AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – “He was a perfect little boy. Always smiling. Beautiful smile.” That’s how the Cowley’s remember their 9 year old son Tobee. Just 6 days shy of his 10th birthday, he got sick with what doctors thought was strep.
“We took him home, put him to bed so we could rest and I went to go give him his medicine before I went to sleep and he wasn’t breathing,” Tobee’s mother tells me.
A seemingly healthy young boy, Tobee died after contracting a very rare disease that attacks the heart. September 4th, 2016 marked the one year anniversary of that tragic day. A day this year that family friend, Miranda Anderson wanted to be filled with joy.
“I wanted to help them in a way as best as I knew how. And it was in a way that Tobee would have loved!”
She came up with the idea to do random acts of kindness by printing out this card and giving it to those you pay it forward to.
“When I set this up I thought most definitely that it would be between us and their large group of friends,” Miranda said. “But I never would have imagined that actual strangers, people who do not know the Cowley’s or Tobee, would get involved.”
Within just a few days, The Tobee’s Act of Kindness Page on Facebook was flooded with hundreds of people from all over the country, posting pictures from when they gave, or received, those random acts.
“What I like the most is that you’ll open up Facebook and you see somebody and you have no idea who they are. And they’re from Oklahoma and they received a Random Act of Kindness. and they’re so grateful, and they say we had a great little boy,” Tobee’s father Neil tells me.
Miranda believes that “…Tobee has had a lot to do with this and how big it has gotten.”
Sadness and happiness. Two words the Cowley family uses to describe the emotions they feel as Tobee’s face and story continues to be shared across the country. Proof that this little boy left behind more than just his family and friends, but rather a story of how one random act of kindness can turn into so much more.
Tobee’s parents tell me, “I think it teaches other people kindness and shows that no matter if you’re here or if you’re gone you can still perform amazing acts and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”
To find out how you can join in on this movement – head to the Facebook Page – Tobee’s Act of Kindness.