By Morgan Cook (’22)
Often, support systems are found in unlikely or unusual situations and show themselves at unexpected times, and when it comes to Jason Schweitzer and Emilia (last name unknown), this support began as a friendship dating back years and years.
From the time Jason was young, his mother would take him to a KFC in the city of Toronto every Sunday – which is where he first met employee Emilia. The two formed a friendly bond as Jason continued coming back to the restaurant, and each week, he looked forward to seeing Emilia again and being able to talk to her. At just five years of age, she became an important part of Jason’s life and someone to look up to with her kind, generous attitude and hilarious sense of humor.
After years of such a tight bond, it struck Jason as shocking and appalling when recently, he entered the store and witnessed another customer treating Emilia harshly. Where anyone else may have lost their cool, Emilia stayed calm and addressed the situation with patience and the same consideration she had always treated Jason with. Although Jason did not interfere with what was happening, he recognized what a rare type of individual it takes to work in the service industry for almost fifty years and deal with a variety of people – all with different needs and personalities – with grace and courtesy.
Amidst the worry he felt for Emilia during the pandemic and especially after seeing this incident in the store, Jason decided to start a GoFundMe page for certain necessities (rent, transportation, etc.) – giving back to the woman who had given him and so many others so much kindness over the years. So far, out of a goal of $30,000, the page has raised over $25,000 in just a few days!
The support Emilia has received in return for all she has provided for so many people for decades makes clear that the truly amazing individuals you meet throughout a lifetime are appreciated and remembered and that kindness is never a single act but a chain of events that passes itself down, continuing to make differences in so many lives.