When a seemingly poor man recently walked into a Chick-fil-A in Birmingham, Alabama, carrying "all of his earthly possessions" on his back, the owner and staff had two options: they could have immediately asked him to leave — or they could have taken a more generous approach.
Owner Mark Meadows opted for the latter, inviting the man to have a meal at the restaurant on the house — a touching act that profoundly inspired at least one woman who watched it all unfold, according to conservative commentator Todd Starnes.
"I was about to leave when this gentleman walked in the door. I could tell he needed some help. We have people come in from time to time – so you kind of know," he said. "He asked if there was some work he could do so that he could get something to eat."
Meadows, who willingly gave the man a meal, told Starnes that he noticed that the individual wasn't wearing enough clothing to protect him from the cold weather and that he had no gloves to cover his hands. So, he gave the man his own gloves, which the individual put on before exiting the restaurant.
“I said, ‘Take my gloves,’ and when I went and got them. He was kind of taken aback, like he didn’t want to take them," Meadows told ABC News. "He thanked me, put the gloves on and you could tell that they felt good. They had that fur inside of them and – they were nice gloves, and he took the gloves and the food and he left and that was it."
While this story of generosity is most certainly worth noting on its own, there's another element to the story that shows how good deeds have a way of growing, replicating and inspiring those who observe them.
A woman named Andrea Stoker, who was eating at Chick-fil-A with her son Bryson when the incident unfolded, took a picture and posted it on Instagram and Facebook the next day on January 8, explaining just how inspired and grateful she was that her son was able to see the act of kindness firsthand, Starnes reported.
"Bryson and I are sitting in Chick Fil A on 280. ... A man walked in to get warm with all of his earthly possessions on his back. The manager, who is on his break, got up and asked the man if he could get him anything," she wrote. "Before the man could even answer, the manager asked if the man had any gloves and handed him his, then got him the meal of his choice."
She continued, "There is still so much good in this world and I’m so grateful that Bryson saw it all unfold."
Meadows told Starnes that Stoker was in tears and was appreciative of what he had done, using the experience to teach a valuable lesson to her son.
Chick-fil-A also shared the story on its corporate page last week.
(H/T: Todd Starnes)