It’s the hug felt round the world this week. A Rhode Island toddler’s small act of kindness is warming hearts across the internet after video of him hugging his pizza delivery man went viral for all the right reasons.
Lindsey Sheely says she ordered dinner for her family Saturday night from Wicked Good Pizza in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
Around 7 o’clock, a pizza delivery driver named Ryan Catterson arrived at the family’s home with all the good stuff: pizza and ranch.
As he went to exit the Sheely’s front porch through the baby gate, 2-year-old Cohen went running after the pizza delivery man, with his arms wide open for a hug.
Ryan obliged, telling the little tyke to “enjoy your pizza,” before heading on his way.
The sweet interaction, which only lasted a matter of seconds, was caught on camera.
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“We thought it was so sweet and funny, then realized that our doorbell might have caught the interaction on camera, and it did!” Lindsey wrote on Instagram, where she shared the clip. “I hope it gives you a laugh and warms your heart like it did for us.”
But the real story came after the hug.
After Lindsey posted the video on Instagram, it made its way back to the pizza delivery driver, Ryan Catterson.
“Someone showed Ryan the video I posted to my Instagram, so he messaged me, and I found him on Facebook so he could share the video,” Lindsey wrote in an update to her Instagram post.
“Little did we know what Cohen’s hug to this stranger would mean,” she added.
Through connecting on Facebook, Lindsey discovered that Ryan had tragically lost his own 16-year-old daughter just last week.
The teenage girl, who lived in California with Ryan’s ex-wife, had struggled with her mental health before unexpectedly passing away.
“It really just meant a lot to me,” Ryan told ABC 6 of the toddler’s hug, adding that “it’s going to be tough” to not be able to hug his own daughter again.
“There is no practical reason that Cohen hugged the delivery guy!” Lindsey told TODAY. “I think God just uses the innocent love of children to bring hope and light where He knows it’s needed.”