Over a dozen families that went to Food-4-Less in Joplin on Sunday got their groceries paid for by a complete stranger with no explanation other than "God Bless" or "have a nice day".
Two men from the group "Fill My Basket" out of Oklahoma City were visiting family in Joplin over the holiday weekend and decided to spread their message of love and giving to complete strangers by paying for their whole grocery bill, then walking briskly away.
"We come in and actually just pay for groceries without anyone knowing just to help inspire other communities to do what we do and to be kind and to pay it forward," Disty Simpson, one of the directors of Fill My Basket said.
Simpson and co-director Matthew Danuser had their families come out to help this round. They typically perform this act of kindness once every two weeks at supermarkets in the OKC metro area.
"Stop what you're doing and help someone. That's what the movement is all about, paying it forward, so if we can get that into the minds of everybody to do something nice for everybody and that's what's happening. So we feel blessed to be a part of it," Danuser said.
Several of the people who got their groceries paid for opted to pay for the next person or leave their change.
"I think once something nice like that happens to you, it's nice to pass it along," Carlye Junge of Joplin said.
Junge was arguing with her grandmother in the checkout line over who would pay for the groceries when Danuser came up and settled it.
"I was gonna pay, I was like, 'Grammy, let me pay for the groceries', and she was like 'no no no I'll pay it' and this guy was like 'I'll just pay for the groceries that way y'all win and you don't have to argue," Junge said.
People's reactions range from shock or embarrassment to happy tears. One woman just repeated "that was creepy" following Simpson's maneuver of leaving cash and telling her to "have a nice day". Others realize how much of a blessing the "Fill My Basket" crew bring.
"We wasn't expecting that at all, that was actually a great blessing from them and especially since we're retired and on social security anyway but we still try to help people this time of year too so it was a real blessing," Jerry Cole of Grove said.
One Joplin woman, Debbie Pugh, ran after Simpson and hugged him, thanking him.
"I thought it was so awesome of him," Pugh said.
For more information, visit: www.fillmybasket.org.
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