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When a Stranger in the Shoe Store Made Me Cry

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Raising a special needs child takes courage, patience, love and gratitude.

My son, who is 10, lost his hearing at 14-months-old. He received cochlear implants at 16 months and at 2 years old. He is now doing so well in school.


Last month, my family and I were headed to a camp for kids with special needs in North Carolina and we decided to do some shopping beforehand. As we were looking around at the shoes, my son started begging my husband and I for an expensive pair of shoes. I proceeded to tell him that the shoes were too expensive right now, and he understood.

The very next moment a woman came up to my son and told him to give her the shoes he wanted. My son looked confused, but handed the shoes over. The lady took the shoes and purchased them for my son, as well as two packs of socks. My husband and I were overwhelmed from her kindness.

I told her that she didn’t have to buy the shoes for my son, and she proceeded to tell me, with tears in her eyes, that she knew first hand how financially and emotionally hard it is to raise a child with special needs. She had a 14-year-old daughter with autism.

There wasn’t a dry eye around us.

The kindness of a stranger can change everything and I believe there are some great people out there. Pay it forward, because you never know how a simple act of kindness can help someone. I will always be grateful for her kindness.

My son loves his shoes and knows a kind lady bought them.

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Originally published: April 7, 2015
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