The strange woman ran around the store as though her life depended on it. For some reason, she looked vaguely familiar.
She was on the brink of tears as she realized she had no money to buy her items. Without much thought, Rina took out her card and paid for her. It was an act of selflessness that would follow her around for years.
58-year-old Rita Burns lived in Houston, Texas all her life. She worked as a cashier at Walgreens for the past 20 years and was beloved by all of her coworkers.
It started just like any other day. Rita woke up at 6 am, ate breakfast, and drove to Walgreens. With a smile on her face, she began her shift. Unaware that her whole life was about to change.
Heart Of Gold
Rita was known to be a gracious woman with a heart of gold. Every day, she would arrive at work smiling. She never said a bad word about anyone and rarely complained, no matter how much she was struggling.
No one could have known that she was under incredible financial pressure. Rita was down to her last $20. But her day was about to get far worse
It was about midday when Rita first spotted the strange woman in her store. She ran around the isles as though her life depended on it.
She was wearing a suit and looked like she meant business – apart from the messy bun that sported countless flyaway hairs. For some reason, Rita thought she looked strangely familiar
From Panic To Horror
When she arrived in front of Rita at the checkout, she was breathless. She handed her two light bulbs and eagerly waited for Rita to scan them.
“That’s twenty dollars”, Rita said. The woman reached into her pocket and grabbed out her phone to pay. Rita watched as her face suddenly morphed into horror.
Having A Bad Day
A long queue quickly formed behind her. “I’m so sorry, I just realized this isn’t my phone! It’s my husband’s! I’m sure he has apple pay too, please give me a moment to see if I can get it working”.
She was almost to the point of tears. Rita could tell she wasn’t having a good day. So she did the unthinkable.
Compassion And Kindness
“Put that phone away, honey. It’s okay, I got you”, Rita said smiling. She took out her bank card and paid her bill with the last bit of money she had in her account.
The woman looked at Rita, shocked by her kindness. “We all get short on money sometimes, the least we can do is help each other out when we need it”, Rita said. But she had no idea who she was talking to. This woman was no ordinary citizen who had fallen on hard times.
Rita watched as the woman’s face froze in disbelief. “You didn’t have to do that! Thank you! I’ll come back to the store and repay you as soon as I can”.
“No need”, Rita said. “You just have a good day now”. But there was a need. Rita was now penniless. However, her selfless act didn’t go unnoticed.”
The woman in question was a very well-known realtor around the area with a big following online. Real estate agent Rina Liou could have been offended by Rita’s remark for assuming she was moneyless but the opposite happened.
Rina Liou was overwhelmed by Rita’s kindness – who was oblivious to her high status. She was determined to repay her.
Suffering In Silence
Rita continued to show up for work day after day. Her diet consisted of whatever canned food she had left around her house. She suffered in silence, not a soul knew – or so she thought!
While Rita worked, Rina was devising a master plan of how to repay her kindness. As promised, she appeared in front of Rita with $20 and a bunch of flowers. The picture they took together was the one that changed Rita’s life forever.
With her $20 returned, Rita decided to open up to Rina. She told her that she had given her her last $20 she had in her account. Although Rita didn’t expect her to repay her, she was deeply grateful she did.
Rina was at the brink of tears as she posted the picture on her social media account, explaining the kindness Rita had bestowed upon her. Then she asked everyone for help.
A GoFundMe page was set up in Rita’s name to ensure that she is never down to her last $20 in her bank account again.
After only a few days, the page reached $15,000! This time Rina called back into Walgreens to tell her exactly who she was and what she had been planning.
The Truth Revealed
Rita worked behind the cash register as Rina approached her with a giant check. Two of Rita’s coworkers came out behind her and popped confetti into the air.
Rita’s confusion was soon solved as Rina introduced herself properly and why she had wanted to take a picture with her a few days before.
Beacon Of Light
Rita burst into tears as Rina explained what she had done for her and that news of her kindness was spreading quickly throughout their community and nation.
She handed Rita the $15,000 check and thanked her for being a beacon of light in the world. The whole exchange was caught on CCTV – to Rita’s humble embarrassment.
“I was so touched by her actions,” Rina Liou wrote on her social media post. “She had no way of even knowing how important $11 worth of light bulbs were to me, but she did not hesitate to help me.”
“I feel so happy to know that despite the pandemic, political tensions, and everything else we are going through, that humanity can still shine through,” she concluded.