Lifestyle & Human Interest

Community Raises $37,000 for Kindhearted Walmart Cashier Who Paid for Woman's Groceries


Last Christmas, 19-year-old John Lopez Jr. made waves when his act of kindness went viral. He wasn’t seeking attention or looking for a chance to bask in the limelight, he just saw an opportunity to help and went for it.

Lopez works at Walmart as a cashier, and one patron, once all her items had been totaled, realized she didn’t have the money to pay for her purchases. Laci Simms, a woman in line behind her, saw the whole thing.

“When she had trouble paying her bill he stepped in and told her if she’d wait he would pay her total,” Simms wrote in a post that has since been made private, according to Inside Edition. “Ya’ll, it was $110 dollars!”

She was touched by Lopez’s quick and selfless decision and knew others would appreciate seeing kindness in action during the holiday rush.

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Simms also noted that the young man was a delight, writing that he “renewed my faith in humanity and the generation we are raising!”

When the story started making its rounds and news outlets reached out for comment, the Walmart cashier’s parents weren’t surprised.

“That’s just my son,” his mother Josefa Lopez said, according to KTVT. “We tell him always to help people.”

“She started crying and I was like ‘okay I got you — I got you,'” Lopez said of the customer he helped. “I just felt in my heart that the Lord told me I had to help her.”

“My parents basically taught me if someone needs help you should be able to help them and if someone is down, bring them up,” he added.

People were so moved by Lopez’s story that they wanted to do something nice for him in return.

Brandon Weddle, a local and someone who knew Lopez in passing, started up a GoFundMe campaign for him.

“I’ve been through his line a couple of times, my wife has too, and we’ve spoken about him, how he touches people on a daily basis,” Weddle said, according to Inside Edition.

“It just resonated with me the whole next day,” he added. “I’d asked on Facebook if anyone had set up a page for him, but there wasn’t one. With it only just being a few days before Christmas, I decided to set up a page for him.”

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“This year I’d like to keep the Christmas spirit alive by giving back to this youn[g] man,” the GoFundMe page reads. “I recently saw a post where this cashier at Walmart paid for a ladies groceries who was obviously in need. The bill was not a small one. No questions asked. He gave selflessly. It was made public.”

“The comments that I’ve seen about this gentleman is extraordinary. He touches a lot of lives on a daily basis. I’d like to give back to him for constantly giving himself to our community. Any little bit would be much appreciated. He is also trying to save money to put himself into college. Let’s come together as a community and pay Johns tuition. He will do big things! Merry Christmas and God Bless!”

The fundraiser ended up topping out at just over $37,000. According to Inside Edition, an event was organized in Lopez’s honor at the Walmart where he works, and Princeton Mayor John-Mark Caldwell gave the teenager with a certificate, and he was presented with a medallion by Police Chief James Waters.

Lopez was ecstatic over the unexpected windfall.

“He was very excited and you could tell it meant a lot to him and his family,” Weddle said. “You know it’s going to a good family. I’m just glad that he got recognized this year, and I’m glad the community stepped up to help him.”

In an interview with KTVT, Lopez said he made it his daily goal “to at least in one way make someone smile,” and now he’s smiling, too.

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