A young man’s simple gesture of kindness towards an autistic teen has resulted in an outpouring of recognition and praise for both of them.
Jordan Taylor works at Rouses Market grocery store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was restocking orange juice last week when he noticed Jack Ryan Edwards watching him.
Jack Ryan, who is a 17-year-old boy with autism, was captivated by Taylor’s work. The supermarket employee guessed that maybe the youngster wanted some orange juice. He offered up a bottle to the teen with no response – then, he took a different angle and asked if Jack Ryan wanted to help him stock the coolers.
After getting a kind of verbal confirmation from the teen, Taylor spent the next 30 minutes carefully and patiently working with Jack Ryan to restock the shelves.
Jack Ryan’s father was so blown away by the compassionate gesture, he pulled out his phone and took a few videos of the sweet exchange. The teen’s older sister, Delaney, then posted the videos to Facebook praising the employee for his kindness.
“We all know autism makes going out difficult, and sometimes grocery stores can be a challenge,” wrote Delaney. “He could have ignored him. He could have made an excuse and said he couldn’t allow him to help. Instead, he let him have his moment and in turn gave my family a moment we will never forget.
“It might seem like nothing to others, but as you can hear my dad say in the video, [‘I’m watching a miracle in action’].”
In addition to posting the videos, Delaney also made a GoFundMe page to raise money for Taylor’s college fund.
The post immediately went viral, with thousands of people donating to the campaign and thanking the young man for his actions. One week after the page’s creation, the campaign raised $120,000, all of which will be going towards his education, although he says that he still plans on working at Rouses.
“Donors from Baton Rouge to Bangkok have been inspired by Jordan and Jack’s story,” said GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne. “In less than 24 hours, over 1,000 people donated nearly $50,000 from all across the US and all around the world.”
Not only that, a local credit union donated a car to Taylor’s family so he would have a means of transportation in the future; and if that isn’t enough, representatives from Rouses Market saw the video and reached out to Jack Ryan so they could offer him a job at the store.
“Because of Jordan, a conversation about inclusivity in the workforce for people with disabilities has been started not only across the nation, but all over the world,” wrote Delaney.
“I hope Jordan and [Jack Ryan’s] story inspires others to include those that are different, across all settings and in all parts of life.”
(WATCH the video below)
Share This Incredible Story Of Compassion With Your Friends – Photo by Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi