Family touched by gift from Coles after devastating news

·News Reporter
·4-min read

A delighted Coles customer has publicly thanked her local 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, 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.”

“She is a great asset to this company,” Tina said.

In the accompanying photograph, Paul and his children are posing with a Coles Sweet Symphony platter and gift hamper featuring chocolates, chips and other snacks.

Father & 4 sons sitting on a bed with 2 gift packs. Source: Facebook
Paul does a lot of work in the local community, and the local store wanted to give back. Source: Facebook

In a comment, another Coles customer remarked at the kindness of the store manager, who helped organise the gift.

“Bec is amazing and a wonderful asset to the company, what a wonderful gift,” the customer said.

As pressure on retail workers continues to grow, acts of kindness are seemingly on the rise.

A recent TikTok has gone viral after a woman gifted chocolate to essential Coles workers, and a Coles worker paid for an elderly customer’s groceries after her card declined.

'I cried': Family touched by gesture

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Tina 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.

"As if Covid isn't hard enough for a young family, to have this (cancer diagnosis) is added stress.

"Bec said even if it puts a smile on the kids and Paul's face for a day it was worth it.

"When I got back to the car I cried. This act of kindness made Father's Day even more special."

‘Happy Father’s Day’: Coles Penrith

Following a random act of kindness to a struggling family, the Store Manager of Coles Penrith has added a comment to a social media post describing the act.

In a comment on Tina’s original post, which was shared to the public Coles Facebook page, Bec Dingemans said: “From everyone at Coles Penrith, Happy Father’s Day."

A Coles representative also commented on Tina’s post, expressing their gratitude for the feedback.

“It is always pleasing to hear that our customers think we are doing well,” they said.

“We are constantly striving to improve our business and feedback such as yours is of great value.”

“We will be pleased to refer your kind remarks to the Penrith Store Manager and Regional Manager so they’re aware,” the representative said, ending their comment with a smiling emoji.

‘Devastated’: Coles team reacts to cancer news

The Store Manager of Coles Penrith has spoken to a Coles representative about the circumstances surrounding a thoughtful gift to a struggling family, which was shared with Yahoo News Australia.

“Myself and a couple of other team members that know them were devastated when we learned what they are going through and just wanted to help anyway we could,” she said.

Coles sign exterior shopping centre. Source: Getty Images
The store manager said she was grateful to see the smiles on the family's faces when she handed over the gift. Source: Getty Images

“With Father’s Day approaching I couldn’t think of a Dad more deserving in the community to recognise than Paul,” she said.

“(We) wanted to give him and his family something they could enjoy on the day as I know it’s been tough on the whole family.”

Commenting on the overall circumstances of the gesture, Ms. Dingemans said that while it was a small gesture, she was grateful to bring joy during such a hard time.

Given what NSW has been through lately and with Father’s Day falling during lock down, I wanted to use the opportunity to recognise a dad in our local community,” she said.

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