Tamara Smith with Brooklyn Roberts at the Otter Co-op on May 25. (Tamara Smith/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Teen cashier praised after paying grocery bill for Aldergrove woman

Otter Co-op’s Brooklyn Roberts asked to pay Tamara Smith’s $44 grocery bill after debit card declined

An act of kindness was returned twofold to a teen cashier Saturday (May 25) in Aldergrove, after she paid the grocery bill of a struggling local woman.

Tamara Smith had rung up $44 in groceries at Otter Co-op, but didn’t have a working debit card to pay for it all.

With the COVID-19 virus spreading and other health issues, Smith hasn’t really been out of the house much.

She tried three times to lessen the amount of items in her cart to arrive at a smaller purchase total. But the debit card she used, which belonged to her boyfriend Mark Grausdies, declined each time.

By then, part-time cashier and Grade 12 D.W. Poppy High School student Brooklyn Roberts had begged Smith to let her take care of it.

“She was like, ‘Please, let me pay for you. I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen,’ “ Smith recalled her saying.

After paying, the Grade 12’s offer had both of them in tears.

“It was very emotional,” Smith told the Aldergrove Star.

Smith, who is still recovering from a surgery she had in February, was able to go home with the groceries she needed.

READ MORE: Otter Co-op to recognize Langley residents going ‘above and beyond’ for others during pandemic

After arriving home and conferring with her partner, it turned out Smith had been entering the wrong account on Grausdies’ card.

On Saturday, with help from team members at Otter Co-op in Aldergrove, Brooklyn was stationed near the front door during an afternoon portion of her shift.

Smith walked in the Co-op with a basket of the teen’s favourite things – including a $40 gift certificate to get her nails done, a $10 gift card to Starbucks, a pink tumbler, candy, and other surprises.

Brooklyn “was just thrilled,” Smith said, witnessing her receive the surprise.

Smith had found out when Brooklyn would be on shift, as well as her most-desired gifts, from the teen’s older sister.

“You guys didn’t have to do this,” the teen told the couple.

Smith even included a “Grad 2020” card in the basket, congratulating Brooklyn on graduating high school in January.

Brooklyn is continuing to do essential work at Otter Co-op amid the pandemic.

“Being the age you are and what you’ve done for us, hopefully this will inspire people your age,” Smith told the teen.

It has inspired Smith to create the “Celebrating Excellence initiative” to recognize other locals doing great things within the community.

RELATED: Langley teen warms hearts with anti-bullying hoodie campaign

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