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Woman pays $5 for stranger's food, a year later, she receives a heartwarming message

When the stranger was in need, the woman stepped up and paid for his meal.

Woman pays $5 for stranger's food, a year later, she receives a heartwarming message
Image source: Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

Life is a beautiful journey, but it can also be a profound struggle, leaving many feeling like weary travelers. In such moments, random acts of kindness can have a tremendous impact. For one person, their generous act bounced back as a heartfelt text message.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | karolina grabowska
Representative Image Source: Pexels | karolina grabowska

A Reddit user, u/rare_cranberry_9454, shared a heartwarming story in the r/MadeMeSmile community. In the post, she revealed, “A year ago someone asked for food on freecycle.” Freecycle is a non-profit movement of around 9 million people who give and receive stuff for free in their towns. “I sent the equivalent of $5. Today, a year later, I get this,” she added.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | polina zimmerman
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Polina Zimmerman

Below the caption, the woman shared a screenshot of a text exchange. It was a conversation between her and the stranger, an assistant part-time lecturer. “Good morning, I am truly grateful for what you did for me,” the stranger had texted. “Today I am an honors graduate and assistant part-time lecturer even if my income is still low. I’m here to tell you, when I’m alright, I will never forget you."

Image source: Reddit | u/Rare_Cranberry_9454
Image source: Reddit | u/Rare_Cranberry_9454

When the woman received the text, she was going through a roller-coaster of emotions. The simple yet heartwarming message moved her to tears. “Oh my goodness, that brought me to tears. I don’t even know what I did,” she texted back. The stranger responded, “You might have thought it was a small amount but to me, there was a huge difference from that day.” Hundreds praised the woman in the comments section, sharing their own stories of kindness. Several others shared their experiences when they felt touched by someone’s kind gesture or a supportive hand in times of need.

u/jobex reminisced about a time years ago when a bakery gifted them a pack of cookies during a financially tough time as a student. “I've never forgotten their kindness. You do remember small acts of kindness when you're in need,” they commented. u/Wildrabbitz said, “Sometimes we have no idea how a small gesture can have such a big impact on someone's life. The fact that she remembered your gesture and wanted to follow up with you to thank you is genuinely beautiful.” To this, u/rare_cranberry_9454 replied, “I know right? I don’t even remember that money and he came back a year later to thank me. Got me bawling!”

Image Source: Reddit | u/shazey89
Image Source: Reddit |u/shazey89

“A small act of kindness for you can make a big difference for someone else,” proclaimed u/wrkrsrvltn. Another Redditor, u/elvensnowfae, shared an experience when they had overdosed as a teen and had to stay overnight in an ICU, “There was a birthday party for someone on staff that day, a nurse snuck me some pizza and cake that same night. So sweet. Over 20 years later I still remember that. Thank you for helping someone OP.”

Image Source: Reddit | u/svh01973
Image Source: Reddit | u/svh01973

u/I_drive_a_shitbox was reminded of an anecdote, “My grandparents always used to say ‘today you, tomorrow me’ about helping people. Never know when you could be in that same scenario. Life is a trip.”

Image Source: Reddit | u/biggabenne
Image Source: Reddit | u/biggabenne

u/_sasquatchy recollected a moment from 1989 when a young man bought them a bag of burgers and fries in Seattle, “I was barely 16 and had left home due to abusive parents. I was so ashamed at the moment that I wasn't able to make eye contact with them, but I have never forgotten their act of kindness in a world that didn’t feel kind at all.”

Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 10, 2024. It has since been updated.

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