On a busy Friday evening, a mom in Newcastle, Oklahoma, went to Walmart to pick up baby formula and groceries.
According to KFOR, after she picked up the items she needed, she got in line with her two little girls and a baby. Since there were only two registers open, the lines were long, and her children started to get fussy.
It had already been a long and difficult day for the family.
The foster mom, who wished to remain unnamed, had spent hours trying to set up an account with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). All foster children under the age of 5 are automatically eligible for WIC.
She wrote on Facebook that as she got to the front of the line, the cashier asked if “it had been one of those days.” Her kids were restless, and she was as well. She apologized for making a WIC purchase and admitted to the cashier that she had no idea what she was doing.Screenshot/KFOR
Of course, as this was her first WIC purchase, the card didn’t cover all of the items in her cart. The cashier went back through the purchase to see which items didn’t go through.
After a few minutes, the customers in the line behind her started to grumble about the prolonged transaction. She turned to the long line of people behind her and apologized. She wrote on Facebook:
At this point a lady we know came up and asked why I was causing so many problems. I told her I was just failing as a Foster Mom because I can’t figure out WIC and almost burst into tears right there.
The cashier then rang up the formula in a separate transaction. He asked her to try the card again, but it was denied.
Then, to the mom’s surprise, he said they should try one more thing. He swiped a card in his hand and reached over to sign the keypad.
The young man had paid for the $60 in baby formula with his own money. She wrote:
I cried and told him that he didn’t have to do that because I had WIC I just needed to figure out for those items. He told me that it’s Friday and it’s not working and you need it and I cried and thanked him and cried a lot more.
He told the mom that she was doing a wonderful job, and he thanked her for helping a foster baby. She left the store blown away by the man’s kind gestures.
After she posted about the incident on Walmart’s page, she learned the cashier’s name was Nicholas Tate. He had recently returned from a ministry trip to Honduras.
Very proud of one of our associates tonight for going above and beyond to help a customer. Store manager Barry…
Tate told CBS News that he had taken the card out of his wallet after the first purchase didn’t go through:
“I already had my card out at that point. I felt like God was telling me to pay for it. The second it didn’t work I swiped my card.”
The $60 purchase was more than Tate’s wages for the day, but he knew his act of kindness would help someone in need. He told KFOR:
“You never know what God is going to do. Yeah, it might be hard. It might be scary. It might be a day’s wage. But, if God is calling you to do it, he’s going to have something major for you.”
According to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Program, the WIC program only covers specific items in each state. The mom wrote that the baby formula she chose was on the approved list, but for some reason, the card didn’t go through.
Roughly 7.7 million people in the U.S. receive WIC benefits every month. The special nutrition program is intended to help low-income pregnant and postpartum women as well as infants and children under the age of 5.
In an interview with Dearly, the foster mom said she was surprised by the actions of the 20-year-old young man behind the register:
“You never know what is going on with the people around you. It is more courageous to be kind during frustrating and hard circumstances than it is to react with grumbling, complaining, and anger. Choose to be kind and watch it spread like wildfire. It will affect more people than you could ever imagine and come back to you tenfold. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. Even on hard days.”
After posting the story and meeting Tate online, she learned that he has been working at Walmart to save money for ministry work. One day, he wants to move to Honduras and start a school to teach children how to play soccer.
She told Dearly that she hopes to support his mission work in any way she can.
Tate didn’t know the mom had been through a difficult day to help the foster baby. He just wanted to help a mom in need and knew this was the right moment to step in.