Teenage Boy With Down Syndrome And An Employee Shares A Special Bond.

If you are friendly to a person with special needs, you wouldn’t change him for the world. But you would be definitely changing the world for him. The best gift you can give a boy or a girl with special needs is your friendship! To include them in your job! Just do that & check the amazing effect!

A living example is T J Lawlor – an employee, working for the past 12 years, in the Whole Foods in Redwood City, California. An exceptionally good friendship has developed over the past six years between a teenage boy with Down syndrome and T J Lawlor.

About 6 years ago on a bright Sunday morning, TJ was busy stocking the frozen section at the store when he saw a young boy with Down syndrome walk down his aisle.

“Eventually he got to me and I said, ‘Hey, how are you today?’ And I introduced myself,” TJ said.

That boy was Riley Dehne, now he is a handsome 19-years-old boy. After introducing himself, TJ asked Riley with a vibrant smile if he’d like to help him fill the freezers. Riley was no doubt surprised, but he said eagerly, “Yes “.

He started working. He just loved every second of it……..He enjoyed every moment of it…….Somebody trusting him that he could handle a job, made him feel confident…….that he could perform…….

In fact, Riley and TJ hit it off so well that Andi Dehne, Riley’s mother, compulsorily made sure to make a visit to the store accompanied by Riley, a weekly ritual. Many years have passed, they are still visiting.

Riley races in each week and while Andi shops, he finds TJ talks to him, laughs with him and helps him stock the shelves, clean up the trash, and pick up groceries for his family.

“It honestly fills my heart,” Andi said gratefully when asked, “Sometimes, when there’s someone with a disability it can be harder to get to know them. TJ took the time to get to know Riley. He took the time to meet him where he’s at, to learn his strengths and build on them.”

Andi even wrote a story about the unique & fruitful friendship, which got published, sharing how Riley’s confidence soared after each visit, being drawn ever more out of his world into the wider world around him, helping him to fit into this world to a great extent.

“That just blew me away, that really did,” TJ said. “I never thought that little ol’ me would have such an impact on someone else’s life like that.”

What’s more, TJ said, is that the experience has made an excellent impact on his life as well.

“Every time this guy comes in, nothing but love, nothing but smiles is seen,” TJ said. “I get down sometimes myself. This guy cheers me up. He cheers me up and I cheer him up. That’s what I look for in a friend.”

Don’t you think God directs our paths in life? Don’t you think our lives are changed by everyone we know? Well! Sometimes God provides for us a very special friend, whose love & understanding…….. knows no limit……..knows no end!


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