A father has praised a Coles staffer for being “an amazing human” after he spent time stocking shelves with his autistic son.
The Victorian dad, Dave Gamble, took to Facebook to share the touching story of how a Coles staff member from their Cardinia Lakes store spent a “happy five minutes” stocking the biscuit shelves with his son, Tim.
“When my non-verbal, autistic son approached him, curious what he was doing with all the biscuits (my son LOVES biscuits), this guy stopped and showed him and they spent a happy five minutes or so putting the biscuits on the shelf together,” said Mr Gamble.
Mr Gamble told Yahoo News Australia that his family lives on a farm, so during lockdown the only chance Tim gets to socialise is when he goes grocery shopping with his dad.
“Yesterday was the first time in probably a couple of weeks he had been off the property. And he was so excited to see people, he was going up to every single customer we walked by and saying 'hi!',” Mr Gamble told Yahoo News Australia.
When Tim eventually walked up to the team member who was stacking boxes of biscuits, the patient staffer showed him how to put one on the shelf.
“Tim was hooked, stacking things is one of his favourite things to do, so he put the rest of the box on the shelf,” explained the proud father.
Only ten minutes after the interaction, the team member gave Tim a box of Lindt chocolates for being such a great helper.
Mr Gamble explained: “He was super happy to get the chocolate. He loves chocolate. He doesn't really have many words, he has a three syllable noise that is his approximation of choc-o-late that he kept saying repeatedly and excitedly.”
“After the team member walked away Tim ran up to him and gave him a hug.”
'Amazingly generous gesture': Father thanks Coles staffer
Mr Gamble said the “amazingly generous gesture” made Tim’s day and gave him the perfect chance to reinforce the idea of doing little jobs for pocket money for his son.
Looking back on the heartfelt interaction, Mr Gamble said: “It was so nice seeing the team member stop, recognise the situation and approach it with patience and kindness.”
Coles customers were quick to respond to the heartwarming story in the comments, with many saying it was “beautiful”, “wonderful” and “fantastic”.
“That smile just melts my heart. Such a beautiful story,” wrote a touched commentator.
“What a fabulous day for both of them! And WHO doesn’t LOVE biscuits and chocolate, wrote another."
While a third shopper recognised the kind staffer in the photo: “This is my local store and that guy is really lovely!”
Family touched by gift from Coles after devastating news
Despite added pressure from the public amid statewide lockdowns, Coles staffers continue to show acts of kindness to customers.
A delighted Coles customer publicly thanked her local Penrith store after her husband’s cancer diagnosis prompted an unexpected in-store gesture.
NSW mum Tina Kernaghan Riddle recently took to Facebook to describe the gesture, posting a photograph of her family, including her husband Paul Riddle, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.
“I wanted to give a massive shout-out to Bec and the staff at Coles Penrith for their gift today,” she wrote.
“My husband has been diagnosed with cancer and this just made our life a little easier,” said Mrs Riddle.
In the accompanying photo, Mr Riddle and his children pose with a Coles Sweet Symphony platter and gift hamper featuring chocolates, chips and other snacks.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Mrs Riddle said that she and her family were touched by the gesture.
"Bec is the manager there, who I don't know, and she and Tiffany, another team member there, found out my husband is battling lymphoma," she said.
"I went in and Bec presented me with a hamper for Paul and said there is no one more deserving than him.”
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