Moving is hard enough under the best of circumstances. There are the logistical nightmares of transporting your belongings from one place to the other. There are the endless phone calls with the utility companies in which you wait on hold for what seems like hours. And then there is the painstakingly long process of adjusting to the new environment in the hopes that it will eventually feel like home.
When Jessica Johnson and her family moved from Oregon to Texas last month, she didn’t know what to expect — but chances are, she wasn’t expecting to be welcomed by the extraordinary kindness of a group of strangers in Home Depot. Kindness that made Texas feel like home.
“We were starting all over with everything,” Johnson tells Babble.
In addition to dealing with your run-of-the-mill relocation issues, Johnson also needed a new walker for her 2-year-old son Silus, who was born with Norrie disease, a rare genetic eye disorder that delays muscle development and can lead to blindness. Although Silus doesn’t walk, talk, or feed himself, in other ways, he’s a typical toddler.
“He’s such a happy boy and loves to give hugs!” Johnson says.
After Silus outgrew his existing walker, Jessica’s grandfather, Gilbert Hernandez, went to the Home Depot in North Richland Hills, Texas in the hopes of finding the materials needed to make him a new one. Hernandez asked the store’s assistant manager Matthew Spencer for help finding the supplies, describing the kind of walker Silus needed and why he needed it.
But instead of simply directing Hernandez to the aisle the aisle he needed, Spencer discussed the issue with two other employees. Together, the three of them decided to make the walker for Silus themselves. As originally reported by TODAY, Johnson and Hernandez returned to the store four days later, bringing Silus with them, and learned that the employees had built a specialized walker for Silus, totally free of charge. The three employees — Matthew Spencer, Eric Bindel, and Christopher Wright — even came in on their days off to work on the project.
“All three of us have 2-year-old sons so this project hit home for us and we wanted to do something special for him,” Spencer told TODAY.
Needless to say, Johnson was overwhelmed by the employees’ kindness.
“When my grandfather told me what the gentlemen were doing it was completely speechless,” she tells Babble. “All I could mutter was ‘thank you.’ After making the hard decision of moving and trying to get things figured out, all I could feel is a Texas welcome from strangers!”
Not only are Johnson and Hernandez grateful for the generosity of these kind strangers, but Silus is also loving it.
“At first he could only scoot back in it and now he is all over the place, forward, backward and anywhere he can go,” says Johnson. “This is leaps and bounds where he was just two months ago.”
In a world that sometimes seems consumed by anger, hate, and bitterness, this story is like salve for the soul. With any luck, this tale of generosity, compassion, and kindness will inspire others to spread a little kindness as well. Because sometimes, a little kindness really does go a long way. Sometimes, it can change someone’s life.
“I just want people to know that no matter what your going through there will always be light,” says Johnson. “What those gentlemen did for my family means the world.”