There’s a dreaded moment that will happen to every parent at least once: Your child loses their favorite toy, and you have to tell them they’ll never get it back. Add that to the stress of airport travel and you have the perfect storm on your hands, as the parents of 7-year-old Abby McCoy found out the hard way.
When Abby, who had been attached to Teddy since age 2, left her teddy bear at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport over Labor Day weekend, her parents were ready to face the music. Abby’s father, Eddie McCoy, covered his bases by contacting the airport as soon as the family returned home to Villa Rica, GA that night. But as he told his young daughter, the odds were that Teddy wasn’t coming home.
If it wasn’t for the Internet and the kindness of a stranger, McCoy would have been right. A child who loses their favorite stuffed animal in a public place, especially in the chaos of an airport, will most likely have to kiss it goodbye. But in a unexpected turn of events, Teddy was located and soon reunited with his loving owner after a woman’s Facebook status went viral.
It was after McCoy decided to call the airport one last time, that an airport officer named Miguel Rodriguez overheard the phone call. Rodriguez told a ticket agent that he thought McCoy was referring to a Facebook post he had seen about a lost teddy bear found at the airport. Fellow passenger Ann Marie Kernick of Raleigh, NC, had posted a sweet picture of Teddy to Facebook, requesting help finding his owner: “Please share. I found this guy at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County Airport in California. Let’s help him find his home.”
The post quickly went viral with more than 28,000 shares.
Rodriguez then reached out to McCoy, who got in touch with Kernick, and the rest, as they say, is history. Teddy and Abby were reunited within days, after Teddy was shipped back to Georgia.
When you read a story like this, it’s hard to suppress the “aww” factor. There aren’t many people who would go the extra mile to seek out a child who had lost a toy (considering that kids lose stuff all the time), and there are even fewer people who would ship a child’s toy back to them.
But there’s more — if you’ve ever flown with children or have ridden on a plane next to an infant, you know how unwelcoming the airport can be to small children. And the best part is, this act of kindness was done in airport, where children are frequently treated as a nuisance, rather than a passenger.
Thankfully, there is still a shred of good in this world. For every baby who has been kicked off a plane for crying, there’s a woman willing to hold a crying baby on a plane. And for every toddler who has been slapped for throwing a tantrum on a plane, there’s a perfect stranger like Kernick willing to go out of her way to reunite a child with a lost toy.
Small as it was, this random act of kindness is not one the McCoys will forget. “Teddy is a member of the family at this point,” Anna McCoy, Abby’s mother, told Babble. “In Abby’s mind, he is always there for Abby when she needs him. We agree with her wholeheartedly and would be devastated if he were to go missing!”More On