She watched the old woman as she let loose on the little girl. The kid was only trying to make a few bucks, was it really that big of a deal? Did she really need to threaten her with the police?
Then just when it looked like the woman had run out of steam, another angry-looking man came over with some questions of his own. Someone needed to step in and protect this kid.
Andy Lizarraga was out shopping at Target in Rowland Heights, Los Angeles when she saw a little girl selling candy outside the store.
“What an enterprising kid!” thought Andy as she walked to the store to pick up a few snacks for an evening at home. She considered buying something from her on the way out, but when she left the store 10 minutes later, all hell had broken loose.
“Where is your license?” the old woman asked, interrogating the girl. The youngster was lost for words. She clearly didn’t think she was doing anything wrong by selling a few candy bars to make some extra cash.
“Have you asked permission to be here?” the woman insisted. The candy seller eventually found the words to respond, albeit with tears in eyes.
“I’m just selling candy. I’m trying to make some money,” replied the tearful girl, instantly regretting ever having come up with the idea of starting her own little business.
But the woman wouldn’t let up. In fact, she doubled down on her threats. “Well, if you don’t have a permit, you’re going to go to jail. The sheriff’s on his way,” she shouted.
The little girl looked terrified. She looked over at her brother, who was also selling candy a little further down the way, but he was too far off to hear what was going on.
Then, before the woman could come back at her with more venom, another shopper approached. “What’s going on?” he asked, “Are you selling this candy?” He didn’t look like the sheriff. Maybe he was the store manager. The little girl froze.
“I’m… just selling candy,” the girl repeated before breaking down in floods of tears. The man turned to the irate woman for answers.
“She doesn’t have a permit and she doesn’t have permission from the store to be selling food on their premises,” she explained. “But don’t worry,” she added. “I’ve called the police.” The man, Jay Lopez, was now very confused.
“Why don’t you mind your own business?” Lopez said, defending the girl. “I can’t believe you’ve got her in tears over this!”
The woman was taken aback. She must have thought he worked at Target too and was on her side. Lopez realized someone needed to fix this situation and bent down to talk to the little girl calmly on her level.
“How much are you selling these for?” Lopez asked the girl. “A dollar each, sir,” the girl replied.
Lopez stood back up. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” he directed at the cranky old woman, before getting out his wallet to buy something from the girl. But suddenly he realized he’d paid with his credit card in the store so he didn’t have any cash to give her. The smug woman smiled.
Feeling a little defeated by not being able to back up his defense of the young girl, the man stormed off, leaving her alone with the cruel woman once again.
Without Lopez to back her up, the girl looked scared again as the woman reminded her that the police would be coming to take her to “jail.” Then, things took a very different turn.
“I’m buying all of it!” announced Lopez when he returned with a handful of cash. “How much for all of it?”
All the worry and fear dropped from the little girl’s face as she frantically counted her entire stock of candy and told him that she had $80 worth. The cranky old woman was dumbstruck. What’s more, she hadn’t called the police at all. And Lopez had one more good deed left up his sleeve.
Jay handed out candy bars to shoppers for free as the little girl counted up all the cash she’d be given by the good Samaritan.
Of course, he was sure not to give one out to the woman, who eventually sloped off. But Andy, who’d been watching the whole thing, made sure that wasn’t the last we’d see of her.
Andy posted the video to her Facebook page and it quickly went viral, attracting more than five million views and 70,000 shares. The daughter of the old woman got in touch with her asking her to take it down, but the video is still live racking up plenty of views and comments.
Why do people feel like they’ve got to stick their nose into things that don’t concern them?