Ashleigh Gilleland had to flee her home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in order to escape the path of Hurricane Florence. When she exited a restaurant in Sarasota, Florida, she spotted a note on her car’s windshield.
It turned out to be some sweet well-wishes from a complete stranger who could relate to Gilleland’s plight as an evacuee. Also enclosed were $5 and a Walmart gift card.
“Saw your license plate is from South Carolina,” the note read. “Not sure if you evacuated from the storm, but just know Florida is praying for you and your state. When we had Irma, we evacuated to Alabama and received a similar letter on our car because we had a Florida license plate, so I wanted to pass it on. We understand how it feels to evacuate.”
Gilleland posted a photo of the note to Facebook and expressed her gratitude for this small but meaningful act of kindness, writing, “This just made my day. I’m so happy to know there are still great people in the world. Always pay it forward! Thank you, Chelsey, I wish I could thank you in person. God Bless!”
Gilleland’s post went viral, eventually allowing her to connect with the author of the note and get the opportunity to thank her personally. Gilleland then shared some screenshots of their conversation:
The author of the note, Chelsey Tokan, said that when she was able to return home after Hurricane Irma, she volunteered at churches and passed out food and water to those who were in need, as a way of spreading the kindness she was offered.
“I’m going to pay it forward once I get home because I know of all the devastation that has happened there over the past week,” Gilleland told Fox News. “Myrtle Beach needs some positivity.”
It’s so heartwarming to see these displays of kindness and compassion amidst such devastating storms!