The holiday season is suddenly upon. It's time to decorate the tree, attend holiday parties, and simply spread some cheer — no matter what holiday you celebrate. For those of us that celebrate Christmas, gift-giving anxiety is definitely in full-swing. With so many people to buy for and so little time left before Santa makes his rounds, it's easy to go overboard with holiday spending. The average holiday shopper is expected to spend around $1,226 in total, which is quite the splurge. We can all agree there's nothing like gifting the perfect present, whether it is high in monetary value or not. Seeing a smiling face after tearing through a mountain of wrapping paper is the goal, and finding that perfect gift for everyone on your list can sometimes be a life-changing challenge.
Tonka has reigned supreme for generations when it comes to kid's toys. This company believes that "a toy shouldn’t break just because a child plays with it," and these trucks are built tough. Tonka stands by the durability of their toys so much that they had an elephant stand on one in the 1970s. These toy trucks are definitely the real deal, making it a no-brainer that they have remained a fan-favorite for many years. Many children have received a Tonka truck or two under the tree, and no one is a bigger fan than a young man named Max, and his commitment to the brand has never faltered.
A Man Name Max Has A Special Love For Tonka Trucks
Twenty-five year old Max was born with Cerebral palsy, scoliosis, as well as a mental disability. His thirty-year-old sister — Cassie Gretschel — states that although he is a young adult, he has the mental capabilities of a five-year-old. Max also suffers from vision impairment and he requires a wheelchair to get around, but that hasn't stopped him from taking a liking to Tonka trucks. Max only has interest in one Tonka model in particular, and it has become harder and harder to find.
He Will Only Play With A Discontinued Model From 2000
Max will only play with the Tonka Police Hummer truck, which the company discontinued in the year 2000. To make things even more complicated, Max even has a color preference for this hard-to-find toy. "They used to be really easy to find because we would just get orange ones, and then I made the mistake of finding a blue one on eBay and now he only wants blue ones," Cassie Gretschel stated. Despite the difficulty of finding Max's favorite toy, his family surprises him with a new Tonka Police Hummer truck every Christmas.
Cassie Gretschel and her family always search eBay and the entire internet endlessly every holiday season to find Max a new truck, but this year they have come up short. "I never want to let him down," he sister admitted. Unwilling to give up, Gretschel decided to ask the internet for help. She made her plea on a popular site, in search of anyone that may have this specific Tonka model in their possession.
She Posted To Reddit In Search Of This Specific Tonka Model
Gretschel shared her brother's story on Reddit, calling it a "mission impossible" to find the blue Honka Hummer truck her brother gets for Christmas every single year. To her surprise, people from all over began to reach out. She couldn't believe the resourcefulness and thoughtfulness of people who never met Max in their entire life.
Gretschel's Reddit post quickly went viral, and people started to come forward with their Tonka findings. Many found models similar to what Max prefers, and they offered to ship them to Max's family for free. The most incredible response was the Tonka company, and they couldn't be happier to narrow down the family's search.
Some internet-goers shared the Reddit post with Tonka, and the company didn't hesitate to make the family's Christmas wish come true. "We currently have our team searching through our warehouse archives in the US and China for the 2000 Fire Rescue Hummer," the company stated in a Facebook post. Tonka took things one step further, and it is sure to make Max beyond happy on Christmas morning!
"We hope to be able to send them as many as we can find as well as a giant Tonka care package," Tonka stated. The company was thrilled to learn about Max's love for their toys, and they reiterated that this is what the Tonka brand is all about. "This is the exact reason we do what we do. We love hearing stories like this and we will do everything in our power to help," Tonka explained. The internet can hardly contain its excitement at this immense success.
"I'm not crying, you're crying," one Reddit user posted. Another Reddit user explained that Tonka deserves a pat on the back for going the extra mile for Max. "Tonka just earned a new fan. Gonna but the kids some Tonka toys this Xmass. How could I not support such a cool company after this," one Reddit user stated. No one could be happier than Max's older sister.
Cassie Gretschel Does Everything To Make Sure His Trucks Work
Gretschel explains that Max has piles of trucks, and they keep old ones around for spare parts and repairs. The 30-year-old artist has even created a silicone mold to recreate this truck, and she has tried to paint and accessorize Max's older models. She explains that Max "knows the difference," and only the original will do for this fan! Gretschel explains that this specific model is the best fit for her disabled brother.
Twenty-five-year-old Max plays with his favorite trucks for hours on end. His sister explains that the bright color and specific structure of this Tonka Hummer truck is perfect for her brother, and it's "pretty much the holy grail for a visually impaired kid who can crawl behind it without it going into the other room." Thankfully, this Christmas he won't have to go without his newest addition.
Cassie Gretschel is the first to admit she never expected her Reddit post to blow up like it did. She was simply "trying to find a lead," and it led to something much more amazing. This family will definitely go the extra mile for Max, no matter what it takes. Luckily, Tonka was willing to put all of the pieces together this year.
Although Tonka pulled through for the Gretschel family this year, they also reveal that Max's birthday in May is also an occasion for another Tonka gift. "We have at least one red one hidden in a closet for backup so we never miss a gift. It's like an all-year mission, but we haven't failed him yet," Cassie Gretschel revealed. Now that's some serious love and dedication.
This Christmas will be another joyous and happy occasion for the Gretschel family, thanks to strangers across the world. At the end of the day, Cassie Gretschel reveals that she doesn't treat her brother any differently. "People expect me to treat him differently but it's just like having a little brother who never grew up. I still treat him like my annoying little brother, but I never want to let him down," she stated. Merry Christmas, Max!