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DougCo mom wants to thank grocery store 'angel'

Posted at 10:43 PM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-13 00:43:24-05

CASTLE PINES, Colo. -- When Joelle Morgan goes grocery shopping at her Castle Pines King Soopers, she is a mom on a mission.

"Grocery shopping is like war. I just want to get it done," the Australia native said with a laugh. 

But a couple of weeks ago, here shopping with her two young children, she was off her game with the flu.

"I didn't even have time to get dressed. I was just in my -- I looked like a complete train wreck," she said. "But we desperately needed food. So, what you going to do?"

When it came time to pay for a cart full of groceries, she realized she had left her wallet at home. So, she frantically asked the clerk if he would hold her cart while she went home to get it.

"And right at that very moment, this lady steps forward from another line and says, 'I'm paying for your groceries today,'" said Morgan. "And I said to her, 'No. It's OK. I can go home and get my wallet. I'll be fine.' And she said. 'No. I have been in your situation before. I know exactly how it feels. I'm absolutely paying for your groceries today.'"

Before Morgan could stop her, she said, the stranger paid her bill -- more than $130 worth of groceries.

"And as she did so I just burst into tears and I said thank you so much. This is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me," said Morgan. "I'm crying, and she's crying and people around us are clapping and crying. It was just amazing,"

Lately, it seems these so-called "grocery store angels" are more common.

"I would say it's happening more and more frequently," said Lindsey Poellet, an assistant store manager at that King Soopers, who said the "angels" range from customers anonymously paying entire bills to employees helping when someone comes up short. "I really just think people see a need and they do their best to help."

YouTube videos show it's a national trend, with people caught on hidden camera as they find out their grocery bill has been paid.

For Morgan, the surprise came at the right time. Her family had just moved to Castle Pines. Their new basement flooded. They had the flu.

But in that moment, everything started to turn around.

"I felt seen. I felt like someone saw me that day. And they saw who I was and what I needed and they reached out to me and it was this moment that kindness is a language that everybody understands," said Morgan. 

Morgan said earlier that very same day, she had given a friend a hundred dollars -- just because. She had no idea she would see a return so soon and she looks forward to "paying it forward" again.

Also, she would like to find the stranger and properly thank her, but all she remembers is her name was Amanda.

Turns out, an angel doesn't always have winds, but sometimes they do hang out at grocery stores.