In times of national tragedies, Mr. Rogers told us to look for the helpers. After the Orlando nightclub shooting, there were many inspiring stories about people giving aid and comfort to others--even at the cost of their own lives. And two days ago, the passengers and crew of a JetBlue flight bound to Orlando became part of this heroic band.
The grandmother of one of the youngest victims, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, was on board the flight to attend the funeral of her grandson. As soon as Kelly Davis Karas and Melinda Winstead, two of the flight attendants, discovered this, they made sure the woman got settled comfortably, with a box of tissues, a blanket, and everything else she needed.
Then Davis hit upon a plan: "I had the idea to pass around a piece of paper to everyone on board and invite them to sign it for this grieving grandmother," she wrote on Facebook. But instead of just signing their names, the passengers wrote messages of peace, love, support, and condolences. Some gave donations.
The kindness didn't stop there. When the plane landed, Davis announced, "JetBlue stands with Orlando," and, after getting the grandmother's permission, held a moment of silence for the young man. Then, as the passengers got off, "EVERY SINGLE PERSON STOPPED TO OFFER HER THEIR CONDOLENCES. Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process," wrote Davis.
For Davis the message was clear: "In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world...people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers' humanity today, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all."
You were right, Mr. Rogers. Again.
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via For Every Mom