The mother of a U.S. Marine deployed to Afghanistan says a simple act of kindness at a local business has blessed her considerably.

The mother of a U.S. Marine deployed to Afghanistan says a simple act of kindness at a local business has blessed her considerably.

Her note of thanks posted on The Informer’s Facebook page went viral and others joined her in celebrating a simple act by employees of the Derby Atwoods.

Jackie Haynes, wife of Derby’s animal control officer Jeff Haynes, went to Atwoods on Saturday, Nov. 10, seeking rat traps to send to their son, Cpl. Mike Haynes, who also is the grandson of Sue Knox of El Dorado. Mike serves as the lead cook for his Marine Corps unit and said he has had a problem keeping rats out of the food supplies.

At just under $2 a trap, Jackie decided to add traps to nearly 13 care packages she was preparing to send to her son. She stopped in the Derby Atwoods and purchased what she could off the shelf, but asked if the store had more. 

Two employees, Todd Cox, who heads the automotive department and is retired military, and Sally Livingston, who heads the pet department and whose husband is retired military, offered to check. Cox went to the store’s computerized manifest to see if more would be in a coming shipment.

“It just happened that we were getting 12 more on that truck,” Livingston said.

The truck would arrive the day before Jackie planned to ship the care packages, so both employees assured her they would seek out the traps and mark them for her to pick up. After the traps arrived, Cox made sure the traps were set aside and even paid for them himself, dismissing Livingston’s offer to help pay for them.

“He said, ‘I know what it’s like,’” Livingston said. 

Cox could not be reached for this story.

Haynes left with the traps, but felt the kindness shown by the employees should be noted. She called Atwoods corporate offices and reported the good deed. She also posted a note on The Informer’s Facebook page.

“I wish to express my thanks and appreciation to him for paying for these, and I wish to express my appreciation to Todd and Sally for the effort that they put into finding out when the truck would be here, and making sure that they were on the truck,” Jackie wrote.

The kindness did not end there. Members of her church, the Belle Plaine United Methodist Church, had helped gather items for the care boxes and one member paid for the shipping.

“My whole last week was completely blessed with this,” Jackie said. “Such a simple act of kindness has been such a blessing.”

It appears Derbyites agreed. By Monday, 2,710 people had clicked the “like” button on the Facebook posting, sending it viral. Another 119 had commented on the incident.

So, Jackie printed all the comments to send to her son. Mike has served in the U.S. Marine Corps since August 2009 and has spent two years in Okinawa in addition to this deployment to Afghanistan.

If the mail goes as it should, by Christmas he and his unit will be enjoying treats from home, and fewer problems with their food supplies.

Since this time, the Augusta United Methodist Church C.A.R.D.S. program has begun working to send more care packages to Mike.