Good Samaritan dies day after paying stranger’s $200 grocery bill

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Matthew Jackson

Matthew Jackson, 28, died in a Nov. 11 car crash, just a day after he paid a stranger’s $200 grocery bill.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A Carlsbad woman wants to honor the memory of a good Samaritan who paid her $200 grocery bill — then died less than 24 hours later.

It was a brief exchange between the two at the Trader Joe’s in Oceanside on Nov. 10, but a memorable one.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jamie-Lynne Knighten was having a stressful night at the grocery store — struggling with a crying baby and realizing she forgot her debit card while attempting to purchase $200 worth of groceries.

She then tried using her credit card but it was declined due to an anti-fraud lock. As Knighten fumbled with her phone, trying to call her bank, the line of customers grew and her baby continued to cry.

That’s when 28-year-old Matthew Jackson stepped in at offered to pay. Knighten refused but Jackson insisted. She eventually agreed but made note of his name and place of work in hopes of repaying his kindness.

She never got the chance.

A week later, Knighten called Jackson’s boss at LA Fitness, who began to cry. That’s when Knighten received the news that Jackson had been killed in a car accident not far from where they met and less than 24 hours after his selfless deed.

So Knighten took to Facebook to honor the man whose kindness made such an impression on her. She then started a Facebook page called “Matthew’s Legacy” asking others to “pay it forward” as a tribute to Jackson.

It seems it’s already happening as the L.A. Times reports Jackson’s sister and brother-in-law were traveling for his memorial service when they stopped along the way to eat with their four kids.

When they went to pay the bill, they received a heartwarming surprising — someone had already paid for them.

Read Knighten’s post in its entirety:

Most nights I don’t sleep because I have a 5 month old and a 2 1/2 year old.. If one is sleeping, the other is usually up.. But last night my restlessness didn’t come from my mini-me’s.. The turmoil in my head and heart made it impossible to sleep a wink. I am trying to make sense of something that will never be fully understood.. Even with my strong faith I do have times of great weakness when these things happen.. Maybe it’s a combination of everything happening in the world as a whole or maybe it’s just because this hits so close to home.

Why are the good people of this world taken too soon? Why are the evil ones left to hurt the rest of us?
3 days after flying home to California to surprise Josh, I had had a heck of a time getting Gracie to sleep due to still being on East Coast time. I needed to get groceries and Josh was slammed with some work contract deadlines so I bundled up Wyatt and headed to Trader Joes around 8:30 pm. It was by far the most stressful shopping experience because he was also out of his routine and fighting sleep. Fast forward to check out at approx 9:45.. I go to pay with Wyatt crying in my arms and realize that I had left my debit card on the kitchen counter.

So I scramble and find my Canadian credit card. Swipe… Decline.. Swipe.. Decline.. Check my account on my phone even though I know it’s fine.. Realize that my bank put a anti-fraud hold on it because we were traveling and I forgot to notify them.. My phone then dies before I can attempt to call and have the hold removed.. I am about to ask the young girls at the cash if they can hold my purchase for me so I can go home and get my other card when the gentleman behind me quietly says “May I?”..

I’m overwhelmed and didn’t think I heard him correctly so he repeats “May I? May I take care of your groceries?”.. I stutter and say “Oh, thank you.. How sweet, but no thank you, you don’t have to do that..”. So he calmly repeats himself again.. This time I look at him and he says “I would be glad to take care of your groceries as long as you promise to do it for someone else..” and I came to realize how much it would mean to him if I humbly accepted. So I did. And this complete stranger paid over $200 for my groceries. Thanking him endlessly through my tears I ask his name and where he works before parting ways.

This past week has been a whirlwind with family so yesterday while the babies were asleep I finally had the chance to call his boss. I wanted to let him know how incredible of an employee he has and to find out if I could get his last name to send him a thank you card and small gift.

I hear crying on the other end of the line and my heart sinks.. I just knew something was wrong.. His boss quietly informs me that this incredible human being was in a tragic car accident the very next night and passed away. Not even 24 hours after meeting him.. Gone. Just like that. How? Why? I don’t understand.
He was a year younger than me and engaged to be married. His boss explained to me how amazing this young man was in his every day life and that what he did for me was just who he was as a person.
I still cannot believe it. I thought for sure I would get the chance to see him again, give him a hug and thank him at least once more in person. Now I won’t get that chance, but more importantly no one else will get the chance to meet him. And that breaks my heart.

May you rest in peace Matthew. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I truly hope they know how well they raised you and what impact you’ve had on this world.

So in short.. Live every day to it’s fullest. Do kind things for people. Love with every fiber of your being. Help whenever help is needed. Restore others faith in humanity during this very difficult time in the world.


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