The sick teenager had no idea what awaited him.
A quote that’s on the forefront of Chick-Fil-A’s “About” page is from late owner S. Truett Cathy and details exactly what his aim was for the company he helped to build:
“We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customers’ lives and the communities in which we serve.”
Normally, fast food jobs and experiences are not memorable and a quote like this that describes an aspiration the original owner had isn’t taken seriously. But this quote came to fruition for one employee, Shakeel “Shack” Williams, and a customer, Brian Smyth, in McClellanville, South Carolina.
It all started one year ago, when Smyth visited the local Chick-Fil-A and had a memorable experience with Williams, who held the door open for Smyth as he left and even gave him a hug. Though they only had a short conversation, the above-and-beyond gestures are what made Williams stand apart from the rest of the employees and the two ended up becoming good friends.
“He has this sort of natural humanity that just shines through in everything he does,” said Smyth.
Smyth soon learned that Williams suffered from a debilitating disease called sickle cell anemia, which can cause severe bodily pain all over, swelling of the hands and feet, infections, and vision problems. Since this disease has plagued Williams his whole life, his medical bills are pretty hefty and his family was forced to live in a mobile home so they could afford the bills.
When Smyth heard about this predicament, he decided to aid the family in paying their medical expenses, which would have been helpful enough except that the family soon faced another crisis. Their mobile home community was set to be demolished by a construction company, leaving the Williams family homeless. Smyth made the swift decision to build a house for the family to live in.
He explained to News 2, “He’s overcome a lot of adversity. He has sickle cell anemia. He has numerous strokes that have left him a little developmentally-disabled but with all of that he still has something that I want.”
By that, Smyth means that Williams has a kindness unlike anyone else that he’s willing to share with everyone he meets.
This surprise has left the Williams family incredibly thankful, and Shakeel’s mother is so proud of her son for the humanity that Shakeel emanates everyday and how it has brought them to this fateful, wonderful position. Though Smyth claims that he wants the love that Shakeel has for everyone, it certainly appears as though this gesture of kindness is a step in the right direction.
Watch the video below to see the full news story.
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