In January of this year, a young man’s simple act of kindness went viral and landed him a huge amount of unexpected attention. As a brand new Target cashier, 19 year-old Ishmael Gilbert was captured on camera as he waited on an elderly customer.
The woman, who only had change to pay for her purchase, was nervous about holding up the line. Ishmael kindly assured her that she was not an inconvenience as he tenderly helped her count out her money. He patiently took his time, reassuring her again that she was no problem at all. What he didn’t know was that the customer waiting next in line had snapped a picture of the encounter.
Target customer Sara Bigler shared the snap on Facebook along with a post about what she learned from watching the exchange between Ishmael and the elderly woman. She noted that while she herself started out being impatient and frustrated about the wait, her daughter’s interest had been captured by the interaction, causing her own attitude to shift.
Bigler’s Facebook post went viral, and the media storm that followed Ishmael afterwards caught him off guard. At the time, he stated that he only treated her as he would his own grandma, and didn’t feel his actions warranted any special attention. His sweet act of compassion inspired people from all over the country to contact him with kind words, job offers, and other tokens of appreciation. Bigler was also touched by the responses she received from her post.
Ishmael had only been on the job at Target for about a week when the media firestorm hit. His mother was also thankful that the lessons she taught him shaped him into a wonderful human being and father. As fans and customers visited the store to greet or meet him for a picture, he continued to work.
During this time, he was observed being kind on the job again, this time by a different Target customer. This customer happened to be the manager of a dialysis center who wanted to offer Ishmael a job. Asking him what his future career goals included, the lady then explained to him what dialysis was. She praised him for his customer service skills and asked him to call her about the job. During the interview, he was asked to discuss his viral story and the managers were super impressed with him. He now works as a patient care tech at Fresenius Medical Care.
Ishmael is loving his new gig at the medical center where he continues to bring his glowing people skills to work each day. As an added bonus, the center is paying for his education and training to become a registered nurse. How cool is that? Ishmael said he’s learned to accept blessings as they come without questioning how or why.
We’re always happy to see heartwarming stories like these, and young people with Ishmael’s humility and compassion. We wish the best for this young father in all his future endeavors! What do you think of this story? Share with us in the comments!