John Lopez Jr. is a 19-year-old working as a Walmart cashier in Princeton, Texas. He's a kind and quiet young man who tries his best to make sure that every customer he deals with has a good experience. This holiday season, though, John went above and beyond and gave one woman a reminder that little miracles happen daily. That reminder spread throughout their community, and now the world is talking about it.
Things started when John was helping a woman check out. Her grocery bill totaled just over $110, but the woman went into a panic when she realized she couldn't pay for it. Distraught, she started to cry. John didn't ask her what was going on, or if she had lost a job recently. The circumstances didn't matter to him. He told CBS News that he just felt in his heart that he was supposed to help her. So he did, even though it risked him being automatically terminated based on Walmart policy.
John asked her to wait a moment and then he paid for her groceries for her. After packing her up and sending her on her way, he went right back to doing his job as if nothing unusual had happened.
Laci Simms was further down the line and watched the whole thing go down. She posted about it on Facebook:
That post gained a lot of traction. People loved John's story and it turned out many community members had their own wonderful experiences with the often-singing cashier. One of those people is a man named Brandon Weddle. He was so moved by the story that he started a GoFundMe with a small goal of one thousand dollars. He was hoping the community would come together to show John how much he was appreciated.
Speaking with Inside Edition, he said:
"There were thousands of comments on the story saying what a nice person he was, how he was always in a good mood, how people always left in a better mood after seeing him. I've been through his line a couple of times, my wife has too, and we've spoken about him, how he touches people on a daily basis. It just resonated with me the whole next day.I'd asked on Facebook if anyone had set up a page for him, but there wasn't one. With it only just being a few days before Christmas, I decided to set up a page for him. It just really blew up. I had to keep pumping up the goal for him."
Brandon had to keep raising the goal because, as the story gained in popularity, people just kept donating. As of this writing, the campaign had reached over $34,000.
John says he is going to use that money to help pay for college.
Texas Teen Cashier Saving For College Praised For Paying Customer's Grocery Bill www.youtube.com
People are pretty moved by the entire situation.
There was a bit of an uproar regarding Walmart in the comments. This sort of thing is strictly against Walmart company policy. While an employee is on the clock, even if they are on break, they may not exchange any money to any customer. A few people spoke up about getting in trouble for the same thing John is currently being praised for. One woman even shared her story of trying to help a woman in need and having her manager threaten to fire her if she did it.
Even Brandon, the man who set up the GoFundMe, commented:
"Someone working as a cashier in Walmart might not make the most money in the world to help someone, but he still did it."
Things worked out well in this case, though. Walmart is throwing an event in John's honor. The mayor recognized him with a certificate and the police chief presented John with a medallion.