Pay it forward

A Red Deer family down on its luck has been touched by a stranger’s sudden gesture of generosity.

A Red Deer family down on its luck has been touched by a stranger’s sudden gesture of generosity.

Monica Weiss is astounded and grateful by what happened outside a city bank. Late Thursday morning, the 34-year-old mother of two entered Scotiabank on 67th Street to pay bills.

She told the teller how they were behind in payments after her husband became injured at work the end of January. They were relying on worker’s compensation, money which doesn’t always come when needed, Weiss explained.

“I said there’s a chance (my husband) may not ever return to work because he developed a rare condition with his injury,” Weiss said.

The family was forced to leave their apartment to make ends meet. Since the start of May, they’ve lived in a camper.

Weiss left the bank with what money was left over from a worker’s compensation cheque. Seated in the van with her two children and a friend, Weiss began sifting through her cash to determine where the rest should go.

“All of a sudden this gentleman walks up to the van and I don’t know how far I got the window down, he stuck his hand in,” Weiss said. “He put this huge wad of cash into my hand. All I heard was ‘I’m a lucky man and I heard your story and here, take this.’”

The Good Samaritan also said he didn’t want her to ask his name. He drove away in his truck.

Weiss was so stunned she forgot to say thank you. Her friend counted the bills and told her, “There’s $1,300 here.”

Weiss hadn’t noticed the man, believed to be in his mid-30s, inside the bank but figures he must have been there. She caught a glimpse of the man’s plaid-type shirt as he left. It slightly reminded her of John Travolta’s angel character in the movie Michael.

“The wings are not pure white, but they’re little greyish, little brownish — that was the colouring on his shirt,” Weiss said. “And his truck was white — not to sound corny, but the whole gesture and everything was wow!’”

She said the man’s kindness was like a light at the end of the tunnel. “Somebody to help you get back on your feet — everything’s going to be OK, don’t worry,” Weiss said.

One day she hopes to pay it forward and repeat such a large gesture.

Weiss’s husband didn’t believe the story at first.

“Thank you really isn’t enough,” she said. “It really touched me.”

Weiss said the family will continue to live in a camper, but this gift will help them towards an apartment suite.

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