I was in Walmart and saw a rack of men's shirts for $3.00. I walked over and joined a man who was also looking at them. I greeted him and asked, "Do you have all the shirts you would like? Because I'll probably buy the rest. Feel free to take as many as you want."
He replied, "I have two and that's plenty," and asked me why I was buying the shirts. I gave him my usual ElderTLC "elevator pitch" which I give over and over knowing the typical response is "Good for you," or "Bless your heart."
But this time was different. This kind man reached into his pocket and gave me $20, and said, "Let me help you buy the shirts." I was speechless and felt myself getting emotional.
I choked out, "I can't tell you how much this means to me. This is so kind of you. May I have your name and address so we can send you a receipt?"
He replied by reaching into his pocket and giving me another $20. "No, I just like what you are doing and want to help. I don't need a receipt."
I pulled myself together and said, "Let me tell you a little bit more about our nonprofit so you understand how your donation will be used." I quickly told him about how ElderTLC was an all-volunteer organization, that we shop year-round for clearance sales, our growth of 450% since 2016, and that we gave away over 4700 gifts in 2020.
When I finished, he told me that he has been very fortunate in his life and he likes to share his fortune with others. He then pulled out a $100 bill and handed it to me, "Please take this and continue your good works." At this point, I tried to give him back his original $40 donation thinking that he meant to give me $100 total. He smiled, "Keep it all," and he turned to continue his shopping.
To the kind Gentleman at Walmart,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your donation was meaningful in so many ways. Not only because you will provide gifts to our seniors, but your kindness will also bring joy to our volunteers working so hard trying to acquire donations and inventory for our 2021 Holiday Shop. You lifted our spirits during a difficult year and we are so appreciative.