Friday 21 October 2016

'Paying it forward' - Little girl's joy as generous stranger gives her unexpected birthday present

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 29/10/2015 | 21:56

Tario Fuller II and little Kinley Shufflebarger
Credit:Facebook/Megan Shufflebarger
Tario Fuller II and little Kinley Shufflebarger Credit:Facebook/Megan Shufflebarger
Megan Shufflebarger's Facebook post which lead to Tario Fuller being identified Credit:Facebook/Megan Shufflebarger

As good deeds go this random act of kindness is truly remarkable.

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Megan Shufflebarger, from Indiana, was shopping with her daughter, Kinley (2) when the little girl spotted the doll of her dreams.

"I don't think Kinley really understood we weren't there to buy toys that day, so she was pleading her case as to why she wanted that doll so badly," Shufflebarger told ABC News.

A teenage boy who was browsing nearby overheard the little girl pleading with her mother and knelt down on the floor beside her.

He asked which doll was her favourite.

Kinley replied "I really love this one."

The mysterious shopper picked up the doll and walked away.

"I thought it was odd at first but was quickly distracted with more of Kinley's oohing and ahhing.

"She asked where the dolly was she picked and I told her it was okay there are more," Shufflebarger explained.

The smiling stranger soon reappeared and presented an ecstatic Kinley with the doll which he had just purchased for her.

"Happy birthday,” he said. "Enjoy your dolly."

Shufflebarger said she was left "utterly speechless" by the young man’s thoughtful gesture.

"I asked him after he left the aisle if he would come back for a photo," she said.

"I didn't realise until we got to the car that I didn't even know his name."

She decided to track him down to fully express her gratitude, sharing the story on Facebook, in the hope that someone would recognise his face from the photo.

Her post went viral, with a whopping 145,000 likes, and the kind teenager was quickly identified.

His name is Tario Fuller II (19), a student at Purdue University in Indiana and a very talented college footballer.

"We couldn't be more proud of the type of young men and women in our athletics department," Purdue Athletics said.

Shufflebarger said that she learned an important life lesson from Fuller:

"What a reminder to never lose faith in humanity and to be generous and pay it forward," she said.

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