This little boy couldn’t bear to part with a toy panda that he saw in a store – but thanks to the kindhearted employees, they weren’t separated for very long.
10-year-old Leon Ashworth and his mother Debbie were browsing the shelves of the Asda supermarket in Liverpool when Leon first spotted “Pandy”: a fuzzy little stuffed panda bear that cost less than $10.
“I’m always in the store and a week ago I came in to pick up some essentials. Leon spotted this panda – he just seemed drawn to it and said ‘mummy can I please have this panda?’” said Debbie. “I explained to him that I didn’t have enough money – it was just before payday, you know what it’s like. So I told him we would come back next week after I’d been paid and get it as long as he was a good boy.”
Heartbroken, Leon then placed Pandy in a cardboard box and scribbled a note on the front in pencil.
“He then put the panda in the box and put it back on the shelf,” explained the mother. “I didn’t actually see what he’d written at that time. I didn’t think much more about it and I just thought someone would take it out of the box and put it back on sale.”
The note read: “My mum didn’t have enough money to buy me Pandy so she’s buying me Pandy on 15th June so please don’t buy him as it will make me cry. Thank you so much from Hopeful Future Owner.”
Later that day, the store’s section leader David Bateman saw the note – and he was moved to take action, along with the rest of the employees.
The staff all chipped in to buy Pandy and take him off of the shelf. Then, they published a post on Facebook asking if anyone knew the identity of the youngster responsible for the note.
The post spread on social media until it was picked up by local news platform the Liverpool Echo.
“A few days later I was flicking through Facebook and I saw the Echo’s post about it. I hadn’t realized until then what Leon had written – he’d really poured his heart and soul into his message! He’s like that – he wears his heart on his sleeve,” said Debbie.
The mother then reached out to the store and explained that her son was the mystery author of the note. The next day, Leon and Debbie went back to Asda where the boy and his toy were joyfully reunited.
The results were magical.
After the happy event, Debbie said: “I was getting all emotional seeing Leon with Pandy, and Leon was welling up too. It’s so lovely that they took the time and cared so much to make sure Leon got Pandy.”
Customer service representative Kelly McEvatt told Asda: “Debbie said ’I’ve come in to pick up my son’s panda!‘. The moment I handed the panda over was brilliant – to see Leon’s face was just wonderful. It’s the best moment I’ve had working here.”
“When we spotted the panda and the message on the box in the toy aisle all of the colleagues just fell in love with the whole idea of it,” said David. “We’re all absolutely made up about it – Debbie has been messaging me to express how grateful she is.”
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Reprint (Photo by Asda)