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Mom & Teen With Special Needs Walk into Starbucks for Photo Shoot And Leave in Tears

Laura Principe Johansson just wanted her daughter Sydney to have a normal senior photo session like every other girl her age, but she never could’ve have imagined what one Starbucks employee named Chris would do to give her teen the photo shoot of a lifetime.

Their photographer, Jessica Vallia, admits that for several reasons, the whole session should have been disastrous. It was pouring down rain, and because her senior was having a big surgery this month, there was no way to reschedule.

As the trio drove around thinking about what to do as an alternative to outdoor shots, Laura got the idea to stop and ask Starbucks if they could use their store.

“We drove over in the hurricane wind & rain and she ran in to ask,” Jessica wrote to Love What Matters. “She says to the guy at the counter… ‘You can tell me to screw off BUT it’s pouring, my daughter was supposed to have senior pictures outside. She is in a wheelchair; can we just come inside and take some pics?’ (we really weren’t sure what they’d say) and he replied with ‘Absolutely!’ and offers his umbrella to help us get inside. Not only offers his umbrella but when Mom went inside to get the umbrella he came outside in the pouring rain to help us get Sydney inside!”


Photo Credit: Jessica Vallia Photography

Chris wasn’t even under the umbrella and ended up soaking wet in the downpour, but he still brought a towel for Laura to dry off Sydney.

And this barista’s heartwarming act of kindness didn’t end there:

“After getting inside we were greeted with hot chocolates (made with soy milk because they were unsure of allergies… who thinks that far into it?!?! I was blown away with gratitude at this point). Then as we are shooting one of the family members in tow orders food and a drink for her and her son, they denied payment! Chris (our hero) comes over and asks if there is anything else we need about a dozen times as we are literally moving furniture and talking to other interested and helpful patrons. One customer took some pictures with Mom’s phone… I just can go on for days about this! But then, Chris comes by and asks if he can make Sydney some signs and pulls out markers and colored paper making her a little backdrop and rearranged some items in the store!”

Photo Credit: Jessica Vallia Photography

Even after showering them with free drinks and completely unexpected attention, Chris still wouldn’t let them pay for more coffee when they left.

Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey Straeter
Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

Pennsylvania Parents Drown After Getting Caught in Rip Current While Vacationing with Their Six Children

A Pennsylvania couple's family vacation in Hutchinson Island, Florida, turned into a heartbreaking tragedy when the parents drowned after being caught in a rip current.

Stanford University Dean Says “Over Parenting” Is Ruining Your Kids

It's an epidemic that's influencing an entire generation of children.

Lilly King Gets Engaged Poolside After Qualifying for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

American swimmer Lilly King celebrated not just one, but two monumental achievements poolside Thursday night. After qualifying for the 2024 Summer Olympics, King was surprised with a romantic proposal from her boyfriend, James Wells.