Every now and then, we are fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness. It can be so memorable to have someone do a nice thing for you for no reason, and it’s especially poignant if that kindness is directed at your child. An Indiana mom experienced one such act involving her toddler daughter, and the story behind it is nothing short of heart-warming.
Megan Shufflebarger was shopping at Target last week with her three kids in tow. The youngest, 2-year-old Kinley, was checking out gift ideas for her upcoming birthday. She arrived on a doll she especially liked and that was when a young man overheard her adorable plea. Here’s the story Shufflebarger posted to Facebook, that eventually went viral:
Are you a melty puddle now? This is the sweetest thing and shows how meaningful a simple, kind act can be. Shufflebarger found out soon after her post went viral that the man who gifted Kinley with her treasured doll was 19-year-old Tario Fuller II, a freshman football player at Purdue University. Shufflebarger tells ABC News, “Tario is a good role model for kids these days. I hope our children remember this for years to come and remember what it means to truly ‘pay it forward.” For his part, Fuller posted to Facebook what an honor it was to have this story spread so quickly and be received so positively.
I have no doubt that Shufflebarger’s kids will always remember what Fuller did for little Kinley and they can tell this amazing story for years to come. Even having a coffee purchased for me by a stranger in a Dunkin Donuts drive-thru inspired me to do the same. I then shared what happened with others, who then went on to do it too. It touched me that a stranger wanted to ease the tiny burden of my $3 coffee, so I’m sure a child receiving a much-wanted toy as a surprise from a teenager they’d only just met made an incredible impression on those kids and their mother.
It’s also of note that Tario is at an age where most teens are probably a little self-centered, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Being in college and focusing on his studies and football career, no one would’ve blamed him for passing by the Shufflebarger’s without saying a word. Most college kids likely have no idea what it is to be a mom strolling through a store with her kids asking for things left and right. To have a child badly wanting a toy and walking away from it for one reason or another. For him to recognize how much Kinley wanted that doll and what it would probably mean to her mom for him to buy it for her seems so beyond his years. He is definitely a fantastic role model for kids and hopefully, he continues performing these random acts after how good this one must have felt.