Toddler’s Special Bond With Kind Publix Grocer Inspired Her Mom To Start A Charity

Rachel Smith has been going to the same Publix Super Market in Fort Myers, Florida, for as long as she could remember, and she has always appreciated the kindness she’s come across there.

Once her now six-year-old daughter Fiona was born, she brought her to Publix every Saturday for her grocery shopping. As Fiona got older, she developed a heartwarming friendship with Gilnet, one of the grocers there, who Fiona refers to as “high five.”

The nickname came after Gilnet taught Fiona how to give a high five. Every time she went to the store, she would say “hi fi” and then go off looking for him. Gilnet was always just as excited to see little Fiona as she was to see him.

The two developed such a close bond that Gilnet even surprised Fiona with her first bicycle on her third birthday.

Fiona was so happy to have her new bike and took pictures of her riding it to send to Gilnet. She and her mom then went to Publix to hand-deliver him a thank you card and a big hug.

Sadly, during the pandemic, Gilnet had to transfer stores, but Smith was able to track him down and bring Fiona to his new store to visit him.

Smith shared Gilnet’s generosity and his special relationship with Fiona on Instagram and TikTok, which quickly went viral. People all over the country were touched by Gilnet’s kindness and asked how they could donate to him.

Smith started a GoFundMe to raise money to help Gilnet out as a thank you. She has already raised thousands of dollars and couldn’t wait to surprise him with it.

“I’d love to give something tangible back to him for the joy he’s given my daughter her whole life,” she wrote on the GoFundMe.

Gilnet’s positive attitude and kindness also inspired Smith to start a small charity called ‘Who’s Your High Five,’ where people can submit stories about people who have positively impacted their lives the way Gilnet has impacted theirs.

Smith hopes their story will encourage others to embrace life’s positive moments and influences.

Hear more of this inspiring story in the video below:

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