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Starbucks barista crying in her car and a woman holding a baby.
Uplifting News

Grieving Starbucks Barista Serves a Stranger - Minutes Later, She Returns With a Note

Courtney Crawford, 32, likes to serve up more than just coffee to her early-morning customers at Starbucks.A self-professed "morning person," the part-time Starbucks barista (who starts her day at the ungodly hour of 4 a.m.) goes out of her way to try to brighten people's days. So, when a woman walked in who appeared to be struggling, Courtney kicked her pep into high gear. It worked. As far as Courtney was concerned, she didn't do anything special. But to the woman? It meant everything.

Distraught Mom Orders Meal To-Go After Her Son With Autism Has a Meltdown in Cracker Barrel - Attached to the Bag Is a Note
Parenting

Distraught Mom Orders Meal To-Go After Her Son With Autism Has a Meltdown in Cracker Barrel - Attached to the Bag Is a Note

*This story appeared on Love What MattersAny parent knows that dining out with kids can be like Forest Gump's famous box of chocolates: "You never know what you're gonna get."It's a real-world game of chance, with the winner getting to actually sit down and enjoy a delicious, hot meal prepared and served by someone else. Ah, bliss. Sometimes, however, the odds are not in your favor. Despite your best efforts, your child just isn't having it. And they have zero qualms about letting the entire restaurant know. And in these moments, what parents need more than anything else isn't judgment. It's grace, understanding, and a whole lot of kindness. Thankfully, that's just what this mama found.The Reality of Raising a Child With AutismJamie Heustess and her husband Chris just wanted a nice family dinner out. It had been a long day with their six-year-old autistic son, Ian. So, after an awards ceremony, karate lesson, and a trip to Walmart, the family headed to their local Cracker Barrel. Raising a child with autism presents its own unique set of challenges. Situations that other children may find overwhelming can be doubly so for kids who struggle with social and sensory issues. While Ian is usually able to make it through at least part of a meal in a restaurant, on this particular day, he was done before it even got started. The breaking point came when Chris gave his son a couple of Finding Dory mystery figure boxes to open while they were waiting to order. After opening up both boxes and discovering that neither of them actually contained Dory OR Nemo, Ian lost it. Unable to calm him down, Chris took him home while Jamie stayed behind to order takeout. In a Facebook post shared on her personal page, Jamie wrote about the incident and the "realities of autism" many people don't understand. "Cue meltdown... he does not understand it is the luck of the draw," Jamie said. "His cries escalate....making it impossible to think straight. So.....i am sitting waiting on a to go order while Daddy takes him home.......Autism is not easy.....some days it totally sucks.... "A Cracker Barrel Waitress Gives Dinner To-Go With a Heaping Side Order of CompassionAs Jamie tearfully explained the situation to their waitress, Kailyn, she couldn't help but have her own meltdown.But not because she was embarrassed by her son. No, she was worried about what the other diners thought of him. Being judged by others stings but when that judgment is directed at your own child it feels like death by a thousand daggers. In a subsequent Facebook post, Jamie wrote: "By this time I was crying and having a moment, not because I was embarrassed that my son is autistic, but because he is a good kid and I didn't want anyone to think he was just a spoiled kid being a brat."Jamie HeustessKailyn was "gracious and sweet" and promised that she would get Jamie's order in quickly. Fifteen minutes later she reappeared with Jamie's take-out — free of charge. In a sweet act of kindness, the waitress decided to pay for the meal herself out of her tips.(After hearing about what she did, her manager, James, reimbursed her the money.)"I started crying all over again. I asked if she was sure and she reassured me it was taken care of, not to worry. I cried walking out, sure the other customers and employees thought I was crazy."An Act of Kindness Turns Into an Unforgettable Message of EncouragementOut in the parking lot, Jamie noticed a piece of paper attached to the bag. She assumed it was the receipt but on second glance realized it was a handwritten note. Not only had Kailyn paid for her meal, but she also took the time to make sure Jamie knew exactly what she thought of her. "Your child is amazing Mommy, be strong. Keep your head up. You are doing a great job. Have a great night. Your server, Kailyn." While the gift of a free dinner was certainly nice, the words of encouragement were priceless. At a time when she needed it most, a stranger told her exactly what she needed to hear. Jamie was so moved by the note that she hung it on her fridge.Parenthood has a lot of amazing moments but it has a lot of difficult ones too. Having someone validate us and support us in the midst of the muck goes a long way. The reality is that we are living in an age where judgment, hatred, and division are rampant. And it doesn't just apply to parents. But we can each do our part to change it. Rather than tearing each other down, we can build each other up. One kind word, dinner, or note at a time.More from Goalcast:Boy With Autism Walks Into Restaurant to Pick Up a Menu – When He Doesn’t Come Back, His Dad Finds Out What’s Going OnSchool Janitor Takes Boy With Autism Under His Wing – So His Mom Raises $35,000 in Response10-Year-Old Girl With Autism Bullied At School — Turns Out Her IQ Is Higher Than Einstein’s

