'Hero' refuses gifts

One man’s stand against offensive behaviour at the restaurant where he works has earned him lots of attention and donations and gifts from admirers- but he has chosen to give anything sent to him away:

When the customer isn’t right

Waiter Michael Garcia made headlines after refusing to serve a family of four  which requested a different table after being seated next to Milo Castillo, a 5-year-old boy with Down syndrome. One of the guests with the family reportedly made offensive remarks such as this: “Special needs kids should be kept in special places”, reported HuffPost.

Says Castillo’s dad: “Yay for people like Michael, Candace and Eric at Laurenzo's (also waiters who everyone should go tip heavily) who not only love (my son) Milo for who he is- a customer and little boy with Down syndrome, but stand up for him no matter what.”

Risking it all

Michael, when asked about the experience, said that “the family he refused to serve were regulars at the restaurant: "Did he just say that in front of his own children?" He had said to himself. "I had considered whether or not I would lose my job, but I knew it wasn't right. I could find another job and my guests would follow me. ... I was pissed."
When Castillo mentioned the incident on Facebook, the response was massive: Not only did the restaurant’s regulars voice their support, but gifts and donations for the waiter from across the US started flooding in.

That’s when Michael really showed his character- the waiter donated all of the gifts (including over $1 000) to Milo’s school, the only one in the area which offers an integrated learning system to children with Down syndrome.

The school wanted to throw a party in Michael’s honour to thank him for the gifts, but, according to Fox News, he insists that his main objective is to raise awareness about children with special needs: “The children are the real heroes; I don’t feel like a hero in any way. It’s the children. That’s what this is about, helping the children.”

Michael is not a teacher, and has no relatives with special needs.

Do you model kindness, tolerance and acceptance to your kids?

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