Owen Hacker with his $20 | Source: Facebook.com/alyssamhacker
Owen Hacker with his $20 | Source: Facebook.com/alyssamhacker

Grieving Man Who Lost Grandson Sees a Toddler at Target, Gives Him $20

Ayesha Muhammad
Feb 06, 2022
12:20 P.M.

When a mother saw her toddler son shouting "Hi" in Target one day, she wasn't startled at all. She was familiar with her tot's amiable nature and knew he loved saying "Hello" and "Bye" to people. But what happened next left her in tears.


Childhood is a special time in any parent's life. Nothing is more precious than experiencing your kid's very first moments, including their genuine smiles, frequent tantrums, and sweet giggles.

Elders can learn several life-altering lessons from children. Most importantly, these mini-humans encourage us to be ourselves unapologetically. The story we're sharing today is about an indescribable exchange between a kid and an older man.

The Proud Parents

Colby and Alyssa Hacker's toddler son, Owen, was the center of their world. The Hackers loved their little boy wholeheartedly and were grateful for witnessing his incredibly adorable nature every day.


Parents love recording their children's cutest moments, so they can look back and reminisce on them whenever they want. Owen's mother did the same when she witnessed her son's meaningful encounter with a stranger one day.

In September 2017, the mom and son duo were at Target in Fort Smith, Arkansas, visiting Alyssa's mother-in-law near Wister, Oklahoma. What was meant to be a mundane weekend trip became much more meaningful.

A Friendly Tot

Alyssa was waiting on "Grammi" inside Target when her son grabbed three dinosaurs and put them in his cart. Like any tot, Owen was confused about which dinosaur he wanted and ended up picking all three.


Mateo gave 30 cents to the homeless guy and showed his father that giving out of love and kindness never goes unnoticed.

Then, the Oklahoman woman heard her son shouting "Hi," and wasn't surprised because she knew his friendly nature. According to Alyssa, her 18-month-old boy loved interacting with strangers.

The Sweet Exchange

However, Alyssa was astounded when she saw an older man walking past them in the toy section. He stopped by and said, "Hey, sweet boy," and played dinosaurs with little Owen. Alyssa shared the incident on Facebook, and the caption read:

"The man got his wallet out and pulled a $20 out, he put it in Owens pocket on his shirt and said 'i just lost my 2 year old grandson last week. You take this money and buy this boy all three dinosaurs.'"


The young mother revealed she was protective when the man approached her kid, but after witnessing the heartwarming moment, she ended up "crying in the middle of Target." Surprisingly, she wasn't the only one who was moved to tears.

A Meaningful Encounter

Then, the kind older man wiped his tears, patted Owen's back, and walked off. It was clear that the grieving man missed his grandson, but his brief encounter with Owen gave him a reason to smile. Alyssa used the $20 to buy the three dinosaurs. She recollected:

"These three stuffed dinosaurs have more meaning than I ever thought a stuffed animal from Target could have. We will hold on to these memories forever!"


The happy mom revealed that when Owen thanked the kind old man, he turned around and said, "boomer sooner." Her viral Facebook post touched the hearts of netizens far and wide, amassing 784,000 likes, 33,000 comments, and 314,000 shares.

What a Blessing

Owen's mother was stunned by the overwhelming response to the post. She called Owen a "blessing" and was elated to share his light with the world. Alyssa also expressed:

"I did pray that night that God would give me the ability to be able to teach and translate to Owen what he did for that gentleman as well as what the gentleman did for us."


Indeed, the sweet encounter at the store would forever stay etched in Alyssa and the older man's memories. We're sure that when Owen grows up, his mother will relate the touching incident to him, and it'll brighten up his day.

Another Wise Mini-Human

Little Owen's touching exchange with the older man taught his parents and many others eye-opening lessons. Like Alyssa Hacker, a man named Justice Smith was inspired by his little boy's beautiful heart and recounted the incident on social media.

Smith shared that his 5-year-old son, Justus Mateo, triggered a chain reaction when he helped a homeless man one day. Mateo gave 30 cents to the homeless guy and showed his father that giving out of love and kindness never goes unnoticed.

As adults, we often forget the magnitude of our most straightforward actions. But thanks to wise kids like Owen and Mateo, it's never too late to find meaning in our mundane, everyday moments. Please share these inspiring stories with your loved ones.

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