Jill Zimmerman was fairly new to the Bettendorf, Iowa, area when she had an encounter that left her in awe. A complete stranger said five words that made her feel not only accepted and welcomed into the community but also accepted as a person.
Since 2011, Zimmerman has been disabled. Disability and mobility struggles can make it difficult to feel welcomed in many circumstances.
On April 18, she needed groceries, so she entered the Hy-Vee store in the afternoon. Rather than just getting in the car to go the store, she had to plan her trip around the bus schedule.
Zimmerman got off of the bus and began shopping for groceries. It would not be until she reached the checkout counter that she realized she had forgotten something important.
Her electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card was at home. Forgetting one’s form of payment after groceries have been rung up is an uncomfortable, frustrating, and often embarrassing situation for anybody.
It was even more difficult for Zimmerman who could not drive home quickly to retrieve the card. Making the round trip while carrying all of her groceries on the bus was a challenging task for her.
A manager offered to suspend the transaction if Zimmerman was able to come back later in the day. Though it was a nice idea to be able to save her cart full of groceries and come back to pay for them later, Zimmerman knew she would not be able to make another trip out the same day.
She had to tell them to simply void the transaction. Then, a woman behind her in line said those five words that left Zimmerman in shock and gratitude.
The woman, Marsha White, asked, “Can I pay for it?” Zimmerman wasn’t sure if she was serious and was hesitant to accept the help.
Then, she looked at White’s eyes and only saw compassion. Zimmerman accepted the generous offer, but had one condition. Zimmerman wanted the chance to hug White. White happily accepted a hug from Zimmerman who was in tears.
Zimmerman shared this inspiring encounter on Facebook along with a photo of White. She wrote, “I quickly took a picture of her for two reasons, one to remind me of her generosity and two to share it with anyone, hoping one day it gets back to her that her gift was a true blessing I’m forever grateful for.”
Not only did Zimmerman take home much-needed groceries but an important reminder as well. There are angels among us willing to help us when we need it most.
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