Woman Walks Into Goodwill to Find a Costume for Her Daughter - Little Did She Know What She Would Find in a $2 Book
Uplifting News

Woman Walks Into Goodwill to Find a Costume for Her Daughter - Little Did She Know What She Would Find in a $2 Book

In the midst of the daily hustle and bustle of Gilbert, Arizona, Rose Farmer embarked on a seemingly ordinary quest: finding a costume for her daughter at the local Goodwill store. Little did she know that this mundane trip would soon take an unexpected turn that would touch the hearts of many.What One Woman Found in a Goodwill StorePhoto by Max RottersmanAs Rose strolled through the store, her eyes wandered towards the book section, and there, amidst the pages of a $2 book, destiny awaited her. A chance encounter with an older lady browsing nearby led to the discovery of something far more than just a book. Out of a volume, a heartfelt note gently tumbled, revealing an emotional message from a father to his son.The words on that note carried a weight that struck Rose to her core. They resonated with an undeniable love and unwavering hope that seemed to flow from the handwritten lines. Without a second thought, she decided to purchase the book, knowing that her journey with this note had only just begun.Determined to reunite this heartfelt message with its rightful owner, Rose turned to the incredible power of community. She shared the message on a Facebook group for Gilbert residents, hoping that someone would recognize the sentiment or the names contained within.The response was nothing short of astonishing. Hundreds of community members rallied behind Rose's cause, sharing the post and offering any clues they could find. The note had struck a chord with many, with one community member aptly observing, "I feel like maybe all of us who were moved by the note are indeed a Trent, thanks for sharing the love note."The support and encouragement from the community were palpable, with everyone eager to see this poignant note find its way back home. For Rose, the message in that note transcended its paper confines. She remarked, "Sometimes it takes a stranger, you know what I mean, to lift you up and say, 'You know what? I believe in you. And you can, you can do great things, you know, you can overcome any obstacle.'"How One Lovely Note Is Bringing a Community TogetherAs days turned into weeks, Rose's mission evolved into a journey of hope that resonated with many in the community. The story of the lost note spread like wildfire, capturing the attention of local news outlets. Interviews, articles, and broadcasts showcased a community united by a simple piece of paper and the profound love it held.Yet, amid the media frenzy and countless shares, Rose remained steadfast in her mission. Her thoughts often drifted to the father behind the note. Who was he? What challenges had he and Trent faced? And, perhaps most importantly, where were they now?With each passing day, her determination to find answers and reunite the note with its intended recipient grew stronger. While the backstory of the note remains a mystery, Rose's unwavering quest stands as a testament to the boundless power of community and the extraordinary lengths we're willing to go to for love and human connection.As Rose continues her search, one can only hope that this heartfelt note will soon find its way back to Trent, serving as a poignant reminder of his father's enduring belief in him.In a world often filled with chaos, this story shines as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the extraordinary capacity for kindness and unity within our communities.More from Goalcast:Sanitation Workers Always Wave to Little Girl During Their Route – Until One Day Her Parents Give Them a Shocking NoteCarpenter Works on House Damaged by Fire – Finds a Hole in the Wall With a Note Written by a 14-Year-Old Inside ItWoman Finds a Note From Her Partner in Her Bathroom at 5 am – But the News Goes Viral for All the Wrong Reasons