Story of the Day: Poor Mom Can’t Afford to Buy Food for Kids, ‘You Dropped This’ She Hears & Finds $500 on Floor

After losing her job as a cleaning lady at the mall, Megan’s debit card was declined at the grocery store. She was about to leave in shame, but a sweet voice said, “You dropped this,” and pointed to $500 on the floor. She never imagined what would happen next.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. But your card has been declined,” the cashier at the grocery store said quietly, knowing the situation might be a bit delicate. Megan’s shoulders hunched in sadness and shock. She was sure she had enough for the next month and purposely grabbed less stuff than usual.

“Are you sure?” she asked, knowing the answer already.

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The young woman nodded and grimaced. “Do you have another card? Credit?” she asked.

Are you sure?Megan asked again just in case, and the woman nodded once more.

“Hmmm, maybe, I can remove some items,” Megan began, looking at her bags and the meager selection. What exactly could she sacrifice? Her kids’ off-brand cereal? The cheap loaf of sandwich bread?

She had to pick something, but the entire ordeal was incredibly heartbreaking. She had been working hard since her teenage years, and nothing was enough. She had two kids to feed, and now she couldn’t afford it.

She had been fired from her job as a janitor at the mall in Melbourne, Florida. They were now hiring an agency for their cleaning needs, and although Megan had applied to work for them, she hadn’t heard back from them.

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Thinking about her situation made life seem pointless. Tears gathered in her eyes, and she was about to run away and cry her heart out in desperation. But a hand on her shoulder stopped her.

“Hey, you dropped this,” a kind voice echoed in her ear, and Megan looked up into the eyes of an older woman. She had a full face of makeup, a beautiful pearl necklace, and a sweet smile that promised to fix all the troubles in the world.

She reminded Megan of her own grandmother, who had raised her with almost nothing. Megan had promised her to do better and build a better life for both of them, but she died years ago, and Megan couldn’t keep her pledge. She struggled just as badly, except she had two kids to feed, so it was even worse.

But Megan snapped out of her depressing thoughts, refocusing on what the woman had said. “What?” she asked, looking down. Her eyes widened at what she saw on the floor. Five hundred-dollar bills were lying there. Megan looked up again, and she started to shake her head, but the woman raised her eyebrows.

“You dropped your money, dear,” the older lady insisted, and Megan couldn’t think of anything else to do, so she picked up the bills. “You can pay with that.”

“O…k… I’ll pay with cash,” Megan whispered to the cashier, handing her one of the bills, which was more than enough to pay for her groceries.

The girl at the register gave her a receipt and some change, wishing her good luck. “Thank you,” Megan said and whispered to the old woman, “I’ll wait outside for you.”

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When the lady came out, Megan gestured for her to take the rest of the money. “Here you go. Thank you so much. Please, give me your name and number, so I can repay you as soon as possible.”

The older lady shook her head and pushed her hand away. “No, dear. That’s for you. I will not accept it. What I will do is give you my name. I’m Elizabeth. It’s nice to meet you,” she said with a slight grin.

I can’t accept so much money,” Megan countered, ashamed.

“Please do. I know what it’s like to be in a hard situation, and I saw you buying cereal, so you obviously have kids to feed. Take the money for them,” Elizabeth insisted. “And you can write down my number too. Call me if you ever need to talk or anything.”

Are you sure?” Megan asked again just in case, and the woman nodded once more.

She went home that day, and everything felt a little brighter. She called that older woman that night and talked with her for hours after her kids went to bed. Finally, Elizabeth invited her and her children to her house for a nice lunch the next day, and Megan accepted immediately.

In the morning, she bought ingredients and baked the woman a pie as a thank you, and she went with her kids. Elizabeth lived in a beautiful house, but she was alone and loved meeting Megan’s children.

After lunch, Megan saw some cobwebs on the ceiling and a few areas around the house that could use a spruce-up, so she got to work.

Elizabeth was delighted when she saw her sparkling kitchen and decided to hire Megan as a housekeeper. Megan was only too eager to accept. The pay was better, the hours more flexible, and Elizabeth loved having the kids over all the time.

But more than a worker, the older woman considered Megan a friend and, later on, her only family.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Sometimes, help is right around the corner – or next to you at the grocery store. Elizabeth appeared in Megan’s life when she needed it the most, and the older woman changed her life.
  • You can always repay the help you receive in some way. Megan didn’t know how to repay the older woman at first. But in the end, they became friends, which was all Elizabeth wanted.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.