There wasn't a dry eye in the house Wednesday night as a letter written to a Miami International Airport employee was read.
While working the gate for British Airways in January, Randy Waggoner noticed a boy crying – upset he left his souvenir, an alligator tooth, in a rental car.
"When I saw the little boy, he was really upset and I just did it," said Waggoner, who was honored as MIA's Employee of the Year Wednesday. "I have children. I know when you have something, it's nice to get it back."
Waggoner found the tooth and mailed it to England. Months went by, then he received a letter from the boy's mom in August.
Part of the thank you note read, "You very kindly found it and posted it to us a few weeks later. You had no way of knowing this at the time, but he was dying of cancer and getting his tooth back meant a lot to him, and to us. You made a little boy very happy, before he died, in April. Thank you again for this ray of sunshine."
After reading it, Waggoner said, "It's not what you wanted to hear, but it shook everybody and that's why we wanted to do something for them."
That something is coming from the MIA crew at British Airways. The employees are raising money to buy a tree – the same tree that was on the stamp of the envelope sent to Waggoner.
The airline manager will go to England himself to plant the tree in the family's yard.
"Little things you can do, can go a long way, and exactly that happened," said Jose L. VonZuben, British Airways' airport manager said.
Waggoner received a standing ovation on what happened to be his 25th wedding anniversary – all for his customer service that probably changed one little boy's life.
"It really makes you feel good to be part of the human race to know that a guy like Randy exists," Director of Customer Service Dickie Davis said.