A 20-year-old Walmart employee in Oklahoma is making headlines for all the right reasons after he selflessly helped a foster mom in need. The woman took to social media in search of the kind cashier after he unexpectedly paid for her groceries, and the now the young man is being lauded for his generosity.
Nicholas Tate was nearing the end of his shift at the Newcastle Walmart on Friday evening, when a woman with a cart full of groceries and three rambunctious children made her way to his checkout line.
“She was coming through, and she had two little girls and a baby. The two little girls were just going crazy,” Tate told KFOR-TV. ”So, I looked at her and said ‘One of those days?’”
The woman was quick to apologize for what was about to transpire, explaining that she was currently fostering one of the children in her brood, and she was going to need to use WIC, part of a federal program that provides assistance for low-income families, to pay for part of her purchase. As it turns out, WIC only covers certain brands and certain items, and the baby formula in her cart was not approved.
“She had a good amount of items and most of them went through, but she apparently didn’t have the right formula and it wouldn’t go through,” Tate told CBS News. “We had to run a separate transaction for the rest.”
As Tate was ringing and re-ringing the items, the line at his station grew longer and customers began to complain. The mother, who has wished to remain nameless, became increasingly embarrassed by the situation and explained in a Facebook post that she was on the verge of tears.
“[There were] more customers, more grumbling and dirty looks as they moved to the other lane and I’m frustrated and trying not to cry,” she wrote. “At this point, a lady we know came up and asked why I was causing so many problems. I told her I was just failing as a foster mom because I can’t figure out WIC and almost burst into tears right there.”
All the while, Tate remained composed as he attempted the transaction again.
“We tried to run it again, and the WIC still didn’t work,” Tate said. “So, I just felt like God was telling me just to pay for it.”
With that, Tate took out his own credit card and ran it through the machine, which led the stunned mother to “burst into tears.”
“I don’t remember everything he said to me after that but I do know he told me that I wasn’t failing and that what we were doing was an amazing thing,” the woman said on Facebook.
Caught up in the emotion of the moment, the woman did not catch Tate’s name, but her social media post went viral and the two were ultimately able to reconnect.
“I have been able to get into contact with this young man… and thank him again as well as his mom and tell her how incredibly blessed we were by her son and thank her for raising such an exceptional young man,” she wrote in a follow up post. “Additionally multiple managers from WalMart have contacted me regarding this issue to figure out who it was, wanting to help make it right and help however they can. As well as someone from WIC.”
Tate, meanwhile, is humbled by the praise he has received for his random act of kindness and hopes this story will lead others to listen more closely to what God is telling them.
“When we feel like God is telling us to do something — how many times do we say no? In that moment, without a doubt, he was telling me to pay, telling me these people are in need, to help them,” Tate said. “It made my heart really happy. It confirmed that I’m doing what God wants me to do.”
(H/T: CBS News)