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The Lake Mary Lifeline

The Lake Mary Lifeline

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A Special Gift For a Special Someone

Featured Photo from A Special Gift For a Special Someone

Our community director Samantha Taylor surprises Publix grocery bagger, James, with swag from his favorite event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. Read on to see how one small act of kindness meant more to Samantha than you know.

As the mother of three kids, our community director, Samantha Taylor, considers herself a regular at the Publix in Lake Mary. She knows the ins and outs of the store and the folks who make shopping there enjoyable – like grocery bagger, James.


“After meeting James, I could tell that he was very special. I started looking forward to our little chats. James LOVES Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. I admired James and the joy he found in this one night. He tells me how many days until it starts, and how many days until he is going to take the bus to go. When October came, and I knew Halloween Horror Nights was up and running, I would ask him how it was. He would always tell me how much fun it was, and then his countdown would begin again,” says Samantha.


Earlier this week, through the help of a friend Patrick Braillard, creative director of Halloween Horror Nights, Samantha surprised James with a box full of scary swag.


“He was totally surprised and delighted,” says Samantha. “He repeated “thank you and you’re welcome” and gave me a big hug. He asked his manager to keep it safe until he got off work at 7:00 p.m.”


In many ways, James reminds Samantha of her own 13-year-old son who is also special and has had many passions and obsessions over the years.


When her son was into something, no matter how obscure – like the heights of the tallest buildings in the world – Samantha would find herself searching to the ends of the Earth (and a lot of eBay) to try and find something, ANYTHING, that could possible bring him that same joy.


“As a mom who has been desperate to connect with her own son, I saw James in a different way than I would have 13 years ago,” says Samantha. “I don’t know if that gift left me or James more in awe, but I do know I’ve seen that look before – and I can’t wait to help James countdown to October again this year for Halloween Horror Nights.”


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