Illinois Teen Helps Make Widow's Day With Small Act Of Kindness

| by Karin Sun
Ice creamIce cream

An Illinois teen has helped brighten a grieving widow's day with a small act of kindness.

Brenden McGee, 16, was working at the Whitey's Ice Cream shop on 41st Street in Moline, Illinois, when a visibly upset, crying woman pulled up to the drive-thru, KWQC reported on Oct. 16.

The woman was crying so hard that she could barely speak, but McGee said he eventually understood that she was ordering a shake.

McGee made the shake for her, and then offered a special gift to cheer her up.

“And then I made it for her and I handed it to her and I’m like, your shake is on me tonight, you have a good night,” McGee told KWQC.

The woman reportedly smiled and drove away.

The incident reportedly occurred the week of Oct. 5; the woman then returned to the shop early in the week of Oct. 12 and told McGee's manager, Rhonda VanDyke, about his act of kindness.

The woman also explained the reason why she was so upset that day.

“She told me that, you know, she had just lost her husband a few weeks ago, and it was really tough, and I understood where she was coming from because I’ve had the same experience and so I felt really bad for her, but it was really cool that Brenden could cheer her up,” VanDyke said.

The woman asked VanDyke whether the store could give McGee some kind of special recognition for his good deed. 

While Whitey's does not have an employee of the month award, VanDyke said she made a small note in McGee's employee file and put a "Way to go, Brenden" sign in the back room.

McGee had been working at the store for three months after being hired for his first job there. He said he was glad to have the opportunity to improve someone's day.

“It definitely is better to be kind and polite, I mean, we automatically have to be polite to people, but it’s always nice to go that extra mile,” McGee said.

VanDyke said that the store has a tradition of offering gratuities to regular customers.

“There’s a gentleman that comes in every day, Elmer is his name, and he’s a character,” VanDyke told KWQC.

Every now and then, VanDyke and her co-manager, Madonna, would foot Elmer's bill. They also offered him a free gift card on his birthday.

McGee's act of kindness is not the first instance in which a stranger has helped brighten another's day in Moline.

On Oct. 8, WQAD reported that an anonymous man in the same Illinois city helped lift the spirits of a family having a rough week when he paid for their dinner at New Mandarin Chinese Restaurant. 

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Sources: KWQC, WQAD

​Photo Credit: Skeeze/Pixabay, KWQC