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Selfless stranger buys cart full of supplies for South Bend art teacher

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - While shopping for her students at a local teacher supply store, Madison STEAM Academy Art teacher Alison Westerink says she met a selfless stranger with a surprise she never saw coming.

“I was shopping. And this woman comes up to me and she goes, ‘Are you a teacher?’ And I said ‘Yeah.’ She goes, “I can tell, you look stressed,” Westerink laughingly told 16 News Now Tuesday.

While Westerink said the woman, who she had never met before, was probably right, she had no idea what was about to happen next.

“She said, ‘Could I buy your friends at school some art supplies?,’” Westerink says.

Thankful and humbled at the woman’s generous gesture, Westerink repeatedly refused. However, Westerink says that was the exact answer this selfless stranger refused to take.

“She was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, let’s get a cart,” Westerink says. “She said let’s fill up the whole thing! And I was like, ‘No...wait!’”

And just when Westerink thought one item was generous enough, “I explained to her I have 600 kids,” Westerink says.

This selfless stranger kept putting more and more supplies in her cart such as: buckets of paint, all sorts of paper, and fun buckets of styrofoam students can use in Westerink’s art class.

“She spent over $200 getting these kids just fun things for the rest of the year and then some random guy decided to chip in,” Westerink says.

That random guy the second to lend a helping hand to Westerink, leaving $15 dollars at the counter to help towards any supplies she needed.

“This was such a beautiful thing to have happen for these kids. These kids are the most deserving. They definitely deserved this blessing in a huge way. It just lifted my spirits,” Westerink says.

Westerink says she hopes sharing her story can help inspire others to pay it forward just like some selfless strangers did for her this past week.

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