Grocery stock clerk’s act of kindness goes viral

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A grocery stock clerk’s kindness to an autistic 17-year-old has resulted in a hefty thank-you college fund for the clerk and a part-time job offer for the teenager.
Jordan Taylor was shelving bottled orange juice Sunday when he noticed Jack Ryan “Ziggy” Edwards watching him. Edwards was transfixed by the work, Taylor told news outlets, so the clerk asked if Edwards wanted to help.Edwards’ father, Central High School football coach Sid Edwards, told The Advocate that his son repeated “Help me.” Taylor told him to come around and showed him what to do.The two quickly established a system in which Taylor picked up cartons of orange juice and milk and handed them to the teenager, who promptly put each carton in its proper place.”The guy’s patience and time with Jack Ryan was just beautiful,” said Sid Edwards, who filmed the two working together. “He talked to him. He encouraged him. He worked with him.”At one point in the video, which went viral after Edwards’ daughter Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi posted it Monday on Facebook , Sid Edwards can be heard telling a friend, “I’m watching a miracle in action.”

At another point, Edwards asks Taylor where he goes to school. “I graduated two years ago. I’m trying to get back into school now,” says Taylor, 20.

Alwosaibi told WAFB-TV , “My mom and I are both special education teachers and I have to say, if he does go on to go to college I might put a bug in his ear to pursue that path because people like my brothers and my students need people like him around.”

On Wednesday, Alwosaibi set up a GoFundMe account titled, “Send Jordan from Rouse’s to School.” More than $57,000 in donations had poured in by Thursday afternoon, and the total was rising hourly.

Ali Rouse Royster, a managing partner for the Rouses Markets chain, said that when people started sharing the video with her, she sent it on to the company president and human resources director.

“It was such a nice thing for him to do that I wanted to make sure they recognized that,” she told The Associated Press.

She said Rouses also has offered Edwards a job.

“It would be an hour or two a few days a week to start out. If he enjoys it, he could keep going, or shadowing someone like he was on the video with Jordan,” she said. “We always love to have a good fit for somebody in the special needs community. It’s a win all around, for us and the special needs community and the community at large.”

Edwards’ family is considering it, she said.

Taylor has worked for Rouses for about six months, Royster said. If he returns to school, she said, she’d love for him to keep working for the chain, but would understand if he wants to focus on his studies

“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he would definitely have a future with us,” she said. “We’re always looking for people with the right attitude and work ethic.”