‘Being nice matters’ — Woman posts viral photo, uplifting story behind Meijer birthday cake

Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 02, 2015

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. – It’s the cake seen round the world, and it’s going viral for all the right reasons.

At first glance, most would discount the cake as a mistake. But that’s why it’s going viral – because the cake’s buyer, Kentwood resident Lisa Aldrich, did just the opposite.

Friday, Aldrich picked up the cake for a get-together meant to celebrate her sister Mandy’s birthday. Aldrich entered the store, found an employee near the bakery, and put in her request for the decoration. When she got it back, she was understandably surprised but proceeded to check out anyways. Noticing the cake, several employees offered an alternative – but Lisa denied, telling the employees it was no big deal. But to the girl who decorated the cake, it was a very big deal.

“One of [the employees] put her hand on my shoulder and said, ‘you know, the girl who wrote that has autism and you probably made her day,’” said Aldrich. “So I was really glad that it happened that way, I just didn’t think it was this big of a deal.”

Lisa is alone in that. Since her initial post on Facebook, detailing the entire event, her actions have received serious attention. The post has been shared well over 120,000 times on Facebook, has been talked about on many local and national news outlets, and has received nods on Twitter from accounts belonging to sites like Buzzfeed and Cosmopolitan.

“My initial reaction was, it’s a cake. What the heck?” said Aldrich. “But it’s more than that. And I know that a lot of people are just looking for something nice – maybe in their life they don’t have many nice things. So if this is filling a need, I think that’s really wonderful.”

Lisa never expected it to garner the type of attention it is online, but says she couldn’t be happier with the response. She’s received an outpouring of correspondence from those who were uplifted by the story, including many who have loved ones suffering from autism or have it themselves.

“I posted about it because I wanted people to feel like it’s not that hard, and being nice matters,” said Aldrich. “That was all I was thinking when I posted it.”

“The main thing is that everybody is important. People matter, and you don’t always know the story behind their life. And you don’t need to. You should just be nice anyways because that’s the right thing to do.”