A Southwest Airlines flight attendant based at Dallas Love Field took it upon herself to do something good for a passenger who was on board her flight.
Erica Connolly never imagined the impact her random act of kindness would have on Garrison Christy, from Keller.
Christy, 17, knows a lot about airplanes. “I like to sit by the engine and the wing,” said Christy, whose love of aviation has only gotten stronger, all thanks to Connolly.
“He was just excited to share with me all he knew about planes, and I love flying, so I was excited to receive all of his information,” Connolly said.
The conversation as they waited for everyone to board eventually revealed they were both from Keller and that Christy has autism.
His mom, Renee, said his love for planes keeps him learning and keeps him reading.
“He couldn’t speak until around 3 years old, so he was able to make the sounds of the planes,” she said. “So, he would make them, and we would make them with him. It was a way to have a conversation even though there weren’t words that we were having with them.”
A day after Connolly met Christy, her dad, who is a pilot, was getting rid of some old aviation books. She knew the trash can was the last place they should be.
“She gave him these amazing books and his reading is increasing, because he just so badly wants to read that word,” Renee Christy said.
“I had a family friend deliver them to his classroom and he was so excited,” Connolly said.
“What Erica did was amazing,” Renee Christy said. “I don’t know if she saw that this was going to be more than a book of planes that he is going to be interested in, but she has given him a tool that is going to help him reach his goal of reading.”
Southwest Airlines posted this story on their Instagram and it immediately took off.
Connolly said she was just happy to do it.
“Imagine a world where we were all a little bit kinder than what is necessary and that’s the kind of attitude I try to bring to work with me every day,” Connolly said.