A six-year-old boy forgot his favorite stuffed animal at the Tampa International Airport this week. His mother, in an attempt to pacify the distraught boy, called the airport to see if there was anything they could do to find it — a stuffed Tiger you may recognize from the popular comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes.
The airport put a dispatch out to see if one of their staff members had spotted the tiger. A janitor had, and brought it back to the Airport Operations Center. But the story doesn’t end there.
The manager of the AOC, Tony D’Aiuto, had the idea of taking Hobbes on a tour of the airport while he awaited his six-year-old owner’s return. With the help of various members of the airport staff, D’Aiuto documented the tiger’s adventures:
D’Aiuto then took it upon himself to make a photo book of the tiger’s adventures, and present it to the boy when he came to retrieve his toy.
The manager of operations could have just reported the tiger found and called it a day. But he decided to make something special out of an everyday occurrence. The story is going viral today — so that one, minute action ended up putting a smile on the faces of millions of people.
That’s really how easy it is.
There are little opportunities every day to make something extraordinary happen. The airport staff didn’t just help a boy, they reminded us the kinds of great things that happen when we work together with only the end goal of making someone feel good — of putting a smile on another human being’s face.
What an awesome story.