the end, she took us up to the register and took care of the whole entire bill,” Aimee said.
Aimee tried to refuse, but Valerie insisted, saying, “It helped me, to help her, help her son.”
But it was Valerie’s extra touch—her kindness, patience, and respect that really moved the mother of three. “The biggest blessing for me was the way she treated my son and the way he responded to her.”
She added, “She pretty much instantly had a connection with him, which is really magical if you take the time.”
It was just as rewarding for Valerie, who said she’s always wanted to give more special needs children the opportunity to participate in Home Depot’s hands-on projects for kids on Saturdays. After speaking with Aimee, Valerie realized it would be easier for parents and their children if she brought the Home Depot workshops directly to schools like Jackson’s, which has two special needs classrooms.
“Just to see the small act go this far, imagine if we all took one step forward every day,” Valerie said.
Most of all, Aimee learned a valuable lesson she wants to share with other parents of children with special needs. Namely, that it’s ok to let other people in.
She wrote, “Sometimes it’s hard to accept help; but when you do refuse help, you stand in the way of letting other people bless you and in turn that blesses them. The relationship that has come out of this experience has been one of the best blessings!”