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Avila Beach woman gifted $100 bill by stranger in line at SLO Dollar Tree

Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 20:14:19-05

An unknowing Avila Beach woman was on the receiving end of an anonymous gift, giving the rest of us hope that the Christmas spirit is alive and well. KSBY’s Neil Hebert has the story.

A stranger, a checkout line at the Dollar Tree, and an envelope stuffed with a $100 bill brought joy to 86-year-old Patricia Hallock when she needed it most.

“I can’t even describe how I felt when I saw this,” said Pat. “I was at a loss for words.”

Pat was waiting to checkout and let a stranger pass her in line. The two struck up a short conversation, and when the man finished paying, he handed Pat an envelope and told her not to throw it away.

“Then when I got home, I thought, ‘Oh, I gotta see what’s in that envelope.’ I opened it, and it was a crisp $100 bill. On the envelope, he wrote ‘Happy Holidays!’ I could barely wait to call my son,” said Pat.

And that she did.

“$100, whatever it was – it could’ve been a note. To hear her excitement and the fact that someone did something like that this time of year and the circumstances; it was just a really uplifting thing for her,” said Matt Hallock, one of Pat’s sons.

2020 took away her game nights with friends and visits from her children, but 2020 also took the one she loved most.

“55 years ago this was taken,” said Pat as she held a photo from her wedding day. Her husband of over half a century died in September after a three-year battle with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The stranger’s kindness gave Pat hope going forward.

“It’s a fond memory because I am going to be alone at Christmas, and I will cope, but it’s just a memory for me,” said Pat. “If I do get a little down in the dumps, I can think about what a nice gesture, and a caring person this gentleman is.”

Heading to the store is the only time Pat says she leaves her home right now, and on this day, she’s sure glad she did.

“I’m a great believer in certain things were meant to be. It’s unusual that I wasn’t going to go to this store, and I did,” laughed Pat. “He will never know – having lost my husband in September. This just renewed my faith in everything. It was a very positive thing for the holidays.”

$100 in her pocket and her faith restored in humanity, I asked Pat what her plan was with the money.

“It would have to be something special that would give me a memory,” said Pat. “When I look at whatever I did – if I bought something or made a contribution myself.”

Whether it’s $100 or the smallest gesture, do something nice for someone unexpecting, and you could brighten their holiday season.