Good Samaritan: May the shirt be with you

Published 6:00pm 21 December 2021

Good Samaritan: May the shirt be with you
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A random act of kindness posted in a community Facebook group has highlighted the true spirit of giving back to others ahead of Christmas.

Moreton Bay resident Stuart McLean became an instant hero after asking the community for help to identify an avid Star Wars fan he had met while getting coffee.

Stuart wanted to make sure this Christmas was a year to remember for his new friend.

“I hope the right person sees this - a long shot but worth a try,” the post said.

“Sometime last week I went to my local coffee shop - Butcher Baker Coffeemaker at Woody Point - I was wearing a festive Star Wars shirt with Chewbacca covered in Christmas lights (stay with me) and was waiting outside for my coffee.

“A young man with Down Syndrome walked up to me with a female companion (mother or carer?) and he was wearing a Star Wars shirt.

“He recognised Chewy and was extremely excited to see it, shaking my hand and knowing that we were both the coolest kids on the block in that moment.

“His companion asked me if I knew where I got the shirt as he loved it and I couldn’t remember for the life of me.”

A visit to the shops helped trigger Stuart’s memory as to where he had purchased the festive shirt from.

What happened next was enough to restore your faith in humanity.

“Well, it turns out I walked into Jay Jays at Kippa Ring and lo and behold there was the shirt in all its glory. I have purchased this shirt for my cool friend in the hopes that I may run into him again,” the post continued.

“I’m hoping that someone who knows him may see this long-winded post and can possibly either put me in touch or let me know somewhere I can leave it for him to collect - would love a Christmas Star Wars miracle to happen for the sake of the Empire/Rebel Alliance depending on your allegiance.

“He had dark brown hair and glasses if that helps.

“Thank you for hanging in there with me. May the Force be with you.”

The post was an instant hit online, with more than 2.2 thousand emoji reactions, 300 comments and 465 shares, all in the hope of finding the young man.

Good Samaritan: May the shirt be with you

A new friendship is made

Shortly after Stuart’s original post, a lady contacted him saying it was her son Kai who had been fascinated with the now infamous Chewy Christmas shirt.

It only took an hour after my post on here to get a message from Kai’s mum - blown away by the response to my search for a fellow nerd and just a big thank you for the kind words and comments - it means a lot,” Stuart said in an updated post to the group.

The pair reconnected at Butcher Baker Coffeemaker, where Stuart gifted Kai his very own Christmas Star Wars shirt to keep.

They happily posed for photographs decked out in their favourite shirts, cementing their newfound friendship.

A proud community

Members of the group were quick to congratulate Stuart for his kind generosity, saying his actions were inspirational.

“Not all heroes wear capes... honestly, this is the BEST Christmas faith in humanity restored story ever. As a mum with two special needs kids and a carer, this honestly warms my heart,” one person posted.

“Just beautiful, especially right now in the midst of such anxious times at every turn, you have shone through it all with the true meaning of the spirit of the season using the power of social media in such a positive way, what it should be all about. A lot could learn from your beautiful example,” another said.

“The moment you wish there were more Stuart's in the world. One small act of kindness and awesomeness can not only make Kai's day or more likely month, but also inspire a community. Let’s all be like Stuart,” someone else commented.

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