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Woman Threatens Children Selling Candy Outside Target - Until a Stranger Puts Her in Her Place
Lady Threatens Children Selling Candy Outside Target, but a Stranger Defends Them
Uplifting News

Woman Threatens Children Selling Candy Outside Target - Until a Stranger Puts Her in Her Place

One man wanted to show the children that there were good people in the world.

A young boy and his sister held a cardboard box in front of themselves, asking customers on their way into a California Target if they’d like to buy some candy. Some shoppers said yes; others declined. But one woman took it upon herself to escalate the situation.

“Have you asked permission to be here?” she enquired. “Where is your license?”


Why One Elderly Woman Yelled at Two Children

a container with candy wrapped in cellophane
Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva

The two kids, visibly shocked by the elderly woman’s question, mumbled something in reply. They were just trying to earn a little bit of money. But it wasn’t enough for the woman. She continued to barrage them with questions, harassing them for trying to sell candy in front of the chain store. She threatened to call the police and told the kids that they’d be thrown into jail for selling candy without a license.

Several shoppers asked her to leave the kids alone. When she started yelling, another woman, by the name of Andy Lizarraga, exited the store and pulled out her cell phone to record the confrontation. That’s when the kids started to cry. But the elderly woman refused to leave. She continued with an avalanche of angry words. She probably didn’t expect anyone to intervene.

A man by the name of Jay Lopez was exiting the store when the woman’s angry yelling caught his attention. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” he told her, shaking his head.

When the woman refused to back down, instead replying that Lopez should be ashamed of himself “for being so ignorant.” Lopez remained calm and decided to let his actions speak louder than his words. He turned his back to the woman and looked directly at the siblings.

“How much is it for all that?” he asked them. Then, turning back to the woman, who was still bickering, he announced, “I’m buying it all. I’m going to buy it all, and I’m going to give it away.”

How One Man Responded to an Elderly Woman’s Threats

The young boy knelt down on the pavement and started to add together in his head the prices of all the candy bars in his cardboard box. The grand total came out to $80. Lopez headed back into the Target to get cash. When he came out, he handed the cash to the boy and proceeded to distribute the candy freely to everyone who was watching.

The customer who had caught the interaction on her cell phone posted the video to Facebook. “There are good people and bad people in this world,” Lizarraga wrote, “and I saw it firsthand. Screw all you ignorant people who have to complain about something.”

When the video was posted to YouTube, nearly 2,000 people weighed in on the situation. One person commented, “Someone give that man a trophy!” Another praised the children, writing, “While other kids are playing in their Xbox and phones, this kid is out selling candy to help pay for all of the things he is far from getting.” Indeed, the boy’s entrepreneurial spirit was applauded in many comments. Nearly all of them called the elderly woman a busybody who should mind her own business.

“I showed it to friends and family, not intending it to go viral at all,” Lizarraga said, “and I guess people just started sharing it and sharing it.” When the video went viral, the woman’s daughter requested that it be taken down. It’s been viewed more than six million times on Facebook.

How One Stranger Proved That There Are Good People in the World

Pexels brett sayles 9073535 edited scaled
Photo by Brett Sayles

When asked to comment on the woman’s actions, Lopez said, “Mind your own business. Take care of yourself and your family and everything will come together for you.”

Lopez wonders if the woman’s reaction would have been different if it was a little white girl in front of the store selling Girl Scout cookies; other comments on the videos say the same thing.

“I’m not putting race into this,” he said, “but I bet it would have been a whole different story.” In fact, kids often sell candy, cookies, and even candles and housewares outside of stores, trying to raise money for all kinds of things.

This story, though, illustrates the power that one person has to turn a whole story around if he or she is brave enough to stand up to a bully. Lopez let the woman know that the community didn’t support her opinion — and he didn’t have to shout or attack her character to do it. 

When passersby shared in the candy that Lopez had bought, it was an act of solidarity between the two siblings and their whole community. That day, those kids learned that there are good people in the world who have their back.

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