About six years ago I was broke, trying to go to work full-time to afford rent, etc. while I was in college. It was close to the holidays and I stopped by GameStop on my way back home from school to cancel my game reserves. When I exited the store, a woman in a van parked outside started calling me over. Even though it was broad daylight I was shy about it and retained some distance when I walked over. She started begging me to go inside and purchase a Kinect for her as her son’s Christmas gift. She explained it was painful for her to walk and that she called ahead but the employee wasn’t willing to meet her at the door, as they were the only one there and couldn’t step foot outside. I wasn’t sure how much they were so she gave me about $100 cash AND her credit card and asked me to use one or the other.
I agreed and walked back in, bought the Kinect with her card (it was over $100 at the time) and started back out before it occurred to me this woman trusted me, a complete stranger, with her cash and credit card. What was to stop me from lying about the payment method and just pocketing her cash? Or from using her card in a separate transaction to buy a bunch of crap I wanted? She couldn’t know I wasn’t a thief, how could she possibly put so much faith in someone?
I got back out and handed her the cash back, explaining I had to put it on her card and handed over the game and her credit card. I started walking away but she called me back and explained the reason it was painful for her to walk is that she had MS. She then said she asked me to do it because I had an “angelic face” (I don’t know about that, I think I have a mischievous one, lol) and that I seemed like someone who would be a friend to someone in need. Just from glancing at me. She handed me $10 and refused to take it back, saying instead “Merry Christmas!” and driving away.
She had no idea how much of a difference even $10 made. I was able to buy a few cheap groceries for the week (ramen and frozen veggies were a staple at the time) and it really made a crummy time in my life a little bit better. She may think I helped her, but I truly feel like the one who was being gifted something amazing. I hope she reads this so she knows just how much of an impact she made! – Whitney