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Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time.

helping hand

I was at Wal-Mart tonight, and got in line behind a woman getting some feminine products, some chocolate, and water, but she didn't have all the cash she needed so she put the water back.. then the chocolate… and I was like “Woah, nooo wait don't put that back. It's chocolate. I have some cash!” It was funny because I NEVER have cash!

I have been saving a $5 bill in my wallet all week for a mocha tonight (my one guilty pleasure!). I took my trip to Wal-Mart, hurrying through because I knew I'd get my mocha frappe afterwards. I was really excited… I could taste the mocha…. drool.

But when this woman didn't have enough cash, I didn't even think twice about handing it to her. She tried to hand me the change (she was only like $1.50 short) and I said no. Even though it was my last $5, and it was for my mocha, her needs definitely trumped mine at that point. She was so happy, she couldn't stop saying thank you.

The woman told me I was “so nice”, and she was just so thankful. It made me think, wouldn't everyone have done the same thing? I don't see it as so nice, I see it as something you just DO. I mean maybe not everyone but I would think most people, seeing a woman struggle to buy feminine hygiene products, would have a little tug at their heart strings and give her the extra cash if they had it. I know not everyone has the cash, and like I said normally I don't, but it got me thinking… so I wanted to ask you guys!

I'm really glad the woman needed the money. I'm happy I chose that line, when there were shorter ones. I'm thankful we were put there at the same time, so I could help her. Best of all,

The woman saved me 500 calories!

So, that made it totally worth it, right? :)

If the person in front of you needed a few bucks to finish their transaction, and you had the money, would you give it?

Would it depend on what they were buying?

I read a story on Cafemom the other day where a woman was going to help another person with her groceries, but then she saw her cart was full of junk food so she changed her mind.

So if you would help, does it depend on what was in the cart?

I can honestly say I wouldn't buy booze or cigarettes, but other than that I would definitely help out if I had the money.

Would you?

Sadie Mae is an LGBT Lifestyle blogger living in Arizona with her three daughters. Her passions including traveling, healthy living, and teaching women how to work from home so they can spend more time with their kids.


  1. If I had the spare cash, you bet I would! Who cares what is in her cart? If I have the cash, I’ll throw it her way. I’ve had cashiers spot me a few bucks before when I was low, so why not pay it forward? Good for you! <3
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  2. I also read that story on cafemom, and it made me really sad! Good for you, I bet you felt soo good when you walked out of there!! And for the story on cafemom- if there is a woman trying to buy food for her hungry CHILDREN, I don’t care what is in that cart- those kids are eating tonight!

  3. I would too, and I have. Years ago I remember struggling myself with only two kids at the time but one was a new baby. I was on my way to work and had enough money for my diet coke that I got every morning and $5 to buy a cheap pack of diapers on my way home after work. I was at the store and in line behind a man that was counting change to pay for gas because he ran out of gas down the road. When I pulled the money out of my pocket for my soda the $5 bill fell on the floor. The man picked it up and my first thought was he wasn’t going to give it back, but he quickly handed me the bill. Without even thinking I told him to keep it and get some gas. After I checked out and was on my way to work I was so worried about how in the world I was going to get diapers. When I got home that evening there was an unexpected check for $600 in the mail. This was back when the government was sending out relief checks. Boy was it a relief!! I truly believe that what you give you get back 100 fold and sometimes more :)

    1. Wow, that’s karma for you, real fast too! :)

  4. i was in line behind an older lady a few months ago and she was $1 short to pay for her order. I handed her a dollar and she was so thrilled. She said she had change in her car and would go get it for me. I refused and when I walked out I saw her again. She thanked me and I felt so good the rest of the day and it only took a dollar!

    1. Isn’t that an amazing feeling? Nothing beats it!

  5. An elderly woman was in line ahead of me yesterday and her card kept getting declined. She was very confused and then asked the cashier if she could put some stuff back. I gave the cashier my card and told the woman not to put anything back. She was pretty stunned. I told my wife about it when I got home and the first thing she said was, you always do that. My response was that the woman could just as easily have been me and I would hope someone would do the same. Treat people the way you wish to be treated!

  6. Tell you my story about going in to Price Chopper. I had about some coins in my purse, some woman came by me I thought she was nice asked me for some change, than asking everyone else for 50 cents come to find out after I had given her the coins I went to check out when I seen her checking out she had a 6 pack of beer. People If you can’t afford your liquor, Don’t drink! If your on assistance you can’t get liqour with your food stamps or cards,what I have heard from others. I am not on assistance but what I can tell you this is wrong. If I had known she was getting beer I would of said no!
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  7. I live in a suburb of a city that isn’t doing so well. I used to work downtown, and I’d walk by homeless people every day. Some of them would beg for money to buy food. A coworker of mine suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to give them money, because they’d most likely use it to buy booze or drugs. He told me what he would do is offer to buy them a meal. There were several restaurants within walking distance from where we worked, so this was feasible. He said he was always prepared to make good on his offer (and I believe him) but no one ever took him up on it.

    A few years later, I was working for a different place that was also downtown. Directly across the street was a sub shop that I would often frequent for lunch. One day as I was walking toward the entrance to the shop, a homeless man called out to me asking for money. “I’m hungry,” he said.

    I turned to him and said, “I won’t give you money. If you’re really hungry, though, I’ll buy you lunch. I was headed to the sub shop to buy my own lunch, so I can grab you something to eat too. What do you want?”

    He stared blankly at me. So I continued, “C’mon, you said you were hungry. You want a sub? I’ll buy you any kind of sub you want.”

