Amber Schaefer didn’t plan to do anything spectacular during her brief stop at Arby’s — she wanted to make a quick run into the restaurant to get a mid-afternoon shake. Her visit was memorable, though, and it’s all thanks to an act of kindness.
As Amber waited to pick up her shake, she witnessed a group of high school boys, placing Valentine’s Day lunch orders for the girls they were with.
That’s when one boy hovering near the back of the group caught her eye.
“The last boy placed an order for the young lady he was with and ordered nothing for himself.”
“The girl ran away with the group to go get seats. I watched this boy fumble through his empty wallet holding only $2. He then handed over his debit card slowly and, of course, it declined. I watched his little head look down with the saddest feeling of defeat and boy did it pull at my heart strings. I literally could feel his heart sink into his stomach while his mind frantically raced as how to fix this situation,” Amber wrote on Facebook.
As the girl he was with came back to the counter, Amber jumped into action, pretending the boy had dropped a $20 bill before reaching down and handing it to him.
“He just went with it,” Amber recalled.
“He tried to hand the change to me as his girl went to fill up her drink cup. I politely declined and told him he still needed to get her dessert. In that moment, the boy grabbed my hand and squeezed it so tightly. With tears welling in his eyes he stated, ‘Thank you for your kindness ma’am'”
After Amber shared her story on Facebook, her post went viral. As of this writing, it’s been shared 117,000 times and has more than 340,000 reactions.
While the responses have been overwhelming, Amber admits she didn’t share the post for any recognition or praise. Instead, she hopes by sharing an uplifting story that others will see it and continue to pass on the love and kindness she showed in that moment.
“I’m tired of people being so mean to one another. It’s not worth it,” Amber said.
“The only thing we can do is take care of each other. You can make a significant difference in people’s lives just by paying it forward.”