On Saturday before Easter, I was at Hannaford Elm Plaza grocery shopping early. I realized after my cart was filled that I forgot my wallet at home. The kind Hannaford staff put my cart in the cooler and I raced home to get my wallet. Upon returning, I discovered some generous kind soul, a stranger, bought me a $100 gift card, saying, “I’ve been there. I want to pay it forward.”

Overwhelmed, I just stood there for a bit. Then, I decided I would donate it to the local food bank and look for opportunities to pay it forward. I posted the story on social media to spread the joy and asked if anyone knew an individual I could give it to directly. A friend called and said she heard of a woman just diagnosed with breast cancer who has two small children and is out of work, and my friend would match my $100 donation. We did that, and I also wanted to honor my commitment to the food bank.

This story must be shouted from the rooftops! I’d like to thank that kind and compassionate stranger and tell her she made a difference in my life, and many many others, and caused a ripple effect of generosity.

Allyson Schade Karter


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