A crowdfunding campaign for the Baton Rouge Rouses employee whose act of kindness to an autistic teen went viral has raised more than $100,000.
On Sunday morning, the GoFundMe campaign "Send Jordan from Rouses to School" had raised more than $110,000. The campaign had an original goal of $50,000 for Jordan Taylor, 20, who invited the teenager to help him stock groceries for nearly 30 minutes during a recent shift.
Sid Edwards was only expecting to pick up a few items Sunday at Rouses Market on Drusilla Lane. Instead, he got what he calls a miracle.
A video of Taylor and Jack Ryan Edwards, 17, stocking orange juice together at the Rouses Market on Drusilla Lane quickly went viral, garnering thousands of interactions on social media and making national headlines.
Edwards's sister, Delaney Alwosaibi, started the GoFundMe campaign. In the description, she wrote that Taylor told her that he loves math and would possibly like to be a teacher someday. The money raised from the campaign will go toward funding his education.
Nearly 3,200 people have contributed to the campaign since it launched Wednesday. Many commented that they have autistic relatives and were touched to see Taylor's simple act of goodwill.
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Edwards's father, Sid Edwards, told The Advocate that the moment was special because strangers often aren't welcoming to his son. He said Sunday he's "really just blown away at the goodness of people."
"It's amazing how life can change for the good in one week," Sid Edwards said. "You never know when you're gonna make a difference in someone's life."
He also said his son has been offered a job helping stock shelves at the grocery store. While working for more than an hour at a time would be too much for Jack Ryan, his dad said, the plan is to start slow and see about extending his shifts later on.
Sid Edwards said his family is already becoming close with Taylor and his mom. And being able to help raise money for Taylor's education is the icing on the cake.
"The thing that struck me most was Jordan's demeanor during the encounter," Sid Edwards said. "But as a dad, I gotta say I'm proud of my kid. What Jordan did for Jack Ryan was beautiful, but Jack also changed Jordan's life forever. … That's where God comes in."