John Lopez Jr., 19, a Walmart cashier in Princeton, Texas, didn’t think twice before helping a perfect stranger. Lopez was ringing a customer up when she realized that she didn’t have enough money to pay her $110 grocery bill. He decided then and there to pick up the tab, allowing the woman to buy what she needed. Lopez told CBS Dallas that after the woman began crying, he felt he needed to help her.
This act of kindness was captured by Laci Simms, who also in the check-out line, on her mobile phone. Simms was so struck by Lopez’s generosity that she took a picture of the cashier and posted it to Facebook.
“I just witnessed this ‘kid’ pay for a cart of merchandise for a woman in obvious distress about her inability to pay,” she wrote. “She was a few people ahead of us and when she had trouble paying her bill, he stepped in and told her if she’d wait, he would pay her total. Ya’ll, it was $110 dollars!”
Simms encouraged others to seek out Lopez at the Princeton Walmart since he is “always singing, upbeat, courteous, joyful and efficient.” She added that the experience renewed her faith in humanity and younger generations.
Apparently, Lopez is known for his kind-heartedness. Brandon Weddle, a local shopper who recognized the cashier on Facebook, says that he’s encountered Lopez a few times with his wife and that he has always been amazed by how he manages to touch people with his kindness.
The post inspired Weddle to set up a GoFundMe page for the teenager. The page quickly reached its goal of $1,000 and has since gone on to raise over $35,000. Lopez was also recognized by his store manager and Princeton’s mayor, John-Mark Caldwell, who honored the cashier at an event at Walmart. The teen hopes to use the funds for college.
“He was very excited and you could tell it meant a lot to him and his family. You know it’s going to a good family,” Weddle said. “I’m just glad that he got recognized this year, and I’m glad the community stepped up to help him.”
Walmart officials released a statement saying that Lopez’s actions are an example of the quality of their employees. Adding that they weren’t surprised since Lopez has always proved himself to be kind and generous. Lopez thanked his parents for teaching him to help others.
Online, most people were struck by the fact that Walmart cashiers are not known to make a lot of money, yet Lopez didn’t think of his own situation at that moment. He was more concerned about someone else’s wellbeing. Lopez told CBS News, “I make it my goal to at least in one way make someone smile.”