A mother-of-two was moved to tears after a stranger paid nearly $200 towards her Thanksgiving groceries.
Danielle Vinson, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was at the grocery store checkout with her nine-month-old baby when she realized that she had forgotten her wallet.
When the 29-year-old travel worker went to call her husband Tim, 28, to ask him to bring her wallet, the woman behind her insisted on paying the full total, $178.86, as she wished her a ‘merry Christmas’.
Generous: Mother-of-two Danielle Vinson, 29, pictured with sons Julian, four, and Benjamin, nine months, was moved to tears when a stranger offered to pay her $178.86 bill
Accident: The travel worker had forgotten her wallet at home when she went to the shop before Thanksgiving
She refused to take money from Danielle or to give her details so that she could pay her back for her groceries that included baby food, meat from the delicatessen, milk and vegetables.
‘When she wouldn’t give me her number I started crying and she said: “It’s OK, have a happy holidays,” Danielle told Daily Mail Online. ‘She just kept saying merry Christmas.’
Danielle said she had been having a bad day when she went to the store with her youngest son Benjamin on Monday in preparation for a Thanksgiving celebration with friends the following day.
After talking to the woman behind her at the checkout, she reached for her wallet but it was not there.
She said: ‘I turned around to grab my wallet after the cashier started ringing everything up. I called my husband and the woman behind just chimed in, she was playing with the baby…
‘She said “don’t worry about it” and I said no. I wasn’t just buying milk and eggs, I was buying our groceries for a week or two.’
Random act of kindness: When she went to call her husband Tim, 28, to bring her wallet, the woman behind her in the cashier line insisted on paying her full bill
Thankful: When Danielle, pictured with her family, tried to pay the stranger back but she refused, repeatedly wishing her a ‘merry Christmas’
Danielle said the interaction left such an impact on her that she will never forget it.
‘I was so affected by her gesture and every Thanksgiving is going to be so special because I will remember how she was so generous and kind,’ she said.
She shared her story online in the hope that it would reach her generous benefactor.
But the random act of kindness has inspired thousands – attracting more than 34,000 likes on the Love What Matters Facebook page.
Danielle said she hopes it will inspire and remind people the power of kindness.
‘Everything’s just so crazy and grim, it’s important to just go into your community and spread kindness…
‘One small little gesture can move mountains in someone’s life. It’s something I personally enjoy doing but I don’t like to talk about it much.’