Stranger Picks Up Family’s $211 Bill At Walmart Before Christmas

A stranger picked up a family’s $211 bill at Walmart a few day before Christmas, surprising a sick grandmother with the kind and anonymous gesture.

The incident happened on Friday night in Iowa when Ruby Modlin was doing some grocery shopping before Christmas, picking up cooking and other holiday foods with her grandchildren. As she shopped, she noticed that a man appeared to be following her around the store, KCCI reported.

She thought maybe the stranger was from her high school.

“I kept noticing this man, and I’d smile at him,” Modlin said.

But she was wrong; he was just a stranger who wanted to pick up her $211 bill. When Modlin made it to the register, he said he was paying.

“I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘I’m paying for this.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’ He said, ‘Yes, I am,’ ” Modlin said.


As the stranger picked up the family’s $211 bill, he also acknowledged the season, telling her, “Merry Christmas!” The gesture was especially touching for Modlin, who has spent the past six months in and out of a hospital for liver failure.

The generous stranger then told her that he was in the store with his wife and daughter, who wanted to come in and do something nice for a stranger and picked Modlin out.

“I was still standing there in shock. We were too busy crying, and the register people were smiling,” Modlin said.

The story of the stranger who picks up the family’s $211 bill isn’t the only instance of anonymous gifts during the Christmas season. Yahoo! Finance wrote about a trend where anonymous donors known as “Layaway Angels” have gone to the layaway counters at stores to pay off the balance of strangers’ purchases.