Coles workers' 'amazing' act for little boy who grew up in lockdown

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·News Reporter
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A Coles shopper has praised the “amazing workers” who were the highlight of her young son's days during the pandemic and multiple lockdowns.

Grateful mother of three Ashlee Pass, from Melton in Melbourne's west, took to a popular Facebook group for locals to praise the kindness of workers at her local Coles.

“I just want to do an appreciation post for the amazing workers at Coles in Woodgrove shopping centre. In particular Briohny and the guy with all the tattoos,” Ms Pass wrote in her touching post.

“My youngest son's life, all he has really known so far is a pandemic, lockdown and restrictions as he just turned two years old,” she explained.

Landyn Pass sits inside shopping trolley at Coles supermarket.
Ashlee Pass says her two-year-old son Landyn's eyes light up when he knows they are going to Coles to see his 'Ra Ra'. Source: Supplied

Ms Pass told Yahoo News Australia the experience with Briohny had helped her two-year-old son, Landyn, by giving him an outing to look forward after "basically spending his whole life in lockdown".

"When we say we are going to Coles to get groceries his eyes light up and he says 'my Ra Ra' with a big smile on his face," she told Yahoo News Australia.

Ms Pass explained how Briohny earned the nickname "Ra Ra" after she began playing a game of "peek-a-boo" with Landyn as a little baby, where she roared like a lion.

"Even if she is across the other side of the shop if someone tells her Landyn is there or she spots him she comes and finds him to play and say hello," she added.

Mum shares son's touching response to shopping trips

Ms Pass gushed that Landyn has also built a relationship with another Coles team member, Josh, with the tattoos.

"It is just a beautiful thing to watch their interactions and how happy and excited Landyn gets," she explained.

The kind Coles staffers always make sure to give Landyn little toys and gifts to make him smile, such as Kinder Surprise eggs.

Landyn Pass smiles in a photo on the left and a Coles storefront on the right.
Ms Pass says the sweetness of Coles staff has made a huge difference for Landyn's life. Source: Supplied/Getty Images

“They always make him smile and laugh, give him little gifts and just bring absolute joy to his days,” she said.

Ms Pass said that in the current world we live in, with all the negatives, the sweetness of Coles staff had made a huge difference for Landyn's life.

She added although the generous acts may seem insignificant to others, it meant the world to her son who had been stuck at home for most of his early years.

“We appreciate you all, your kindness, your dedication to your jobs, your compassion and understanding, and always bringing smiles to customers' faces even on their darkest days,” she wrote.

“So, thank you for all that you do and just know that your efforts do not go unnoticed.”

'Ra Ra' responds to grateful shopper in the comments

Ms Pass's Facebook post seemed to strike a chord with Melton locals, with hundreds of people liking the post and many sharing their thoughts in the comments.

Several shoppers claimed the story was “beautiful” and echoed the mother's gratitude for the staff of Woodgrove Coles.

“This has to be THE most beautiful post I’ve ever read. Thank you for acknowledging those people who do go that extra mile,” wrote one shopper.

Another shopper confessed they had witnessed the Coles staffer playing the “ra” game with the woman’s son one day while she was in the store.

Custom t-shirt given to Coles staffer (left), Coles supermarket trolleys (right).
Ms Pass and Landyn gifted his 'Ra Ra' a custom t-shirt for her kindness. Source: Supplied/Getty Images

“I was actually behind you on one of these visits and I witnessed their interaction ! It was beautiful and brought a smile to my face,” confessed the shopper.

While several Melton locals took the opportunity to mention the friendly staffer in the post, so she could respond to the positive feedback.

“Omg thank you so very much. What you have written is beautiful and I am truly grateful for your kind words,” Briohny wrote.

“I too am just as excited to see my little 'Ra Ra' as he is. I love when I spot him and go 'ra' – the excitement he shows when he hears it, followed by his cheeky smile once he finds me makes my day.

“He’s such a good little boy and it's a pleasure to have some fun with him. When he turns and goes: 'Bye, Ra Ra, see ya', is one of the cutest things I've seen.”

The Coles employee then thanked the woman for the T-shirt she and her son gifted “Ra Ra” a couple of months ago.

The custom T-shirt reads, “Best Ra Ra Ever”, on the front and “'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar” on the back.

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