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Delta Goes Above and Beyond to Return Shirt to Boy Whose Dad Passed Away

After last week's tragedy, it’s nice to find a story that restores our faith in humanity. The story of 7-year-old Cole Holzer and what strangers did to restore an extremely sentimental item to him will warm your heart.

Cole’s dad, Bryan, died tragically two years ago when he was hanging Christmas lights at their home in Casselton, N.D. Since then, Cole has carried the Nike shirt Brian was wearing around wherever he goes. He cuddles with it, sings to it, and even sprays it with his dad’s cologne, which is why it was all the more tragic when the young boy lost it on a Delta flight from Fargo to San Diego.

Family friend Kelly Cruchet sent a letter to the airline that was instrumental in getting the shirt back, but it was the Delta employees who went above and beyond in their quest to find it. Kelly sent out emails and posted about the incident on Facebook, hoping to find someone who would be willing to meet the plane in Minneapolis to see if the shirt was still on the plane.

The family was crushed when they found out the cleaning crew never found the shirt but, after seeing Kelly’s note on Facebook, Delta pilot Mike McLean convinced Delta employees to look through the garbage. Thirty minutes later, they got the call that the “daddy shirt” had been found.

Cole and his mom cried all the way back to the airport, and then their family vacation got its official (and emotional) start.

In a thank you letter to Delta, Kelly said, “We all miss Bryan so much, and I so wish Cole had his daddy here to watch him play flag football and baseball and basketball and wrestling – but we all know he is watching them from up above.” She went on to close the letter by saying, “YOU ARE MY FAVORITE PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET!"

What’s that, you say? Why yes, I do have something in my eye, thank you very much.

Do you have a feel-good story? If so, we’d love to hear it!


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04.23.2013 / 09:03 AM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
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