Halloween is a joyous time for all children – even for special needs kids who might have a harder time orchestrating their costume around their disabilities.
But this young man’s Halloween celebration was especially memorable after a Home Depot worker helped him and his mom build a custom costume for his wheelchair. Not only that, but she insisted on paying for the materials with her own money.
In a Love What Matters Facebook post that was published earlier this week, Aimee Boyle Mcilroy thanked Valerie, the manager of the store, for the compassion she showed her son.
Mcilroy and her son – a special needs boy who uses a wheelchair – had gone into the Home Depot to pick up a refrigerator box that the staff had been keeping for the duo in the back. The mother was planning on using the box to build a police car around her son’s wheelchair.
When she explained the project to Valerie, the manager didn’t hesitate to start cutting up the box for Mcilroy.
“I first knew Valerie was awesome when she got down on the floor to cut the box down for me,” says Mcilroy. “She had beautiful nails and I told her that they weren’t meant for a box cutter, and she said that her vest meant that she was made for whatever I needed!”
After loading the box into her car, Valerie enthusiastically started brainstorming ideas for the cruiser’s construction. She perused the store, picking out materials and items that she thought would help the costume’s design. Then, as they neared the checkout, she paid for the entire order.
“I tried to refuse, but she just said that it would bless her greatly,” explains Mcilroy.
Valerie didn’t just stop there, either – Home Depot hosts craft workshops at the store for kids on Saturdays. But because of the limitations of children like Mcilroy’s son, Valerie offered to host the workshops for the other special needs kids at his school, instead of at the store.
“There are 2 special needs classrooms in his school and they’re bringing enough kits for both classes,” says Mcilroy. “They’re going to pre-make the kits and then have a little mini-workshop in Jack’s classroom. This way, our special kiddos can participate in an accessible and sensory friendly environment!”
“Valerie said it had been on her heart the last couple of months to get more special needs kids into the workshops and after I chatted about why it was so difficult, she said, ‘Well, then we’ll just bring the workshop to you!’”
“My son may not have understood anything other than she was kind and patient with him, but this special needs mama really, really appreciated this huge act of kindness. The biggest blessing for me was the way she treated my son and the way he responded to her.”
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Reprint (Photos by Aimee Boyle Mcilroy)