These parents turned part of their home into a Blockbuster for their autistic son
While Blockbuster going out of business is certainly sad, we never thought a story about the movie rental chain would bring us to tears. But these parents who created a Blockbuster for their autistic son is so wonderfully moving, that you may cry too.
Back in 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, but a few of the video stores still exist. When one of those remaining Blockbuster stores (in Sharyland, Texas) closed its doors on April 23rd, Rosa and Hector Zuniga knew it would devastating for their 20-year-old son with autism, Hector Andres Zuniga. Hector Andres had been going to Blockbuster since he was 13 and would visit twice a week to rent some of his favorite videos, like episodes of Barney, Rugrats, and Blue’s Clues.
So when his parents found out the store was closing, they did something amazing — they created their own mini-Blockbuster in their home for Hector Andres.
As they explained to Huffington Post, the Blockbuster started selling its inventory before they shut down, so the family was able to secretly buy DVDs, signage, and a display rack. The employees would set aside items for the Zunigas, pieces that they knew Hector would like as well.
"Those employees really came out to bat for my son," Hector Sr. told Huffington Post. "They really paid attention and did a hell of a job."
Going to Blockbuster was part of Hector Andres’ routine and though he is mostly nonverbal, he would speak one of the few words he does say, “Barney,” at the sight of a Blockbuster. So to help him deal with the closing, the family took Hector Andres to the store one last time so he’d understand that the Blockbuster was really going to be gone.
Then, they took him home and presented him with the gift of his very own Blockbuster. “It’s hard for my son to express emotions,” Hector Sr. said. “But when he saw the room, his eyes were as big as saucers.”
Hector’s younger brother Javier thankfully documented when Hector Andres first saw his new Blockbuster room and the photos will warm your heart.
With the help of the team at Blockbuster, the Zuniga family was able to give Hector Andres a part of something that he loved. And it’s a reminder that acts of kindness can mean the world to someone.