A Florida woman bought water for a homeless guy, accidentally setting off a chain reaction. For her, that “small, kind action” developed into something big.
On July 21, Barbara Mack shared a story on her social media account in which she had chosen to do something nice for a homeless man outside a store where she was standing in line to buy things.
“I may have inadvertently started a revolution in the convenience store today,” Mack wrote.
“I’ve seen him around several times,” Mack recalled. “I’ve given him leftover food before if I get a cancellation and have food leftovers in the car.
“He didn’t look good…like he was 10 seconds away from heatstroke,” she added.
“I stopped to grab a water, and on the way in I saw a homeless man I know sitting in the shade with his bike beside him. He was red-faced and shaky looking. I asked if he was ok, and he told me that he was just resting. This guy’s got the mind of a child, and I’m afraid he doesn’t know he needs to stay extra hydrated when it’s super hot outside,” said Mack’s Facebook post.
Mack asked the cashier to keep her other things while she went outside to give the man his drink.
However, according to Spotlight, another customer at the store overheard Mack’s “enabling” of the man outside, which irritated her.
“When I came back in, the lady in front of me turned around, hands on hips, and told me that I was just enabling that ‘homeless person’ (said with a sneer) and that I shouldn’t be wasting my money on him,” Mack said. “It’s a good day for heat stroke, and I told her so. I said I’d rather give him a water than call an ambulance.”
Unexpectedly, after hearing her and the woman exchange words, each of the other customers purchased a food item for the man outside one by one. Then, they handed it to him as they passed.
“Ice cream, a sandwich, somebody gave him money, a frozen candy bar and [other items],” Mack said according to Fox News. “I kind of said [to the man], ‘Are you OK now?’ Then I drank my water in the car and went home.”
Mack’s story about the “kindness revolution” she created in the convenience store went viral after sharing it on social media. There are 178k likes, 24k comments, and 139k shares on the post.
The Florida woman expressed her gratitude for her viral moment inspiring so many people.
“I do believe people are mostly good,” she shared. “I think sometimes we all need a reminder not to be selfish. I don’t have it in me to walk past people who need help. I’m not saying I’m a saint because I’m certainly not. I have a lot of empathy … I’ve had hard times myself. People have tried to help me, and I pay it forward.”