Target’s latest advertisement for their children’s clothing line Cat & Jack brought Jamie Sumner to tears as she walked through the aisles during her routine trip. You see, Jamie has three beautiful children, one of whom is six-year-old Charlie who uses a wheelchair due to his cerebral palsy diagnoses. It was Charlie who noticed the ad that features a boy just around his age modeling the line with his walker—a reality that's under-represented everywhere the family goes.
Sumner is no stranger to the parenting sphere, besides having three little ones of her own, she is the author of the book UNBOUND, which discusses the ups and downs of navigating motherhood. That’s why she understands the gravity of how important Target’s efforts toward inclusivity are and she is using her platform to share the incredible experience she had with her son that day.
Sumner took to social media to share the image of the advertisement of the little boy dressed in a trendy outfit with a huge smile on his face. Her caption reads, “Thank you @target for this. It made my son smile and clap and sign for ‘more’ and so you have my whole heart. ❤️ Keep it coming. #specialneeds #specialkids”
Like any loving mother would, Sumner exerts a lot of effort to ensure Charlie is included wherever he goes and that day she couldn't help but feel “a surreal sense of relief” that at Target, he already was.
“I watched Charlie watch the sign. I watched the recognition of kin for kin, like for like. And it was beautiful,” Sumner wrote in a post for herviewfromhome.com. “Yes, I started crying in the aisle. Yes, other people stopped and looked. And then they looked at the sign and they smiled. It was such an unexpected moment of connectedness among strangers in the middle of Target in the middle of a week on an otherwise ordinary day.”
For the remainder of their Target trip, Sumner passed the sign three more times just so Charlie would see and wave with excitement.
“It sounds like such a small thing, but for us, it is a nod from the world that we are being acknowledged and supported. It’s just the beginning, I hope,” she continued to write. “I hope more disabilities and special needs pop up in clothing ads and commercials and on mainstream TV. But for now, I am so grateful to Target for making a start and for making us feel at home.”
Thanks to Target, real change is being made and we can only hope other big-name retailers follow in their path because change is long overdue.