15. The Day That Became Unforgettable
When one woman went to her local Walmart to do her normal shopping, she didn’t expect her day to take a drastic change. She was already down on her luck and all she wanted to do was help someone in need…
14. Not So Normal Day
It was a cold December morning in Florida. Melissa Whittington and her stepson Phillip were on their way to a grocery store, something they did often, so they expected nothing out of the ordinary. But soon, the trip took a totally unexpected turn. She parked her car and headed straight into the store, but she noticed something as she approached the entrance.
13. The Man No One Could Ever Doubt
There was an elderly man, named Bill, almost invisible to the rest of the people, including Melissa. He looked like he was in his late 80s, fragile and barely caring his groceries. When Melissa noticed him struggling, she knew what to do–but little did he know, he had a trick up his sleeve.
12. Call for Melissa
Just when Melissa and Phillip were about to enter the store, Bill’s shopping bags broke and the grocery spilt onto the sidewalk. His first expression was of shock, and he looked helpless and surprised. He bent down to collect all of his groceries, but he obviously needed some help, or so it looked.
If there ever were a great tactic to get people’s attention, this was it, and Melissa was the first one to notice him.
11. To Help or Not
The moment she saw Bill spilling the groceries, a rush of emotion overcame Melissa. There was something so weak, so helpless about that man that she just couldn’t control the urge to help him. She immediately rushed towards him to see if he was okay. She was now picking up each item carefully and putting it back into the one bag that wasn’t broken. Bill looked overwhelmed to see her act of kindness and how readily she came forward to help.
Little did Melissa know, this action would change her entire day.
10. Start Of The Conversation
The two got to talking and she found herself fairly comfortable discussing her stepson Phillip’s ninth birthday, which is what she was at the store for. She couldn’t gift him anything special so just decided to get his broken glasses fixed, which she felt bad about because after all, it was his birthday. “Believe it or not, I don’t have one present for his birthday,” she expressed to the World War II veteran.
And then all of a sudden, Bill surprised everyone.
9. Unexpected Offerings
Bill genuinely felt compassion for Melissa and Phillip as she expressed how this year had been hard on the family. He expressed to Melissa that he wanted to make Phillip’s birthday special in his own way. He wanted to get him something special, and she insisted that she couldn’t accept such a generous offer, but he wouldn’t give up.
However, this random act of kindness turned out to be a social media sensation.
8. Spreading Cheer
Melissa realized that the situation seemed too good to be true, and she wondered why the old man was being so kind for such a small gesture. It turns out, the old man had been helping many people out that day, and was apart of a secret operation…
As you might have guessed by now, the whole dropping of grocery bags by Bill was not accidental. This was a complete and well thought-out plot, as Bill was apart of the North Port Police Department “Operation Santa Surprise”. Bill was a decoy, and anyone that helped him would receive a gift from the nearby policemen.
6. Helping Communities
The officers, sitting in their cruisers were watching the whole scene through the cameras set up in Walmart’s parking lot.”It could have been a $5 gift or a couple-hundred-dollar gift and to just be able to help somebody out, it’s just the deed of recognizing good behavior or a good deed,” said Officer Joseph Fussell.
5. Unexpected Recognition Of A Kind Act
The police department decided to spread holiday cheer by reinforcing the act of kindness. The department ended up helping 15 local families, creating a solid relationship with the community. Melissa opened up about how she felt right after it happened, “To have cops come out and not give you a ticket or pull you over, they are always there to help you. They are always there to help you and I think it shows the kids as they grow up these officers are here to help you.”
4. Good Ending To A Tough Year
Melissa was deeply moved by the situation and admitted that it had been a tough year for her family. They were facing a financial crisis and Melissa broke down in tears as she talked about it. While Bill consoled Melissa, a team inside Walmart was wrapping surprise gifts for Melissa and Phillip. What were the gifts?
3. Birthday Couldn’t Have Been Better
In a few moments, a team came out of the store carrying all sorts of beautiful gifts. Both mother and son couldn’t believe their eyes. Phillip received a special birthday present- a brand new scooter! Everyone involved believes that this is the perfect way to inspire people to be nicer to one another.
2. Inspiring Good Deeds
Officer Fussell said why he thinks this operation is important “Pay it forward and create a ripple effect. You just did a good deed. Do it nice to someone else and see how many people we can affect.”
1. Because Kindness Can Do Wonders
With all of the tension between police departments and their communities all around the US, it’s nice to see a situation like this. Perhaps next time you’ll think twice about holding the door for someone, even if there is no gift involved.