, Gloucester, MA


October 24, 2013

Letter: Random act of kindness saves the day

To the editor:

As a “bagger” at my present job at Gloucester’s Market Basket, I sometimes have to deal with demanding customers.

But I witnessed an event that more than made up for them, and, frankly, left me somewhat misty-eyed.

Evidently, there was a glitch in the state-funded food stamp program on a recent Saturday, and throughout the day there were periodic broadcasts announcing that EBT cards and payments could not be processed.

Many in this community, myself included, have been affected by recent economic turndowns and the partial government shutdown. I was bagging a cartful of groceries for an older couple when they pulled out their EBT card to pay. When informed that the system was down, they sadly realized, without complaint, that they had to abandon what appeared to be their next week’s sustenance.

They were walking away when an anonymous lady — and a lady she indeed proved herself to be — approached the cashier and said, “I’ll take care of their bill for them.” She paid for their groceries without blinking an eye or expecting any accolades. She quickly thereafter left without giving her name. The couple were stunned, as were all who witnessed this lady’s act of generosity.

I overheard the couple say that they wished they’d gotten the kind lady’s name so they could at least send her a note of thanks. She was close by and I pointed her out to the gracious couple. They were within earshot and I overheard their conversation, to wit: the kind lady wished to remain anonymous and required no reward other than the remark: “Just pay it forward.”

I hope that this kind lady gets to read these words in the Times with a smile on her face. And may her “paying-it-forward” come circle ten-fold.



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