The Number One Reason to Shop Ingles

Everyone has their favorite grocery store. It’s hard to imagine changing someone’s mind about a grocery store but let me tell you what happened at Ingles recently.

Ingles

Ingles is a big local employer. They provide jobs to people of all ages. If you’re local to this area and are not shopping at Ingles on a regular basis, you are cheating on your heritage. They have been a part of our community since 1963 when the first store was opened in Asheville. They have always been big givers. As a moving company, we are grateful that they are still giving away cardboard boxes. They are spending money for employees to stack them, organize them, and bring them to the front so that the community can get one more use out of them. There is a cardboard container in the back that would pay them so much a pound for every piece of cardboard that they put in it. Instead they choose to pay employees to make sure their customers have these cardboard boxes for moving or any other uses they might have. 

The Ingles Encounter

Asheville Moving Company partner Clete was at the Leicester Ingles having lunch. He watched as an older woman, possibly in her 70’s, walked up with a large bag in hand and sat it in a chair at a two person table. From that bag, she pulled out napkins and spread them on the table, pulled out a tray of food, ice in a Starbucks cup, a bottle of tea, a bottle of water, and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Then, she started her lunch, brought from home, with a quick prayer. And she began lunch break.

As the cafe clears out, just the two of them are sitting there. She got her table adjusted and reached down under the table, slipped off her shoes to adjust a sock and wiggle her toes back and forth for several minutes. It hit Clete hard.  Tears came to his eyes and he just sat there and fought them back from falling.. spilling out onto my table and flowing onto the floor.. everywhere! His breathing became short and quick.

How Do Our Elderly Make Ends Meet

He sat watching, pondering, wondering what is this world coming to for our elderly? Struggling daily to make ends meet! He thought of his own mother, how hard she and his Dad have worked. The woman looked up, at some point, and the two made brief eye contact, smiling at each other. She occasionally stared out the window for brief moments and then went back to eating. She slid one shoe on as another, older woman employee, 3 days on the job, walked into the cafe area and sat down close to Clete. He struck up a quick conversation with the new lady, asking if she knew the lady at the other end of the cafe I’d been watching and where she worked. The newly arrived cafe guest didn’t know.

Clete took this as an opportunity for small talk with the first woman. “How long have you worked here,” he asked. She stated, “I’ve been here 3 years.” “Where do you work?” he asked. “I work in the Bakery,” she said with a big smile! “Do you live in the area and for how long,” he asked. “Most all my life,” she replied. “I bet you’ve seen a lot change in the area,” he said.  She said, “Yeah.. I have.. a lot.” Then back to eating she went.

Clete thought to himself she probably enjoys baking to be working at Ingles that long. He kept thinking and watching and it hits him again! How often he sees elderly women working at Ingles or many places, women he thinks to be beyond retirement or working years and likely drawing Social Security. They are probably just trying to make ends meet, survive, provide for themselves, working because they are too proud to ask for “government assistance.” And he kept watching this lady as he finished his food.

Givers Gain

Clete got this inspiring feeling to do something. He thanks his partner in Asheville Moving Company, Bruce, whose motto is “Givers Gain.  He had money in my pocket and thought she probably could use some extra money. That warm fuzzy feeling of giving grew and made him warm and fuzzy inside at the thought of giving to someone he doesn’t knoAmazingw, doesn’t know their life struggles.

Earlier when he got his food, the lady who served him slipped in an extra fortune cookie. He thought about his fortune. He thought about the lady’s fortune. He decided to do something – give to a stranger. He recalled Bruce came up with the idea of randomly give $100 to a stranger, someone that you felt compelled to give to for no reason or any reason, just to give. Remember, “Givers Gain!”

With his extra fortune cookie, he pulled a napkin from the dispenser on the table, pulled his Sharpie from his pocket and sat and thought about what he could write on it. Then, slip a $100 bill in it and give to the lady sitting across from me. “You Are Amazing” and “God Bless,” is what he scribbled on the napkin! As he cleaned up his mess and left the cafe area, he walked by her table, laid down the fortune cookie and napkin on her table. He said, “I had an extra fortune cookie and thought I’d share it with you.” He pointed to the napkin and said, “You Are Amazing.. now when I leave open up this up. Don’t throw it away it’s for you!” And he walked away.

But not far as he needed to see the expression when she opened it. He needed to feel good about what he did. He found a place to hide and watch her! She picked up the fortune cookie, slid it to the side and pulled the napkin close. She read it and he saw her smile! Then she pulled it a little closer and he saw her flip it open. Her head dropped ever so slightly and then her head popped up as she looked around for him with a big smile! She spots him hiding behind the flower display. He waved really big, gave her a thumbs up and walked away!

Clete didn’t do this to toot his own horn. He wants to inspire all of use to give. Give something! Give love! Give a smile or a big hug! Giving changes the world and lives.

#GiversGain

As you go out into the world, think about this story. If you give something to someone, whether through another organization or just like Clete did by yourself, tell others about it on social media and use the hashtag #GiversGain. Let’s make that a hashtag used all over the world.