CUMMING, Ga. — A random act of kindness has multiplied in ways a local mom never could have imagined.
Allie Smith was on a road trip with her four kids when a manager at a California Pizza Kitchen went out of his way to accommodate her son, Barrett, who has autism.
The mother says Barrett, 13, goes everywhere his family goes and is usually fine, but on a long road trip this winter, she took one look at her son and knew he was about to have a meltdown.
“I immediately thought oh no, this isn’t going to be good,” Allie Smith said.
In a crowded California Pizza Kitchen — on Valentine’s Day no less — Allie says she started looking around in a panic to get her son out of there. That’s when the manager stepped in.
“He didn’t ask any questions, he didn’t judge me. He smiled, there was kindness in his eyes,” said Allie Smith.
The manager was compassionate, and helped her with Barrett.
The unexpected kindness inspired her to write a blog about the manager and the restaurant. When California Pizza Kitchen found out, they donated $5,000 to the charity of her choice.
“I remember I was driving the car, it was spring break, and I had to pull over because I had no idea,” Allie Smith said. “I just wanted to thank the guy.”
Wanting to help other kids with autism, she donated it to her son’s middle school, where they dedicated a therapy garden for all the kids in the class.
“Barrett loves being outside and I think it will give him a sense of pride because it’ll be there for the whole school,” Allie Smith said.
The manager’s act of kindness will now be paid forward again and again.
“If people understand then incidents like that won’t be a big deal anymore, it’s just life,” said Allie Smith said.
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