Therra Jaramillo was going through a difficult time and having trouble even paying for the basics when a friend gave her a gift card for groceries. Then Jaramillo went shopping at a Whole Foods in Atlanta, Georgia, and became the recipient of another act of kindness — this time from a famous stranger. When Jaramillo’s gift card did not cover everything that she wanted to purchase at checkout, the customer ahead of her in line said he would pay for all her groceries.
Jaramillo was overwhelmed with gratitude by the generosity of this man, who told her his name was Chris. When Chris left, the cashier informed Jaramillo that the kind stranger was none other than Chris Bridges — known to most people as Ludacris, superstar rapper and actor.
“And she [the cashier] goes, you know that’s a famous rapper, you know, that’s Ludacris,” Jaramillo told USA Today of the experience. “And I went, ‘What! What!’ and I screamed.”
When Jaramillo got home, she shared her experience on Facebook. Her moving post has since gone viral:
Jaramillo began by explaining just how hard of a time she was having before Ludacris made his kind gesture.
“I was too embarrassed to say out loud I was having financial difficulty but it was a solid problem,” she wrote. “I was making rice for me and the dogs to eat. I was losing sleep. I was crying daily. I rationed gas in my car.”
Then she wrote about the gratitude and awe she felt when a stranger offered to pay her entire $375 grocery bill.
“I thanked him but I was so stunned that even as we made small talk (he asked me about my four dogs) I tripped over my words, all the while thinking, ‘I’m talking to an angel. Should I tell him? Should I tell him he’s an angel?'”she explained.
When Jaramillo learned her “angel” is actually a huge star, she was even more amazed. Although she is a fan of Ludacris’ music, she had not recognized him and was astonished that such a successful and famous person would help out a stranger in need — not for the recognition he would receive, but simply out of the kindness of his heart.
“Ludacris. This guy is awesome run amok,” she wrote. “You know why? He was just doing something kind for a disheveled, harried stranger. Showing the love in his soul. Shining a light in the world. But there’s something else.”
Jaramillo then went on to enumerate the many struggles she had experienced in her life, and particularly in the last few years, including the loss of her husband to brain cancer. She marveled at the fact that Ludacris didn’t know that he was helping her at the exact moment she needed it most.
“What Ludacris had no way of knowing is that his quiet kindness and generous gesture came at a moment when my candle was out,” she wrote. “He used his personal light to fire up my own. Isn’t that what we should be doing for each other?”
Jaramillo concluded her post by imploring her Facebook friends to emulate the kindness she was shown by the famous rapper and to “pay it forward.”
“Be like Ludacris y’all,” she wrote. “I know I’m gonna do it. Pay it forward. We can, every one of us, do SOMEthing for others. You never know a stranger’s full story when you reach out a hand and yank them into a better place. Thank you, Chris. God bless you.”
Jaramillo’s message has certainly resonated, and her Facebook post has now been shared more than 13,000 times. She has also started a fundraising campaign on Facebook to make a donation to The Ludacris Foundation, which is the rapper’s charity.
Here’s hoping that people will be inspired by his kindness to spread their own good will whenever possible!