Thursday, March 11, 2021

Texans were generous during the storm

When Tim and Deb Hennessy decided to go to the grocery store during last month's deadly winter storm in Texas, they immediately regretted the trip. Long lines of people were waiting outside to enter the Leander H-E-B Plus. But the couple wanted to be prepared in case conditions worsened, so they shopped for about 15 minutes before the store lost power and the lights went out. Customers continued shopping until the manager asked them to head to the front. Tim and Deb joined what he estimated to be more than 100 people in a slow-moving checkout line. He remembers, "I honestly thought they were gonna say, 'Hey folks, leave your carts, we'll put the stuff away. Sorry for the inconvenience but we have no way of registering this stuff.'" That's when Deb took this picture.
Instead, the cashier waved them through the checkout lane, saying there wasn't time to bag everything. Tim assumed someone would take his contact information for payment later, but when Deb inquired about paying, the cashier just motioned them towards the door, wishing them safe travels home. Again Tim remembers, "I saw all these people going out with carts of food, and no bags, and then it kind of hit us. They're letting everybody leave without asking who they are, how much money do you have, nothing." That's when Deb's eyes began to tear up. "What a gesture in a moment with all these people," he said. "It's been a tough year. Then you get this storm where people's power is out. It was just a nice gesture from the company." And shoppers paid it forward. Out in the snowy parking lot, complete strangers helped each other unload shopping carts into cars. One older lady's car was stuck in the snow, and four other shoppers pushed her out so she could drive home.

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