In the bustling routine of daily life, where faces blur into the crowd, individual stories often fade into the background. Yet, sometimes, a simple interaction can illuminate the extraordinary in the ordinary, reminding us of the unique stories each person carries.

Enter MDMotivator, or Zachery Dereniowski, a man on a mission, known for his acts of kindness and dedication to mental health advocacy. Through his social media presence, Zach has become a beacon of hope, sharing his journey and inspiring others to open up about their struggles.

What a Stranger Asked From a Cashier

french fries and a hotdog on a white plate
Photo by Anna Tarazevich

On a particular day, Zach steps into a fast-food joint, not just for a quick bite but with a mission in mind. Approaching the cashier, Kim, he poses a simple yet revealing question: “What can I get for a buck?”

The cashier, momentarily puzzled, scans the menu for the cheapest item. The options are limited, and nothing quite fits the bill. Then, an idea strikes her. She asks Zach if he likes hot dogs. When he says he does and asks about the cost, she tells him – $2.49, more than he’s asked to spend. But what comes next is unexpected. She offers to pay for it herself.

Curious, Zach asks why she would do this for a stranger. The cashier’s response is heartwarming. “I’ve been there. I know what it’s like,” she said. In a moment of recognizing an opportunity to make a difference, she seized it, however small it might seem.

“It sucks when nobody wants to help you,” Kim said.

This gesture captures the essence of human connection – a simple act of kindness that speaks volumes. Zach, revealing his identity as MDMotivator, known for turning moments of kindness into viral stories, is about to add another chapter.

How One Cashier Proved Small Acts Have a Huge Impact

In exchange for the worker’s willingness to pay for his meal out of her pocket, Zach offers her a stack of cash from his own. After putting the initial dollar bill into her tip jar, he pulls out a handful of hundreds, totaling $1,000.

When Zach later posted the interaction to his TikTok channel, it went viral, amassing over 5.4 million views on that platform alone. The video resonates because it reflects a universal truth: we all have the power to uplift others, no matter how small the action may be.

But that wasn’t it! Zach created a GoFundMe page for Kim, which has currently has $11,000.

In the fast-paced world where moments often slip away unnoticed, this exchange serves as a powerful reminder. The seemingly mundane act of buying a hot dog becomes a symbol of empathy and connection. It’s a testament to the fact that kindness, no matter how small, has a ripple effect that reaches far beyond the initial gesture.

This story, shared by Zach, isn’t just about a meal or money; it’s about the profound impact of compassion, reminding us that in the grand tapestry of life, each thread of kindness adds to the beauty of the whole.