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    Opinion... NaShandra Howard

    Early Christmas miracle came at cash register as customer struggled to pay for her groceries

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    December 09, 2014

    By NaShandra Howard

    This Thanksgiving, I witnessed an early Christmas miracle that restored my faith in humanity.

    I decided to stray from my annual ritual of going home to eat and socialize with my family, and instead I stayed in Tallahassee. With low finances and a hectic work schedule, it would not have been a wise move to travel back home for only a couple of days. My family was a little perturbed, but they understood nevertheless.

    However, I was still thankful for my family while I was here. I worked on Thanksgiving Day, but the thoughts of my family and how much I love and miss them were never far away. Instead, I was able to witness other kind acts of humanity.

    I’m a cashier at the Winn-Dixie on Paul Russell Road, and if you know anything about the layout of Tallahassee, you know that it is on the south side. Many people who dependent on government assistance come to Winn-Dixie. I see mothers use WIC to buy baby formula for their children and many customers who come through use food stamps. 

    Sometimes, the people cannot even afford to pay one dollar if their food stamps or WIC does not cover everything, so I have to take items off of their bill.

    In a specific case on Thanksgiving, a lady was $30 over her limit and could not afford to pay anymore. She had tried three different credit and debit cards and they all were declined. She was about to leave, when finally, the lady behind her asked how much the bill was and offered to pay the whole thing. Both of us were stunned.

    I had seen strangers pay one or two dollars for the person in front of them, but $30 was a record. It made my heart swell with happiness and the rest of the day was more bearable.

    I wasn’t too happy about having to work on Thanksgiving at first, but I am thankful that I have a job, which provides me with the means to pay for food, clothes and rent. Some people are homeless and hungry, and you don’t have to go any further than Tennessee Street to know that. As a Christian, I give all of the thanks to God.

    Afterwards, I went “Grey Thursday” shopping with one of my good friends. I have many great friends in Tallahassee who would welcome me into their apartments and houses and gladly feed me in absence of my family. I’m so thankful for them. I spent the rest of the day trying to find my beloved brothers a Christmas present and reflecting on things I’m thankful for. I may not have been with my family, but with their many text messages, they made it obvious that they missed me and loved me very much.


    NaShandra Howard is a journalism student at Florida A&M University.