A boy who wrote a heartbreaking note on a stuffed animal his mom couldn’t afford to buy was reunited with the toy, thanks to the store employees who wouldn’t give up searching for him.
Leon Ashworth, 10, of Liverpool, England, became the proud owner of a new stuffed panda he had named Pandy over the weekend after Asda department store employees posted on social media about the boy's message.
“It’s something so small but could make a massive difference,” Asda employee David Bateman told InsideEdition.com. “It gives you a nice feeling, someone just doing something nice.”
Bateman, who manages the home and leisure section at the department store, said he noticed an out-of-place cardboard box as he was tidying up the aisle at the end of the day.
He then noticed the store’s Lovable Huggable Panda Soft Plush peeking out of the box that had a note scribbled on the front.
The message read: “My mum didn’t have enough money to buy me Pandy so she’s buying me Pandy on 15th June so please don’t buy him as it will make me cry. Thank you so much from Hopeful Future Owner.”
“As I read the note, it was this realization that it was left by a little boy,” Bateman said. “He fell in love as soon as he’d seen it.”
He then went around the store telling other employees what he had found, and sure enough, two cashiers remembered the boy telling them about a stuffed panda.
That’s when Bateman was determined to make the boy’s dream come true.
Assuming the mom and son would return to the store on June 15 to purchase the toy, Bateman had employees page “the future owner of Pandy” over the store’s P.A. system every 10 minutes, throughout the day.
When the family didn’t come back, Bateman decided to encourage staff to share the news over Facebook. Sure enough, Leon’s mom, Debbie Ashworth, saw the post the following week.
Though Bateman wasn’t in the store when Ashworth and Leon arrived to collect the toy Sunday, the 36-year-old mom told the store: “As he was walking out, he said to me, ‘This is the best day of my life.’ It meant the world to him.”
She said she knew Leon had written a message, but hadn't read it until she noticed the post on Facebook.
“I told him we would come back next week after I’d been paid and get it as long as he was a good boy,” Ashworth explained. “I hadn’t realized until then what Leon had written – he’d really poured his heart and soul into his message. He’s like that. He wears his heart on his sleeve.”