    I was fully expecting him to reject my offer. Instead, he said, “Can I have roast beef?”

    I said, “Yeah, sure. Six inch or foot-long?”

    Anyway, to make a long story short I took his order as though I were working the counter at the sub shop, down to the last detail: what kind of toppings he wanted, what kind of condiments, what he wanted for a side dish, and what kind of beverage he wanted. He seemed a little surprised that I was going to such effort to accommodate him. The way I saw it, I offered to buy him lunch, so I figured I’d do this right.

    I proceeded to buy my lunch and his. When I exited the shop I was half afraid he’d be gone, but I found him waiting right where he’d been. I gave him his lunch and he thanked me. I proceeded to cross the street to get back to work. I looked back and saw him eating what I bought for him, and I thought, “OK, that’s cool.”

    I remembered the old adage, “GIve a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for life.” But y’know, you’re not always in a position to teach someone to fish. If I fed that guy for a day, though, that’s better than nothing. That’s one more day he survived, and one more chance that maybe he’d get the help he needed to get off the streets.

    I don’t work in the city anymore, and I rarely encounter beggars any more. When I do, my policy still stands. I won’t give them money, but if they tell me they’re hungry I will offer them a meal.

    1. Bill, that is a great story. I bet you made that man’s day – or week! I used to give money to homeless folks until I saw too many fakers – it pissed me off, to be honest, because I used to BE homeless and I NEVER begged for money. But then I thought about it and realized that while SOME are faking, most aren’t… and now I carry around gallon sized zip lock bags with some toothpaste, a toothbrush, other hygiene items, and when I can I have food like apples, granola bars, etc – things that stick to your ribs. I know it’s not a lot but I like to think it’s the thought that counts.

      1. Sadie — you were homeless once? WOW. I can’t think of anything rougher than that. Well, I can, but it’s the kind of stuff that happens in countries ravaged by war or famine. In this country, being homeless is about as desperate as it gets. The fact that you’ve overcome it and have the things you have — like a significant other (it sucks that in your state she can’t be your spouse; in fact it more than sucks, it’s an injustice) and beautiful children — is a real victory for you.

        I wouldn’t call what you do for homeless people “not a lot.” Most people, myself included, aren’t that cognizant of what it means to be homeless. Most of us just pass them by. The fact that you’re so conscious of the problem, and carry around things to give to the homeless when you encounter them, is a very beautiful thing. I guess having experienced homelessness makes you more aware than most of us.

        You know, I realize you asked a very specific question and I’ve kind of strayed off topic. I’ll try to stay more on point in the future. :)

        1. I don’t mind you straying off topic, as I always enjoy your responses! :) I don’t think I would be as aware if I had never been homeless, and I realize it’s taught me a lot along the lines of compassion. <3

  8. I was a cashier at Pick N’ Save (a grocery store) for 9 months. And over that 9 months, despite it being against the corporate rules, I pulled out my debit card and have spent over $100.00 on people In need. It’s a lot different, too, when you’re on the other side. The situation varies, but I feel I’m a pretty good judge of people. In turn, many of the people I bought for came back and bought me a water or a snack for my break.

    My most memorable moment was this last mothers day. A kid came in with (presumably his sister) to buy flowers for their mom. They wanted to give her flowers, a card, and some chocolate. They were like 6-7 short of total. Basically without thinking I pulled out my card and covered it for them.

    1. Andrew, that is amazing. You are so sweet, I wish everyone was like that!!

  9. I make it a habit that if I am “moved” (whatever that means) to give to someone, I don’t worry about whether it will go to booze or drugs. As a nurse, now, I realize that there are people in such dire straights that they may “need” drugs or booze more than food at the moment. I was taught to give without strings, and without expecting anything in return. To tell someone only to buy food is being judgmental, I think.

    That said, I once gave a guy my shoes, and had to drive home (220 miles) in my barefeet!

    1. I don’t think it’s judgmental to not support a suicide. My father died from booze and drugs, and I feel like everyone who bought booze and drugs for him contributed to his death in a small way.

  10. I love reading all these real life stories! So much better than the evening news on tv! Someone paid cash for a box of my weight loss tea, and so I had cash, which I rarely ever carry. I found out about someone who’d taken in her grandson, when his mom couldn’t care for him anymore, and it was stretching her budget really tight. He was about to have to give up his martial arts classes, right before he was about to get his belt. The next months fee was almost exactly what I had, and I threw in my last 10 bucks for gas money. I would have never told anyone about that, but it made me feel so good to read all your stories, I figured I should add mine too.
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    1. Jeanne, that is so awesome! Isn’t it neat how perfectly things work out sometimes?

  11. People can be prejudice if they want. It only reveals their ignorance

  12. I’m like you. I very rarely have cash on me. Given what she was buying though, I would absolutely have helped her out! Girly products, chocolate and water go hand in hand. You can’t buy one without the other (HAHA!). If I didn’t have the cash, I would use my debit card. I have done that before. A mother was in a dollar store and had picked up food for her kids, who were all over the place and being whiny. She was stressed and realized she had forgotten her wallet. I paid for her food. People are usually appreciative when you do things like that and you simply tell them to “pay it forward”. It makes the world a better place :)
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    1. That’s awesome. I didn’t even think about the possibility of using a debit card. I could’ve just added it to my order. Good to know for future reference!

  13. It’s nice to hear stories like this-people are too quick to judge and look the other way these days-good for you,I love it when people embrace one another-This world we live in today needs more people like you. God bless.

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