Garage sales can be a fun place to poke around for buyers, and a quick way to get rid of junk around the house for sellers.
But for some, garage sales can be a lifeline.
That’s exactly what one particular garage sale was to a mother and daughter, although the host—who posted about her experience with the pair on Facebook—didn’t know it at the time. All she knew was that the daughter seemed disarmingly polite.
When the mother and daughter first arrived at the sale, the host wrote, she noticed the little girl gravitate towards a Disney Princess TV she was selling.
Expecting to make a sale on the item, she kept an eye on the two—but instead of asking her mom to buy it for her, or throwing a tantrum in an effort to get her way, the little girl seemed wise beyond her years with her request.
“What can I do to earn this?” the little girl asked.
As the writer listened on, the mother gave her daughter a kiss on the forehead and gently told her that there was nothing she could do at the moment to earn it, because the two couldn’t afford it. To the writer’s amazement, the little girl accepted this with no qualms—simply holding her mother’s hand and heading deeper into the tables to search for other things to buy.
The pair carefully selected a few necessity-esque items, including some plates and silverware, and constantly checked their money to make sure they had enough.
Every price sticker was examined, and the mother carefully did her calculations as they went.
It broke the writer’s heart, she said, especially when the little girl excitedly told her mom she was happy to have more than a single cup and bowl. Those plates, which the writer was willing to give away for pennies at a garage sale, were considered pretty by the little girl, who considered herself and her mother lucky—even though she kept glancing back at that Disney Princess TV.
Finally, the mother and daughter went to pay for their wares, but the host found herself unable to take their money. She told them she could tell they had gone through some sort of ordeal, and she hoped that they had taken what they needed.
“I handed her a couple of large kitchen garbage bags and told her to fill them with anything her and her daughter could use, gave her some pillows, blankets, a blow up camping bed, and a box of food. She hesitated at first and seemed almost ashamed. I told her, ‘We all go through hard times. This is a season, and seasons pass. When this season passes for you, you can ‘pay it forward’ to someone else.'”
The mother was in disbelief.
She couldn’t stop thanking the writer, explaining to her that the pair had just fled an abusive domestic situation with nothing more than a duffel bag full of necessities and a willingness to start fresh with nothing. Despite that, she felt ‘blessed’, and lucky—telling the writer that she had only managed to save enough money for a place to stay, but that the important thing was that they were both safe.
Floored by the story—and by how sweet, polite, and optimistic the little girl was, despite having just escaped a living nightmare—the writer went on to explain her attempt to help them even further.
“I handed her a couple of large kitchen garbage bags,” she explained, and told the mom to fill them with all the things she needed to start fresh. From pillows and pajamas to more kitchenwares and other basic household items, she watched as what had been her trash became treasure for a family looking to start over completely.
The story ended in the only way it possibly could have, with the woman gifting the Disney Princess TV to the little girl as well. She described how full her heart felt as her husband loaded the TV up for the girl, glad she was able to help the pair as they made their lives better all on their own.
The story went viral, with plenty of commenters telling similar tales of their own good Samaritans. While the situation itself is heartbreaking, the number of people out there who went above and beyond to help people like this mother-daughter duo—giving them clothes and toys and celebrations, money and food and emotional support – is a strong reminder that the world truly has a lot of good in it.
“What they don’t realize,” the writer ended with, “is that they blessed me far more” than she had managed to bless them with her offerings.