Boy leaves heartbreaking note on stuffed panda his mom couldn't afford to buy him
A young boy left a tragic letter on the box of a plush toy he desperately wanted but that his mother couldn't afford to buy until she received her next paycheck.
10-year-old Leon Ashworth fell in love with a stuffed panda he decided to name 'Pandy' during a routine trip to the Hunts Cross Asda supermarket in Liverpool, England.
Unfortunately for both Leon and Pandy, Leon's mom, Debbie Ashworth, told her son she wouldn't be able to buy the toy for him until payday.
Since there were only two of the Lovable Huggable Panda dolls left in the store, a heartbroken Leon scribbled a note on the side of the toy's cardboard box, begging other customers not to purchase the toy he had set his heart on.
"My mum didn't have enough money to buy me Pandy so she's buying me Pandy on 15th June so please don't buy him as it will make me cry," the child wrote. "Thank you so much from Hopeful Future Owner."
See photos of the note:
Luckily, Leon's note caught the eye of Asda employee David Bateman, who shared it with his coworkers.
Together, they all chipped in money to buy Pandy and put out an appeal on Facebook to track down his "future owner."
Eventually, Bateman's post started garnering attention from local news outlets, including the Liverpool Echo, which shared the story on Facebook.
Coincidentally, Leon's mom just so happened to stumble across her own son's handwriting while scrolling on the social media site.
She immediately took Leon back to the store, where there were huge smiles all around as the kind staff handed over the stuffed toy to his rightful owner.
"As he was walking out he said to me 'This is the best day of my life,'" Ashworth told Asda's blog. "It meant the world to him – thank you so much Asda!"
Ashworth, a 36-year-old intensive care nurse at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, lives with husband Paul, Leon and their other children Troy, 11, and Jennifer, 7.
She told the supermarket blog that her family has had a particularly tough year, and the store's kind gesture truly meant the world to her family.
"In January my son Oliver was born prematurely and passed away four days later so it's been a really tough, difficult time for all of the family, especially the children who were so involved in the lead-up to the birth," she said.
"It's amazing how big a difference little gestures like this can make, and Leon is so happy."