Milton Lowe went to the hardware store to buy a gardening tool and came back with a friend for life.
Sam Coleman-Dancer, 19, works at his local Ace Hardware in Cleveland, Mississippi. On Thursday, May 31, Milton strolled into the store during the teen’s shift, hoping to purchase an item. Eager to help the veteran, Sam struck up a conversation with him — one that didn’t go at all like a typical exchange between a clerk and a customer.
The two men wound up discussing something deeply personal, then left the store together so that Milton could carry out a profound ritual. Their chance meeting forged a bond of compassion and kindness and likely changed both of their lives forever — and now that their story has gone viral on Facebook, it just might change yours, too…
Sam is a freshman in college who works at Ace Hardware when class isn’t in session, he told the Dodo. It was a typical summer gig… until last month, that is.
Milton entered the Ace while Sam was working, which prompted the teen to ask the man what exactly he was looking for.
A shovel, said the veteran, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
“I asked him what he would be doing with it, because it was a very hot day and he’s an older gentleman,” Sam told the Dodo. “Then he started telling me about his dog.”
Milton’s loyal German shepherd, Bo, had just died at the age of 12. Milton needed a shovel to put his friend to rest.
“He told me about the times they spent together, walking and playing fetch. He said his dog had always been there for him. They were very connected,” Sam explained. “He was very emotional, and it touched me.”
Milton’s story tugged at Sam’s heartstrings. “I thought of my grandfather who has been a little under the weather, and I thought that if it was my grandfather and I was not there to help him out, somebody offering to help would be amazing,” he explained to Mississippi News Now.
So that’s just what Sam did.
The teen told Milton that if he’d just wait until his shift was over, he’d come over and help lay Bo to rest.
Sam described Milton’s reaction in his interview with the Dodo: “His eyes opened wide. It was amazing. He said, ‘I can’t let you do that. Are you sure?’ I said, ‘I’m positive. As soon as I’m off work, I’ll head right over.'”
“We became friends,” Sam continued. “We connected through Bo.”
Milton tried to pay the 19-year-old for his help, but Sam refused his money. All he asked for in return for his kindness was this selfie.
Everyone’s fallen in love with the story — including Sam’s employer. The store gushed on Facebook about the teen’s good deed.
“We have an excellent staff and good hearted [sic] people that work for us and go out of their way to make sure our customers are taken care of,” the store posted on its Facebook page.
The store’s Facebook post has since gone viral. Some of Sam’s friends have reacted to his gesture in its comments section, and it seems like they aren’t the least bit surprised by his act.
It’s no wonder people are touched by this tale: Milton lost one friend but gained another, as one commenter pointed out.
If this story doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, what will?