Kindness really is contagious. Customers at Target pay it forward

Kindness really is contagious. Customers at Target pay it forward

SHERWOOD, Ore. – Ever wondered if kindness really is contagious? One woman recently witnessed the answer to that question and was amazed by the unexpected generosity of strangers at a local Target store.

Store employee Debora Durall was looking for inspiration. She was feeling "really down."  By the time she left work last Wednesday she'd found it.

"I cried all the way home and just thanked the Lord," she said.

On that day at register 11, a customer's credit card was denied. The bill was then quietly paid by a stranger.

Durall said: "I'm like, 'It's a lot. It's 161 dollars and 85 cents.' And she says, ‘That’s OK, I’ve needed help before, and I want to help them.’”

The generous stranger left before the family did. It was Durall’s job to tell them.

“Your debt is totally paid in full,” Durall told the family. “The wife, she started tearing up. She goes, ‘Why would anybody do that for me? It really touched me.’”

It inspired that struggling family too, and the kindness began to spread.

“He looks at me (and said) ‘I didn’t have enough for my bill, but I have a 20 dollar bill, and I’m going to pay that for her,’” Durall said. “She ended up giving me the money that she was going to spend, and the next person came through the line, which I believe was the two teenage girls.

“They’re teenagers!” Durall said. “What would I would have done as a teenager? I wouldn’t have thought of passing it on to the next person. But they did it.”

And the money left over from that – $11.51 – went on to yet another person.

Durall shared the story with her Facebook friends and to the Target fan page. Nine days later, the story has gone viral. It has more than 242,000 ‘likes’ and more than 17,000 comments – numbers that are still growing.

It’s overwhelming for Durall who feels she’s learned a lesson.

“They may not hit a ‘like’ button, they may not make a comment, but you're really not as invisible as you think you are, and you can impact people,” she said.

Simple kindness can go as far as that $161 one woman decided to pay.

“I will always remember her, and she had no idea the impact she made on how many people. She just has no idea,” Durall said.

Durall said she knows not everyone can pay someone else's $160 bill. But that's not the point – doing what you can could have a long-lasting impact on someone.