McDonald’s employee pays for woman’s meal, melts our frozen hearts

Illustration for article titled McDonald’s employee pays for woman’s meal, melts our frozen heartsem/em
Photo: Richard Levine (Corbis via Getty Images)

My hand to god, people, it’s the little things. Random act of kindness from strangers can make me absolutely dissolve on the spot. Like today, as I was racing to work with a casserole that needed to be photographed for a story, and it tumbled to the ground.

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I know that gravity is my arch-enemy, but I just stared at the broken casserole in shock. My kids were practically traumatized. “Are you going to get fired?” my daughter wanted to know. “No,” I shrugged, “I’ll just have to make another one.” (coming next week: Chili pie!) But, I still had to get the kids to school, so I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to drop them off, then come back and somehow deal with this mess.

When I came back, the mess was already cleared up. The only person on the street was a city worker who was part of a tree-trimming crew. He said, “Oh, I cleaned it up. It smelled so good, what was it?” I practically burst into tears on the spot. Instead, I thanked him profusely, got in the car, and still got to work 15 minutes late. Just that kind of day.

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All of this is a long intro as to why I am not surprised that this particular story has gone viral: An Ohio woman stopped by McDonald’s on her way home, but when she got to the window, realized that she forgot her wallet. The McDonald’s employee said, “It’s okay ma’am, I got you,” and pulled money out of his own wallet to pay.

After getting permission from the young man, Jeremiah McDonald-Hemphill, the woman posted the story on Facebook, where it got picked up by Yahoo! News: “I asked him if I could hug him and told him to keep being who he is because he is an amazing person. He didn’t know how tired I was or that I hadn’t eaten or even if he would be repaid but he didn’t even bat an eye and just acted.”

Just like my tree-trimming guy (How did he even clean that up? It was disgusting!) Anyway, it’s a valuable reminder not to let the chance to do a random good deed go by. I won’t forget it, and I hope you don’t either.

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Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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nowdaydrinking
Not Enough Day Drinking

You think that’s a heartwarming good deed? Well today on my way to work, there were some kids crossing the street on the way to school and I took pity on them and applied the brakes so as not to run them over.

Mostly it was so I wouldn’t have to wash the car afterwards (lesson learned), but it’s not so much the motive behind the deed that matters as the result. But did those little ingrates post my heroic story of personal sacrifice to Instagram? I doubt it because as soon as I honked the horn and flipped them the bird they ran off without so much as a thank you.