Going Viral: Stranger Graciously Steps in to Buy New Mom Diapers
byKaitlin StanfordJul 07, 2014
A Sioux Falls, N.D., woman is touching hearts all over the place, after a video of her random act of kindness has swept the Web.
Carol Flynn was on line behind Katie Kanafke at Walmart last week, when she overheard the young mom talking to the cashier. It seems Katie could only get the discount on the diapers in her cart if she bought just one box — not all four. (She had asked if they could match a competitor's price, but there were limitations.) Realizing she couldn't afford all four, Katie set the other three aside. But Carol wasn't going to have any of that.
In an instant, the 73-year-old grandmother swooped in, put a hand on Katie's bag and announced she would pay for the other boxes.
“I thought, ‘If she needs diapers, she must have a little one.’ Little ones are close to your heart when you’re a grandmother,” Carol told TODAY.com.
Although Katie tried to politely refuse, Carol insisted on covering the $120 bill. “Not that I’m wealthy or have a lot of money," she said, "but I certainly could afford to do that, so it was kind of an easy thing to do."
When she left the store that day, the retired March of Dimes director may have thought that her small act of paying it forward was just that — a small act, to be remembered by the woman she helped in line, but perhaps never be spoken of again. But here's what happened instead: Unbeknownst to Carol or Katie, another nearby shopper had witnessed the entire thing and recorded a video of it on his phone. That man was John Yoshino, who had popped into the store that night with his wife for a few things. Once he left, he uploaded the video to Facebook, to share with friends. From there, it was shared more than 35,000 times.
"My wife and I were speechless at this warm-hearted and kind act of generosity," said Yoshino in his Facebook post. "There are some amazing people in this world."
The young mom Carol helped was also pretty speechless over the whole thing.
"I couldn't believe it. I was shocked," Katie told the Argus Leader. "I kept saying 'thank you' and 'God bless you' ... Then I walked out in the parking lot and started crying. It just hit me. It was an awesome statement of what God's love does."
The video has since gone viral — something Carol didn't even know was a thing — in the week since it was first shared.
"I said [to Katie] ... 'Someday, you’ll do this.' And I said, 'Paying it forward is kind of a neat thing to do, and I’m sure sometime you’ll pay it forward to somebody else,'” Flynn told KSFY-TV.