An autistic boy's mother says this man is a 'hero' for what he did in the Cabela's parking lot. We're thanking him for Feel Good Friday. - East Idaho News
Feel Good Friday

An autistic boy’s mother says this man is a ‘hero’ for what he did in the Cabela’s parking lot. We’re thanking him for Feel Good Friday.

  Published at  | Updated at and Ashley Furniture HomeStore are teaming up every week to bring you some good news during Feel Good Friday!

We want to thank people in our community with random acts of kindness and leave you feeling good.

Last week, a woman named Shanna Henderson was with her autistic 12-year-old son, Luke, at Hobby Lobby. He started to say “Jeep” repeatedly and she wasn’t sure what he wanted.

“With a full-on meltdown imminent, I was relieved to get out of the store before he hit the floor,” Shanna wrote on her blog. “These things are much more comfortably managed in the privacy of the van than on full public display. I loaded the kids and hoped for the best as his perseveration on all things, ‘Jeep,’ continued.”

After some frustrating moments, Shanna realized Luke was talking about a Jeep he had seen in the parking lot. He wanted to see it, so they drove over and the driver happened to be getting into his car at that moment.

His name was Matthew and he works at Cabela’s, next door to Hobby Lobby.

Shanna writes:

“Could my son look at your Jeep? He is autistic and loves them.” As I asked this to a complete stranger, I felt a bit sheepish, but I will do pretty much anything to help my kid avoid a meltdown. Thankfully, he readily agreed, and I opened Luke’s back door to let him out, with the warning, “We are just looking. Don’t touch it!”

He bolted past me and was in the Jeep sitting next to its driver before I even finished the futile statement.

“He’s ok.” The driver quickly responded. “Want me to take him for a ride around the parking lot?”

I eyed this random stranger, trying to judge his character based on our 10-second history together. He had a long beard and was dressed in a khaki work shirt with the name, “Matthew,” pinned to the right chest pocket – a Cabela’s employee, I guessed. I hesitated, but determined a man with nefarious intent would not likely be sporting his uniform with his name so boldly for me to identify. I hesitantly agreed, and he quickly popped the Jeep in reverse and took off, while Luke squealed with delight. He sped around the Cabela’s lot once, pulled back into his original parking spot, and put it into park. I asked if I could take a picture for Luke to remember his ride. He kindly obliged. Luke promptly turned the engine off for him and honked his horn.

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This encounter made Shanna and Luke’s day and she says Matthew was a ‘hero’ for them that day. We decided that Matthew should be thanked for his kind actions so we surprised him during his shift this week – and the Hendersons tagged along.

Then, as we were getting ready to leave, Cabela’s surprised Luke with a gift of his own. Watch the video above to see what happened and click here to read more from Shanna’s blog.

If you have ideas for Feel Good Friday, email


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