John Lopez, Jr., age 19, took a job at the Princeton, Texas Walmart to help pay for college. Over the Christmas holidays, he was working the register when he encountered a shopper who couldn’t afford to pay for her groceries.

As related in Yahoo Lifestyle , another shopped named Laci Simms saw what happened next: “I just witnessed this ‘kid’ pay for a cart of merchandise for a woman in obvious distress about her inability to pay. She was a few people ahead of us and when she had trouble paying her bill, he (referring to John) stepped in and told her if she’d wait, he would pay her total.”

As reported in People Magazine , John said about the shopper, “She started crying and I was like, ‘Okay, I got you. I got you,’ I just felt in my heart that the Lord told me I had to help her.”

The amount of the shopper’s grocery bill that John paid: $110.00.

Simmons posted about the event on Facebook, which then went viral. From there, a stranger named Brandon Weddle started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for John’s college bills. So far, $36,805 has been raised out of a goal of $50K with 1128 people donating.

John explained that his compassion for others was instilled by his parents: “My parents taught me if someone needs help, you should be able to help them, and if someone is down, bring them up.”

There a several takeaways here, including that John exercised Gray Area Thinking ©  by being aware of the shopper’s plight; in taking a risk by offering to help (he may have risked both offending the shopper and his job); and by acting with compassion and kindness.

Other takeaways include that someone reported this act of kindness (remember, we’re a society of story tellers and story listeners—this is how we learn) and someone else (Brandon Weddle, the GoFundMe campaign creator) then took the time and initiative to act.

Being inclusive and welcoming to “Other” truly is a community effort!