This is the story of six-year-old Carter, who lives with his family in Willard, North Carolina. His parents, Chris and April Rouse, say their son is always the center of attention when they’re out and about. After all, Carter is a little boy with a difference.
Carter was born with an extra chromosome, which means he has Down Syndrome. People with the condition tend to have some learning difficulties as well as some distinct physical features. But this is not what makes Carter special.
You see, Carter recently went on a trip to the shops with his mom, and it’s what happened at one store in particular that turned little Carter into an internet sensation. Indeed, the employees at Sam’s Club did something truly extraordinary that day.
The energetic six-year-old was there helping his mom pick up some homeware items. Because Carter’s a naturally gregarious boy, though, it was no surprise that soon he was bounding around the store. And eventually, he found a cashier to play with.
Carter’s mom, April, was touched that the cashier was willing to entertain her son with such patience. Then, when it was time to pay, April went straight to the friendly employee whom her son had taken a liking to. It turned out that her name was Jalessa Waddell.
It seemed that Carter loved watching Waddell scan items through the till, so Waddell did something adorable. She invited Carter to join her, and together they scanned through the rest of the shopping. Mom watched on as the pair had a blast.
Mom was so delighted with the customer service, in fact, that she later dedicated a Facebook post to it. “This sweet cashier at Sam’s Club in Wilmington took time with our boy today and let him scan every single item we had!” she wrote. However, the story didn’t end there.
The manager, Mike Russo, spotted Carter playing with the cashier and subsequently headed over to them. Was the employee in trouble, perhaps? It wasn’t clear. Then, Russo addressed Carter directly.
He told Carter how great a job he was doing as a cashier. Russo also asked him “his name and how old he was,” according to his mom, April. But then he did something extraordinary.
Russo asked April if he could “borrow” her son for a while and then invited the six-year-old up to his office. It was a surprising request, but Carter and his mom obliged and followed the manager upstairs.
And when the little boy came back downstairs, he was transformed. Strangely, he was no longer wearing the clothes he had arrived at the store in. No, his mom watched her son walk towards her dressed entirely in blue, just like the cashier’s uniform.
That’s right, the manager had kitted Carter out with a proper Sam’s Club uniform, so he could feel like a real employee. His mom thought it was a truly heartwarming thing for the manager to do. What’s more, it wasn’t long before Carter was put to work.
Russo allowed the latest recruit to wander around the store pretending to be an employee. He soon got stuck in, too, and began chatting to his new colleagues. And he even had an official, personalized name tag on his shirt.
The kindness of the Sam’s Club staff touched April so much that she felt the need to express her gratitude on social media. So she posted a Facebook update praising the “sweet cashier” and the manager who took the time to make Carter’s day extra special.
She said that the whole experience had not only “made Carter’s day,” but hers as well. According to NBC’s Today show, Carter relished the opportunity to socialize with others in his new outfit. And April also loved watching her son interact with other people in the store.
April’s Facebook post was accompanied by numerous photographs of the occasion; she wanted to remember the moment and show Carter and the family what he looked like as a Sam’s Club staff member. Of course, he looked awesome.
Carter and Rosso even had a photograph taken together, and it’s probably one of the cutest photos the internet has ever seen. Indeed, Carter decided that the appropriate way to say thank you to the Sam’s Club manager was to give him a big kiss on the cheek. So he did!
The photographs subsequently attracted a lot of attention online, and with good reason. After all, Carter looked absolutely adorable in his new outfit. Unsurprisingly, then, lots of praise for Carter ensued.
One comment read, “Great job Carter! Blue is your color and that smile is priceless.” And it’s true: Carter is beaming in all of the photos, clearly delighted with how his day turned out. “Love the newest member of Sam’s Club. He is a very special little boy,” another Facebook user wrote.
Of course, Sam’s Club received a lot of positive attention too. “What an awesome manager and person. Carter looks so happy. Kudos to Mr. Mike what a great guy,” read another post underneath the photographs. It’s truly heartwarming to see normal people having taken time out of their day to do something incredible for a little boy they didn’t even know.