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Stranger pays it forward to Berea teen with developmental disabilities after scarecrow stolen from his garden

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 02, 2020

BEREA, Ohio — A post on social media highlighting a negative moment inspired one local man to step up and do something positive for someone he didn't even know.

Unable to find a job during the pandemic, Micah Thomas took up a new hobby.

“He came to us and said he wanted to build a garden in the yard. For him, it has a little bit of a life of its own," said April Thomas, Micah's mom.

The 19-year-old with developmental disabilities carefully maps out each day.

"Repetition and structure. At four years old, Micah suffered a traumatic brain injury,” said April.

In the early morning hours last week, someone rattled Micah's routine.

A homemade scarecrow, added to the garden for Halloween, was stolen from the family's front yard.

“It was kind of sad. I didn’t like it because I worked on it and it was $7 to get the hay that I used," said Micah.

Micah's mom turned to social media in hopes his creation might turn up.

“We got a lot of feedback from people that other things were missing from their yards as well," said April.

Chris Carter and his family saw one of the posts about the swiped scarecrow.

“I decided I would build another one for him," said Carter.

The Berea man showed up the very next day to surprise the teen.

“That’s what Berea residents do. We take care of our own," said Carter.

At first, Micah was apprehensive.

“He was like 'hey, can I get some help to get this out of my car' and I was like 'uh, no.'"

After getting a nudge from his mom, Micah went outside.

“The scarecrow was a real surprise because no one had really gone out of their way to make me something like that," said Micah.

It may have taken a little longer than anticipated, but the time investment is paying off in a big way.

"Actually it was kind of cool, we became friends. So, I have a new buddy. When you help somebody I believe that sometimes a friendship can come out of it and just continue on," said Carter.

With his scarecrow back in place, Micah is resting much easier.

“I named the new one Bob," said Micah.

Carter said we can all learn something from their story.

“Hate breeds hate, and we need to start focusing how we can come together as a society and bring that kindness and love back together where it once was," said Carter.