For the past 17 years, Cassie Gretschel has been buying her younger brother, Max, the same blue Tonka truck.
According to BuzzFeed News, Max was born with cerebral palsy. Cassie wrote on Imgur that Max is 25 years old, but he is mentally only 5 years old. He spends hours playing with the trucks, and it’s the only toy he will play with.Imgur
When Tonka stopped manufacturing the truck in 2000, Cassie started purchasing them off eBay. But this year, she noticed there weren’t any left.
Cassie went on Reddit and asked if anyone had a spare truck she could purchase for her brother’s Christmas gift:
“I’ve tried making him resin cast copies over the years, but he only likes the metal ones,” Cassie wrote on Imgur. “I’ve tried painting the orange or red ones blue, but he can tell the difference. If anyone has one of these in their attics, please throw it on eBay!”Imgur
Immediately, people started checking in their closets and reaching out to friends and family members who might still have a blue Thanksgiving model truck with the metal hooks on the front.
Then, Tonka, the toy company, heard about Max’s story and offered to help Cassie to find the truck she needed:
In a Facebook post, a company spokesperson wrote, “This is the exact reason we do what we do. We love hearing stories like this and we will do everything in our power to help.”
Cassie wrote in the comments that Tonka was searching the warehouses for the specific model her brother wants for Christmas: “They also asked a lot of questions about the features that my brother likes about the trucks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they send him something special!”
Many people wrote to Tonka in support of Cassie and her pursuit to help her brother. One person wrote on Reddit, “As someone who is a the [sic] guardian of a man with Down Syndrome, I’m half laughing and half crying because I know your frustration, and I can totally empathize with you. The hoops you jump through to get everything ‘just right!'”
Cassie told Dearly that so far she’s received four trucks from Redditors alone. Between Reddit and Tonka, hopefully, there will be plenty of trucks to keep Max happy for many Christmases to come.