Saturday began as a typical shopping trip at Target for Oklahoma resident Alyssa Hacker and her young son, but an act of kindness from a grieving stranger quickly changed that.
Hacker was shopping with her son, Owen, in Fort Smith, Arkansas when Owen did as many children do – “abruptly yelled ‘HI’” to a fellow shopper walking by, Hacker wrote on Facebook.
“We were at target waiting on Grammi and we found some dinosaurs,” Hacker wrote. “Owen grabbed all 3 and we were trying to pick out which one he wanted…”
Hacker admitted she was “hesitant” at first when the older man turned around and said, “hey sweet boy,” before he proceeded to play dinosaurs with the toddler.
But, then, the stranger did something unexpected: he got out his wallet, pulled out a $20 bill, and put it in Owen’s pocket. The man then two the pair that he had “just lost” his 2-year-old grandson the week before and instructed Hacker to “take this money and buy this boy all three dinosaurs.”
After rubbing Owen’s back, the man wiped his tears and walked away, but not before Owen yelled thank you after him.
Hacker wrote that she then cried “in the middle of Target.”
“There is still some good in this world,” the mother wrote. Her Facebook post – which included a photo of Owen, the $20 bill and three stuffed dinosaur toys — quickly went viral, with nearly 350,000 reactions and 130,000 shares as of Wednesday morning, making Owen an internet star.
Hacker’s post is a reminder to always be kind, because you never know what kind of pain someone is going through.