(CBS News) — A mom from Alvin, Texas, shared a sweet photo of her daughter and a school custodian on Facebook — and the heartwarming image has quickly gone viral. Hollie Bellew-Shaw says her daughter, Kenlee, has autism. So, it was especially moving when a school custodian comforted her when she was having a bad day.
Bellew-Shaw posted a photo of the fourth grader as she lay on the floor of the school wrapped in a blanket. Beside her lay “Ms. Esther,” a custodian at Passmore Elementary.
“Our school custodian is literally the best, sweetest individual in the world,” Bellew-Shaw wrote. “[Kenlee] wanted no part of being in the cafeteria this morning with all the noise so she laid down with her blanket on the stage. When Ms. Esther saw her she came and laid next to her and patted her back.”
“All schools should be so lucky to have their own Angel on campus. Feel free to share so she can get all the appreciation and thanks she totally deserves,” Bellew-Shaw wrote. The mom included several heart emojis and a puzzle piece — the symbol for autism awareness.
The school district also posted the image on Facebook. “Sometimes you just need to take a break!” Alvin Independent School District wrote.
The school district shared that Kenlee adores Mrs. Esther, according Bellew-Shaw. “She always greets my daughter with kind words and a hug which is so special to her,” the mom said.
“This goes to show you that a kind word, a hug and a little compassion are all it takes to make a huge difference in a child’s life, the school district added on Facebook.
Both posts received hundreds of shares between them. “I heard about this… everyone needs an angel like Ms. Esther!” a fellow mom wrote.
“This warms my heart! I hope Ms. Esther realizes how much her actions mean to that little girl. She will always remember her kindness and understanding. Bless you Ms. Esther for taking the time to show compassion,” another commented.
The story was also picked up by Autism Speaks, a national organization that is dedicated to advancing autism research and treatment. “Such a sweet moment to kick off the week,” Autism Speaks wrote in the post, which was shared over 2,000 times.