Carrie Parsons with her children Amaya, 3, Zahli, 6, and Brody, 8, at their Oak Bay home. Parsons was overwhelmed with gratefulness on Mother’s Day when an anonymous stranger put $50 on her weekly shopping bill at the grocery store. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Mother’s Day pay-it-forward uplifting for Oak Bay mom

Anonymous gift of $50 surprises mom on weekly grocery shop

A Mother’s Day random act of kindness has warmed the heart of an Oak Bay mom and now she’s trying to reach out to say thanks.

Just, thanks.

Carrie Parsons was in the Save-On-Foods at Foul Bay Road on Sunday with all three of her kids, eight-year-old Brody, six-year-old Zahli and three-year-old Amaya. The kids are a busy trio and with dad away working in Australia, and Parsons’ own parents traveling, she did what she had to do, and brought the trio with her.

When it came time to check out, Parsons was pleasantly surprised.

READ MORE: Fostering community with random acts of kindness

“Everyone in the store were men picking up last minute flowers and chocolate for their wives and moms except for this one older gentleman,” Parsons noted. “He was also getting his weekly groceries.”

The two parties went through the cashier line together with the gentleman – ahead of them in line – and Amaya engaged in a conversation (she’s a talker).

When Parsons got her wallet out the cashier notified her that the bill was reduced $50 because the fellow ahead had paid it forward with his own bill.

“He was well and truly to his car before the cashier even told me about this and that’s the amazing part,” Parsons said. “He acknowledged that he had seen us earlier in the store and waved to Amaya. He paid his bill and then walked away, silently.”

READ ALSO: Kindness matters, pass it on

Parsons wants to say thanks but isn’t seeking him out.

“I just want people, and him, to know how grateful I am. He didn’t want to be recognized in person. I’m not trying to find him.”

The act of kindness is known as paying it forward and is similar to the phenomenon of “suspended coffees” at coffee shops. Patrons purchase more coffee than they need and the next customer is told they have no bill. It often starts a chain reaction as customers continue to pay it forward for the next person.

“It was really beautiful to be involved in that experience,” Parsons added. “I’ve heard of people paying it forward but I’d never seen it before, and not for groceries. It was a remarkable, teachable moment for the kids, I’m so glad they got to witness how beautiful it is to see kindness from a stranger.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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