Store Employee Kindly Lets Autistic Teen Stock the Shelves

"It might seem like nothing to others, but as you can hear my dad say in the video, 'I’m watching a miracle right now.'"
Natalie Krawczyk August 15, 2018

If you, a customer, ever ask a store employee if they need help doing their job, chances are your question may not be well-received. Even if you stand in one spot for too long watching them do their work, you might be met with a glare or a “May I help you?”

But one grocery store worker in Louisiana took a very different approach.

Lending a Hand

When Jack Ryan Edwards visited Rouses, a grocery store in Baton Rogue, the 17-year-old took interest in an employee who was stocking the shelves in the freezer section.

“Something in the back of my mind was just like, ‘Ask if he wants to help you,'” Jordan Taylor, the 20-year-old store employee told WAFB.

(Screenshot via Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi)

Jack Ryan—his sister Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi calls him Ziggy—has autism, so when Jordan asked if he would like to help him stock the shelves not only was Ziggy thrilled with the offer, but so was his family.

“He could have made an excuse and said he couldn’t allow him to help. Instead, he let him have his moment and in turn gave my family a moment we will never forget,” Alwosaibi wrote on Facebook. “It might seem like nothing to others, but as you can hear my dad say in the video, ‘I’m watching a miracle right now.'”

Alwosaibi shared videos of the heartwarming moment, which she wrote lasted for more than 30 minutes, on Facebook. The videos quickly racked up hundreds of thousands of views, as well as thousands of comments and shares.

To some it was a seemingly simple gesture, but to the Edwards family it was a moment they’ll never forget.

“To me, when you go to a grocery store with an autistic kid, especially when they’re young, people don’t understand, they’re not very accepting,” Sid Edwards, Jack Ryan’s father, who was also at the store, told CNN. “Somehow this young man reached my son … he went into Jack Ryan’s world.”

After the Encounter

Since Alwosaibi’s post has gone viral, both Jack Ryan and Jordan have received positive news.

Jack Ryan was offered a part time job at Rouses, which he accepted.

“He knows that Rouses welcomes him as a new employee,”Alwosaibi told ABC News. “We’re working out the details for him to start a part-time stocking job at Rouses in the near future.”

As for Jordan, Alwosaibi set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for him after numerous people suggested one be started for the young man to help further his education—he expressed interest in wanting to become a teacher. In just five days, over 3,000 people raised $114,170 for Jordan.

A fundraising page was also set up for Jack Ryan and his older brother Chase, who also has autism.

(Screenshot via Delaney Edwards Alwosaibi)

While the world got to see Jordan’s act of kindness, he told WAFB that “if you would have flipped the camera, you would have seen his dad’s face. It said it all.”

“The thing that struck me most was Jordan’s demeanor during the encounter,” Edwards told The Advocate. “But as a dad, I gotta say I’m proud of my kid. What Jordan did for Jack Ryan was beautiful, but Jack also changed Jordan’s life forever. … That’s where God comes in.”