A kind and simple gesture by a Hobby Lobby employee to two grieving parents made a deep impact on the couple — so much so that they wrote a letter to the craft store chain’s corporate offices praising the staff associate in question.
It all started when a husband and wife who recently lost their 18-year-old son headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up frames for his funeral. And that’s when a staff member who was moved by their story decided to step up and pay for the products.
“The store associate helping them heard of the funeral plans, and made sure to get them taken care of,” Lauren McAfee, corporate ambassador for Hobby Lobby, told Faithwire. “Once they had their photos framed, the associate then walked the frames to the front for them, and let the couple know that the frames had already been paid for.”
The couple, understandably surprised by the gesture, insisted on paying for the frames, but the associated wouldn’t allow it.
“(He) assured them that he wanted to extend this small gesture in order to honor the son they had lost,” McAfee said. “The couple writing about this encounter shared that they had been deeply touched by this kindness.”
McAfee said that this story is hardly an anomaly, as she is “constantly blown away by the incredible acts of kindness Hobby Lobby employees show.” In fact, the company reportedly receives dozens of letters each month from customers who share similar stories about generous store associates who either help them out or leave them inspired.
Another story involves a woman whose adult daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness and was given only a few years to live. The mother came into the store looking for scrapbooking supplies for her sick daughter, who she said “wanted to write down her story, and life advice that only a mother can give, to leave with her young child that she would leave behind.”
When a store associate heard the story about the woman’s sick daughter, the staff member helped her collect all of the materials — paper, cutters, a notebook and other elements. Then, the associate decided to do something truly selfless.
“When they finished, the associate paid for the materials,” McAfee explained. “The woman said she will never forget the support that the store associate showed her.”
McAfee said that these stories, among the scores of others the company receives, are so inspiring that Hobby Lobby shares some of them in the company newsletter in an effort to encourage others. She said that she, too, finds inspiration when she reads them.
“You never know what others are going through,” McAfee said. “Taking the time to slow down, and care for others could change a life.”
Hobby Lobby founder David Green released his new book on Tuesday titled, “Giving It All Away…and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.”