Grocery Store’s “Pay It Forward” Event Spreads Holiday Cheer with Random Kindness

Grocery Store’s “Pay It Forward” Event Spreads Holiday Cheer with Random Kindness

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Very Merry Meijer Event Screenshot WPBN-WGTU

A random act of kindness from a little girl saved Thanksgiving for a Michigan couple — one of hundreds of acts triggered by a grocery chain giveaway.

Shelly Wilson and boyfriend Ken Ridenour were planning their first large family gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday when they found out their freezer had died and the holiday food they’d been stockpiling had gone bad.

They headed out to the grocery store to restock, but money was tight. When they arrived at a Meijer store — one of 223 across the Midwest, they ran into festivities for the annual “Very Merry Meijer Event” at their checkout lane.

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Every year, each store chooses one customer with a lot of groceries and pays for every item in their cart. The store also gives them a $100 gift card, and asks them to “pay if forward” — to do a good deed with the gift card for someone else.

Shelly and Ken watched store managers surprise a young family and hand them the gift card. The little girl immediately pointed to the Lansing couple and insisted they have the card.

“I don’t know what else to say,” Shelly told WILX News. “I’m getting choked up.”

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“Good things happen,” Ken chimed in.

More good things were happening 160 miles away with another Very Merry Meijer event.

Merry Meijer-check-out-cheer-released

Bekki Moser was in a Ludington, Michigan checkout lane when she was tapped as the winner of that store’s free groceries. The store picked up her $250 bill and handed her another of the $100 gift cards.

She spotted a frustrated mother, dealing with two kids and visibly worn out from a day of shopping.

Moser handed her the gift card without telling her how valuable it was and told the mother there should be enough left on it to buy each kid a treat. She didn’t stick around to see the surprise —or even get the woman’s name.

“It’s a snowball effect,” Moser told WPBN News. “If you change one person’s mindset, and then they go forward and change someone else’s, one person really can do more than what they think they can do.

(WATCH the video below by WILX News) — Image credit: Meijer

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