It’s not every day that you experience an act of kindness… while trying to perform an act of kindness yourself!
That’s exactly what happened to a group of elementary students from Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Seminole, Florida on a recent trip to Walmart. The students, lead by teacher Leslie Carneiro, were using the profits they’d raised for a walk-a-thon to buy pet supplies when this beautiful moment happened.
Leslie has been working with her third, fourth, and fifth graders on being charitable since the start of the school year. During their first semester, students collected blankets, sheets, and towels from home to donate to the Humane Society of Pinellas County.
Since the textile drive was such a big hit, they turned their attention to feeding the animals, too. This spring, they held a walk-a-thon to raise money for the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals). They managed to raise an incredible $3,500 in donations! Leslie says they “blew it out of the park” and she was excited to help them spend the money on items from the SPCA’s wish list.
Leslie and 26 students and their parents headed to their local Walmart, filling up nine carts with necessary items like paper towels, pet food, cleaning supplies, and kitty litter. When they got to the checkout, a cashier named Phyllis Collins dutifully scanned every single item for them, but when it came time to pay, there was an issue.
Leslie was using the school’s credit card for the purchase, but the sale was too large. Fearing fraud, the credit card company locked the account, leaving a balance of $648 unpaid.
The teacher didn’t have her wallet with her. She asked Phyllis to wait while she ran into the parking lot to get help from the parents, but Phyllis wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, she insisted on pulling out her own credit card and paying for the supplies herself!
“No, I’ve got this, please let me do this,” Phyllis told Leslie.
The school later paid Phyllis back, but not before the students and their parents got to see real charity in action.
“She was very nice and generous to us,” said Noah Sehner, a third grader who witnessed the act of kindness.
“She did this out of the kindness of her heart,” said parent Amanda Stranganelli. “This woman was an angel. All she kept saying was she had been blessed in her life and God is good.”
Phyllis didn’t want any attention for her good deed! Now this is what we call a real-life “teachable moment.”
Share this story to thank Phyllis for setting a brilliant example for these young philanthropists.
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