A Minnesota woman was recently left stunned by what she saw at a gas station.
Nicole Marie Heintz stopped there to fill up her tank on her way to work in Apple Valley.
The weather was bad, with temperatures dropping under 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heintz was waiting in her car for the gas to pump when she noticed a man standing near the pump, wearing flip-flops with only ragged socks on his feet.
“I began to wonder what happened with this man and as I got out of my car and looked at him my heart felt like it stopped,” she wrote on Facebook.
Then she looked inside his car and saw his wife, sobbing and trying to cover her face, in the passenger seat. His two daughters were in the backseat, huddled under a blanket.
Heintz approached the man and asked him what was wrong. He admitted he couldn’t provide for his family.
“I didn’t even think and I went up to the man and said ‘sir is something the matter?’ He looked at me and I could tell he was on the verge of giving up because he didn’t even try to conceal his tears when he said ‘I can’t even provide for my family,'” she recalled.
“Without even thinking I put my card in his machine and told him … fill up. Something, something came alive in him. He was in shock and it was like he forgot how to pump gas.”
“In that same moment his wife got out of her car, she asked her husband what was going on and he told her I just payed [sic] for their gas she started to cry and came around the corner to shake my hand when I saw her pants dirty and torn,” she added.
“I asked her to come to my car. The airport lost some of my luggage on my way to Minnesota from California and I had to clean out my closet to find stuff to wear and get rid of a lot of stuff all of that stuff that I had yet to give away was siting in the back seat of the car and in the trunk. I opened up my car and told the lady to take what she wanted.”
“This lady RAN back to her car. I was so afraid I had just [embarrassed] her but a moment later her and her two girls were digging through those clothes layering my sweatshirts and shirts and sweat pants over the worn out clothes they had been wearing. Soon the father had finished pumping the gas and came over. This attracted a little crowd at the gas station. And some older man gave the family a gift card and another middle aged man gave away his jacket to the father. Never in my life did I think I would see this kind of thing happen at a gas station with a handful of complete strangers.”