Viral: Stranger Buys Mom of 4 a Pumpkin Spice Candle at Target for the Sweetest Reason: ‘I Was Tearing Up’

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When busy mom of four Erin Bennett went on a Target run on Wednesday, it started out like any other trip.

Viral: Stranger Buys Mom of 4 a Pumpkin Spice Candle at Target for the Sweetest Reason: ‘I Was Tearing Up’

Bennett, who lives in Bristow, Virginia, had her two youngest kids with her as she hurriedly filled her cart with groceries and other necessities. Along the way, she grabbed a pumpkin spice candle and some makeup for herself, but when she got to the checkout counter, she realized she was over her budget, so she asked the cashier if she could put the items back.

“I’ll always pass by the beauty section and grab something and hope that I budgeted and the coupons give me a little extra so I can buy what I wanted to get for myself,” Bennett, 29, tells PEOPLE. “But I usually end up putting it back.”

That’s when a kind stranger who was in line behind her quickly offered to buy the discarded items for her.
“We had been chatting in the line. I had told him I felt so bad he only had one item because I had a cart full of kids and groceries,” says Bennett, a registered nurse who has been a stay-at-home mom for the past few years. “But he didn’t mind.”

The man, whom Bennett describes as an older gentleman with grey hair and a grey beard, immediately told her that he wanted to buy the items for her.
“I said I couldn’t let him do that, but he insisted and said, ‘You deserve something for yourself.’ Then the cashier grabbed the items and let the man swipe his card before I could say no again,” she says.

As Bennett, whose kids range in age from 9 years old to 5 months old, turned to leave, she says she started tearing up and told the man: “I’m going to give you a squishy baby hug. Is that okay?”
“I had my baby strapped to my chest and I gave him a quick hug,” she adds.

What the stranger didn’t know was that Bennett has postpartum depression, and she uses scent as a way to boost her mood, so the pumpkin spice candle was extra special for her.
“I was diagnosed with postpartum when my second child was 7 months old,” she says. “My doctor mentioned making sure to take a little time for myself to do something nice for myself — like making sure I get my shower every evening, alone without a kid with me. And I like to use scent, I’m huge on scent, it totally boosts my mood.”

Later that evening, she told her husband Ernie about her experience and then took to Facebook to share the sweet story in hopes of finding the man to give him even more recognition.

“To the man in line behind me at the Gainesville Target, who saw that after hitting my grocery budget limit I decided to put back my Pumpkin Spice candle and the makeup I had picked out,” she wrote. “You didn’t know that I always save my stuff for last and usually end up putting it back. You didn’t know that the two fussy kids I had with me, were only two out of four. You didn’t know that I have postpartum depression from the youngest baby and that I use scent as a way to boost my mood.”

“You saw me as human, not just the mom in front of you that was distracted and going way too slow. You heard me to say that I’d like to put those items back and you said you were getting them. You didn’t take no for an answer,” she continued. “You told me I deserved it when I started to tear up.

“You Sir, are the good in the world. You made my day, probably my week, and I WILL pay it forward. Thank you so much for your kind heart and words.”
Bennett’s post has since gone viral, with almost 8,000 likes and 3,000 shares.

“I haven’t found him,” she tells PEOPLE. “He either doesn’t have social media or he’s actually an angel.”

…someone needs to find a way…

Viral: 6-Year-Old Watches Classmates Get ‘Lunch Shamed’ Next Move Leaves Parents Applauding

It is always embarrassing to get in line at the grocery store, only to realize you have left your wallet in the car. For children who do not have the means to pay for their school lunches, it is even worse, sometimes leaving them feeling ashamed by their families’ financial situation.

It is also heartbreaking that children who cannot pay for their lunches are sometimes denied lunch and therefore go hungry that day. However, food is not free, and ultimately someone needs to find a way to pay for it.

Recently, 6-year-old Amiah Van Hill was inspired after reading about a man named Jeffery Lew. Lew was able to crowd-fund enough to cover the school lunch debt of the entire Seattle School District.

Amiah realized that there may be children in her own school who were suffering because of unpaid school lunch debt. When she and her mother, Rachel Van Hill, discovered that the total lunch debt at her school was $40.55, Amiah decided she could do something to help.

With the help of her sister Aria, she built a lemonade stand with a sign that read “Lemonade 4 Lunch.” They quickly raised the money needed to pay off her school’s lunch debt.
“She wanted to donate the money to make sure no child gets left behind with eating,” her mother said. However, Amiah was not satisfied to stop there.

When she realized that her method was working, she decided to raise money for two more schools in her area. She was able to raise $300 to cover the lunch debt of those schools.
Amiah was then inspired to take her goals to the next level. She aimed to raised $23,000 to cover the lunch debt of her entire school district.

Her mother helped her set up a GoFundMe page to help her reach that goal, though Amiah continues to operate her lemonade stand. So far, the GoFundMe page has raised a total of $3,000.

Scott Maben, a spokesman for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools where Amiah attends school, said about her efforts, “She heard about families who struggle to pay, and she took action, raising and donating over $530 through her lemonade stand. Amiah is an inspiration, and we are excited to recognize her for her good deed.”

“I always wanted to do a lemonade stand, so now is my chance,” Amiah said. Instead of using the money for herself, though, she chose to work toward a higher cause.

Amiah found a small but meaningful way to help struggling families in her community. If everyone followed her lead, we could make a huge difference for the people around us!

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