Nfld. & Labrador

This woman let a customer ahead of her in line; he repaid the kind gesture with one of his own

Roxane Jackson let a man with just two items ahead of her in line at Dollarama. He repaid the gesture by paying for some of her cart-full of purchases.

'I had tears in my eyes,' says Roxane Jackson of stranger who paid for her purchase

Roxane Jackson, pictured here with her daughter Chloe, says she's never been the recipient of a random act of kindness before, and wasn't sure how to respond. (Submitted by Roxane Jackson)

Roxane Jackson was patiently waiting in line with her cart full of items at Dollarama in Conception Bay South on Wednesday, as the lone cashier worked their way through the lineup, when she noticed the man in line behind her had just a couple items.

Jackson let him ahead of her, not thinking much of that simple gesture, given the volume of goods she had, compared with his mere two rolls of tape.

"You name it, that was in my cart, kind of thing. So I said to him, 'You can go on,' and he said, 'Are you sure?' and I said, 'Oh yeah go on, that's OK.' So off he goes, and I'm just standing there, looking around, seeing what else I can buy,"Jackson said.

"The next thing I know he's beckoning me to come up, so I'm like OK what's going on here?"

It's just so nice when you see kindness — and the world just needs more of it, I think.- Roxane Jackson

She brought her cart with her to see what was going on, when the man told her he wanted to pay for some of her purchases.

"He's like, 'I'm gonna pay for some of your stuff because you let me go ahead of you,' and I'm like, 'You really — that's not necessary, you don't have to do that.' And he's like, 'No, I really want to,'" Jackson said.

"I was truly — I've never been the recipient of such a random act of kindness before, I didn't know what to say. I never had a word in my head."

Dumbfounded, Jackson watched as the stranger started pulling items out of her cart to add to his bill.

"It came to $38 I think and he just paid for that, and I just shook his hand and said, 'Merry Christmas and thank you very much,' and something about the true spirit of Christmas, I don't know now," said Jackson, who said it all felt like a bit of a blur.

"I was so surprised, like I had no speech planned for sure. And off he went. … By now of course, I'm such a softie, I had tears in my eyes and I'm like — I don't know what just happened."

Jackson knows little about the kind stranger, just that he looked to be in his mid-20s and she suspected he was a local.

"He just went off and said, 'Merry Christmas,'" she said. "It would be nice to find him."

'It certainly stuck with me'

Jackson said she's not used to being the recipient of random kindness.

"I'm a nurse, so I'm very used to providing care for people. Not so much used to getting care from people, I guess," she said, choking back tears while telling the story to CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

"I'm even a little emotional here talking about it now … It's just so nice when you see kindness — and the world just needs more of it, I think."

Roxane Jackson says the man ended up paying $38 for his two rolls of tape at Dollarama, after paying for some of her items. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Later on Wednesday, Jackson took to Facebook to share the story of the random act of kindness in the hopes that people would be inspired by the small, but meaningful, gesture of this stranger.

"It certainly stuck with me," she said.

"Hopefully it'll touch a lot of people and make a lot more people realize how doing these generous, kind acts can impact other people's days, other people's lives."

As for the kind stranger, even though she doesn't know who he is, she wants to send out a message of thanks.

"Maybe it's a message for not only him, but for all people: you don't know what a random act of kindness, how much it's gonna touch somebody's heart that day."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from the St. John's Morning Show