SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- An Albany man said he was just trying to be nice when he bought groceries for the woman next to him in line at a Safeway in Springfield on Saturday.
Little did he know, someone caught his kindness on camera and posted it on Facebook.
Richard Shaw, an assistant principal at South Albany High School, said the woman in front of him showed him kindness first. He said she volunteered that he should cut in front of her in line.
“I had one item, she had a ton of items,” said Shaw. “I thought it was a nice gesture so I just paid her back… I thought ‘Hey, why don't I just buy her groceries?’”
Another shopper, Erin Smith, took a picture of the moment. She was so touched by Shaw’s kindness that she posted it on Facebook and wrote, ‘Let's make him famous.’
“I just thought, when people recognize other people making special gestures, paying it forward like, maybe it would have a trickledown effect,” said Smith.
Shaw said the attention has humbled and inspired him.
“I can shine a light here at South Albany. I can challenge my staff and my kids—‘you pay it forward now,’” said Shaw, who sees so many at school already doing so. “An act of kindness can be words of encouragement. it doesn't have to be money-related. You could open a door for someone, you could pick up something that they dropped.”
And as Shaw learned, you never know what you might start.