Missouri mom and hairstylist Julia Twichell and her family were looking forward to giving back to their community during the holidays this year.
The whole family had come up with a plan to hand out more than $1,000 in Walmart gift cards to strangers at their local store, but not everything went smoothly, as KSDK reported.
Julia said her family headed to a Walmart store in Bridgeton and came up with a game plan to distribute the purchased cards to those who needed them.
The mom said:
“So we bought a bunch of gift cards and we split them up amongst us, the kids, grandma and grandpa. … We just want to help people that could really use it.”
But after handing out about 50 of the gift cards, the Twichell family alleges it was told by security officers and a Walmart employee it would need to stop handing out the cards and leave the store, according to Raw Story.
It was a disappointing moment for the family. Julia’s young daughter told KSDK:
“Just giving, it always makes you feel good in general. … It’s disappointing because we can’t spread the Christmas cheer or anything.”
But the Twichell family didn’t let that keep them down. They continued to hand out gift cards in the store parking lot to anybody who needed one.
However, a spokesperson for Walmart said it’s not against store policy to hand out gift cards, and it said the family wasn’t actually told to leave.
The spokesperson did say the store’s assistant manager was confused about Walmart’s policy on the matter when the Twichell family was there, which is why they say the family was told they weren’t allowed to pass out the gift cards.
Regardless, the Twichells feel disappointed their plan to give back “got shut down pretty quick,” as the father said.
And now, Walmart is facing some backlash on social media by those upset at the chain, which claims to be a “family store.” One Facebook user wrote:
Dear Walmart, you keep providing fine examples of why I detest the thought of shopping in your stores ever again. You never seem to learn, and you still have the gall to consider yourselves a family type store.
Another slammed the store manager for scolding the family when they didn’t know store policy.
Some Facebook users said they won’t be going back to Walmart after hearing the news. One wrote:
Have not been to Walmart in many years and now I know that it will be many more.
Despite the drama, the Twichell family said it still plans to find new ways to spread holiday cheer that don’t involve the retail giant.
Dearly has reached out to the Twichell family for comment and will update with any response. Watch the family’s interview below: