A young woman’s act of kindness at a Minnesota gas station towards a man and his family has gone viral.
Nicole Marie Heintz was on her way to work in Apple Valley when she stopped to fill up her gas tank. At the station, she noticed a middle-aged man standing at the pump, crying.
“When I pulled up to the pump I shut my car off and saw this middle aged man crying looking at the gas pump,” Heintz’s Facebook post read, as shared by Love What Matters. “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.”
That particular morning, it was 10 degrees, with a freezing cold wind. The man was wearing flip flops with socks that had holes in them.
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“I look at his car and see his wife in the front seat covering her face in her hands and the 2 teenage girls both cuddling under a blanket in the back seat,” Heintz wrote.
She approached the man and asked if he was alright.
“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,’” Heintz wrote. “Without even thinking I put my card in his machine and told him Jesus Christ the Son of God died to provide for you. Fill up. Something, something came alive in him. He was in shock and it was like he forgot how to pump gas.”
The man’s wife then got out of the car and asked what was happening. When her husband said that Heintz was paying for them to fill up their gas tank, she started to cry and came around to shake her hand.
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Heintz then noticed the woman’s pants were dirty and torn. She had clothing in her trunk and back seat that she planned to donate and asked the woman to take what she wanted.
“This lady RAN back to her car," Heintz wrote. "I was so afraid I had just embraced 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."
Heintz’s act of kindness inspired other people at the gas station to help the family. One man gave them a gift card, and another gave 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,” Heintz wrote. “But it gives me hope."
Heintz continues to hope that kindness will spread in the world, as many of her Facebook posts point out.
On June 11, she wrote: “Your kindness is contagious. Give and give with a joyful heart.”