Man's act of kindness on plane goes viral - My9 New Jersey

Man's act of kindness on plane goes viral

Posted: Updated:

Villas, NJ -We've all been there before. you get on a bus, train or plane, looking for some peace and quiet, and you find you're seated next to a small child who wants to play! It happened to a South Jersey businessman last week.

IT Consultant Eric Kunkel had just found seat 16-C on the US-Airways flight from Orlando to Philadelphia, when he noticed the 3-year-old girl in 16-B.

"It was just a seat mate, sitting next to me- a little girl that had toys and wanted to play," Kunkel said.

"After we sat down, I just looked over and said, 'Did you go to Disney and how was it?' And that was how the conversation started."

Her name was Kate Mouland and her mother Shanell, politely interrupted the conversation.

"Kate's mom said she has Autism, and I really didn't know what to make of it, but, okay...and we just kind of went on our way from there." Kunkel said.

Kunkel showed the little girl pictures of his prized beagles Peaches and Bailey.

They talked about Winnie the Pooh and Ninja Turtles and on it went, for more than two hours. The book Eric had planned to read, went mostly untouched.

Erik says it was a good time and he didn't think anything special about it.

Shanell Mouland disagreed. She spoke to me from her home in New Brunswick, Canada via Facetime.

"He immediately engaged Kate and that was what did it for me, that he would engage Kate. He cared about her and what kind of little person she was and he wanted, just, to play with her,"Shanell said.

When the plane landed, everyone went their separate ways, but Shanell went to her website: GoTeamKate.com, and wrote a heartfelt open letter to the stranger her daughter referred to as "Daddy."

"You could have ignored her," she wrote. "You could have given me that smile that I despise, because it means, 'manage your child, please.' You did none of that. Thank you."

Erik says when he found out about the story, the first thing he did was cry.

"Which, was not hard to do The story was very heartfelt," Kunkel said.

It's now gone viral. Shanell hopes the attention will teach us that children with autism may not be able to communicate, but they still want to be heard.

"They want to be a part of our world. They don't want to be shut out," Shanell said.

For Eric, that chance encounter with a little girl on a plane, has taught him a valuable lesson.

"A little act of kindness can go a long way," he said.

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:11:50 GMT
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
  • NJ woman sues over "8theist" plate

    NJ woman sues over "8theist" plate

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:08:10 GMT
    New Jersey NewsNew Jersey News
    A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against the state's Motor Vehicle Commission, claiming the agency rejected her application for a license plate proclaiming she's an Atheist. Shannon Morgan filed the suit in federal court, saying the rejection of a plate reading "8THEIST" is a violation of her First Amendment rights. The Maurice River Township woman claims plates reading "BAPTIST" have been approved.
    A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against the state's Motor Vehicle Commission, claiming the agency rejected her application for a license plate proclaiming she's an Atheist. Shannon Morgan filed the suit in federal court, saying the rejection of a plate reading "8THEIST" is a violation of her First Amendment rights. The Maurice River Township woman claims plates reading "BAPTIST" have been approved.

  • 8 mumps cases at NJ college

    8 mumps cases at NJ college

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:40:12 GMT
    Officials are investigating eight confirmed cases of mumps found in students at New Jersey's Stevens Institute of Technology.The college in Hoboken says the students range in age from 18 to 21. All were fully vaccinated with two documented doses of mumps-containing vaccine.
    The New Jersey Department of Health is investigating eight confirmed cases of mumps found in students at Stevens Institute of Technology.  The college in Hoboken says the students range in age from 18 to 21. All were fully vaccinated with two documented doses of mumps-containing vaccine. Symptoms include swollen salivary glands, fever, headache, tiredness and loss of appetite.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices