Day #3: Give to a grocery store cashier

She was young, her dark hair in a ponytail, a gentle smile on her lips. She reached down instinctively to her small, but obviously burgeoning belly. “When are you due?” I asked as I put a few breakfast items on the Walmart checkout counter. “Next month,” she glowed, reaching out to give my one-and-a-half year old a little caress on the cheeks.

Tim was at the mechanic’s. I walked back to the 5th wheel with the girls, but I kept thinking about her as we ate bananas, blueberries, and donut holes. I wondered about her story. (I thought about how to help her). (But then I waited).

Later that afternoon, our family was brainstorming how we should give today. I told Tim wistfully that I should have bought something small for the pregnant cashier.

We decided that we would buy a chocolate bar (a good chocolate bar – like ghirardelli) for one of the cashiers. The lines were really long. Suddenly, I spied her ponytail. She was still working!!! We rushed back to the baby section and picked out some baby bath letters.

Day #3: Give to a grocery store cashier 5 Day #3: Give to a grocery store cashier 6

Her aisle was closing as we approached. We bought the chocolate bar and the bath letters. “You’re back again,” she said cheerfully. “Yes,” our eyes twinkled. She handed the bag to us and we handed the bag back to her, “We actually bought this for you!” “No!” she laughed, her head bobbing from side-to-side. We smiled back, “Yes. Congratulations!” And the four of us walked out hand-in-hand.

It wasn’t much, but it WAS something.

Have you ever given to a store cashier? It’s super fun. Try it next time you’re grocery shopping (you’ll see).


  1. I love this! I’m going to try it!

  2. Can’t wait to do it. Sure we’ll know just the right person.
    P.S. Those bath letters are great :)

  3. I am going to add this to my girls blog list. They are 8 and 10 and have their own blogs. I let them read other blogs by children and those of my friends. I am going to slip yours into their lineup and see what great ideas they come up with on their own!

  4. Vicarious Chelsea says

    Awww I bet she’ll tell her baby that story for the rest of her life, especially during bath time, giving him or her a great example of giving and kindness. What a “two-fer” :)

  5. We drive across a toll bridge almost daily, and there is the same woman working most mornings. Normally she is cheerful and bubbly, but lately she seems depressed, saddened, heavy. On our way back from the grocery store one day, my son and I went through her line with a bunch of flowers. She cried and said we made her day. It was really beautiful. And really amazing to watch my two year old continue to process it over the week.

  6. That is awesome! I love this idea!

  7. WOW – Very cool! Poor girl had to be wiped out working all day. I’m sure that chocolate was MUCH appreciated! Great example!

  8. Your girls are so upbeat even with less yard to play in! And those gifts will go a long way because guess what? That is one less thing she has to worry about buying.

  9. I’m not sure why, but that story brought tears to my eyes. Just the sweet simplicity of it, I think. What an awesome thing you all are doing!

  10. Sometimes it is the small things that really count – not the big things. She will remember you for a long time.

  11. What an awesome way to give. I have never thought to give to a cashier- mostly because I would just assume that she’s working and is probably doing okay – how sad it is that I make judgments without ever asking.

  12. I NEVER thought of this before… you know, here in New England when you go shopping it is NOT the norm to even talk to the cashier – you just get in and out, they do their job you do yours with as few words exchanged as possible… it sounds harsh, but honestly I think everyone is just so used to it we don’t notice… I have had several out of state people comment about this somewhat-rude-but-simply-a-cultural-thing phenomenon. I am going to try to do better… it’s hard to break a lifetime of culture and habit.

    • It is different up north. Now that I have lived in the south almost 12 years I sometime feel like a cashier is rude when they don’t talk to you when visiting up north… I guess I just need to remember the differences.

  13. I love it, Stephanie. I’ll have to give it a try!

  14. It's only day 3 and I'm already so inspired. Give to a grocery store cashier:

  15. When I initially heard about your plans for going across country I was thinking about big things that you would be doing. I love the little things too. The impact is direct and you see it right away. Love it.

    • We originally thought about just doing bigger “projects” too, but we then decided to challenge ourselves to really stand by our mission…to give EVERY DAY. We’re learning so much about awareness, sacrifice, and creativity.

      Plus, the “little things” are things that everyone can do – regardless of their circumstances.

  16. LOVE! Brought tears to my eyes as well! Such a small gesture that truly made her day I am sure!

  17. I absolutely LOVE this idea!…

  18. RT @themenumom: I absolutely LOVE this idea!…

  19. The little things in life often make the biggest impact on people.