College is a big expense, and many teens work hard to save up the money before going away. Kristopher Hudson, from Bryant, Arkansas, was one of them, spending his days stocking shelves at a local Walmart as he prepared to head to Pulaski Tech in the fall.
It’s not the most glamorous job, but Kristopher found a way to make working at Walmart a meaningful experience—and give back to his community.
For Kristopher, the most rewarding part of his work was helping others.
“I like to interact with the customers,” he explained to KTHV.
“[I] ask if there’s any questions they may have or if they have a problem I would like to try and solve that for them.”
He says that this generosity has always been in his nature—something he picked up at a young age from his mother.
“One of the things she always told me and my brothers was to always encourage others,” he told KTHV.
“The best feeling you’ll ever have is when you get to help someone out.“
So when he saw a perfect opportunity to really make a difference through his job, he jumped on it.
The Walmart was holding a “Back to School Blitz” fundraiser, encouraging people to purchase school supplies—everything from pencils to backpacks—and donate them to kids in need, via a large bin located in the store.
And even though he was trying to buy school supplies of his own, Kristopher decided to pay it forward.
He spent most of his paycheck on the supply drive.
Maybe he had an employee discount, or maybe he just knew how to get a great deal, but Kristopher was able to stretch his paycheck into an incredible amount of supplies.
“I got $66 and I bought 309 items with that money,” he told KTHV.
“It really is my way of paying it back.”
And not only did he donate, he inspired others to give back as well. He encouraged his fellow employees to get involved with the drive—and, moved by his example, they agreed.
“By him doing that, other associates are like ‘Well you know, if Kristopher has done this maybe I can chip in $2 or $3 to help out,'” his assistant manager Ty McCollum told KTHV.
Kristopher even made a deal: if the store managed to donate over 5,000 supplies, he would take a pie to the face.
“I want to make people smile,” he said.
By the end of the campaign, they blew past that goal and donated 6,000 supplies.
…and true to his word, Kristopher got pie’d:
The event wrapped up in August, just before Kristopher started school—content in knowing he was able to help some kids in need do the same.