The owners of a Florida McDonald’s restaurant have bestowed some incredible holiday joy on one local family whose 15-year-old son with autism has been prolifically drawing the golden arches since he was a little boy.
Tim and Tracy Johnstone met Devon two years ago after Hurricane Michael destroyed their McDonald’s building in Panama City.
Devon’s mom, Tiffany Winters, had posted on social media asking if anyone could recover the famous “golden arches” from the storm debris to give to her son.
“When we heard about Devon’s story and his love for the golden arches, we knew we had to do something special for him and his family,” said McDonald’s Owner/Operators Tim and Tracy Johnstone who own seven restaurants, four in Panama City.
Not only did they deliver the iconic golden arch signage that was saved from the wreckage, they also brought Devon into his local McDonald’s to experience being an employee for the day.
“Our team felt a lot of emotions after Hurricane Michael two years ago, and to be able to turn around that fear and grief when the golden arches came down and make that into a celebration for such a deserving kid makes this really special to us,” said Tracy.
So they kept in touch with the teen and wanted to make his holiday super special this year, “just like that day.”
On Wednesday, the restaurant owners surprised the family members, who live 40 miles from any town, with a much-needed new car. The vehicle will ensure Devon can get to school, and any doctor or therapy visits.
“This is so far above and beyond,” said Brent Winters, Devon’s father. “To receive a car in a real time of need is going to change our lives.”
There were also gifts for Devon, including lots of art supplies. Watch a video of local news coverage here.
“In a year of unprecedented challenges, we’re reminded of how an act of kindness can uplift one another,” said the Johnstone’s. “It was truly such an honor to see Devon’s face light up when he saw his gifts—and to know that we could help him and his family means everything.”
“You hear all the negativity in the world. You don’t hear a lot of the good news stories,” added Brent. “So it’s nice to be part of one.”