As he was leaving soccer practice a few days ago, 14-year-old Dylan Stuart noticed something wasn’t quite right. Someone had stolen his soccer ball.
“We were collecting the balls, and I was looking around for my ball, but I couldn’t find it anywhere,” said Dylan.
“He was pretty upset about it. But you know, we talked about how sometimes these things happen,” said his mother, Summer.
So Dylan and his mom, set out to replace it. But with two other siblings in sports, the family’s extra-curricular activities can get expensive.
“We just didn’t need to spend more money on the ball than we needed to spend on it. So we were trying to get a cheaper ball that was still good and was still going to last,” said Dylan.
On Monday, Dylan and his mom stopped by Soccer Pro in Fair Oaks. While in line to pay, a stranger overheard the Stuarts talking about Dylan’s stolen ball. The store security camera captured what happened next — a stranger, paying for a ball of his own, took a glance back at the family and re-opened his wallet.
“He left a $20 bill. He told us to give it towards them,” said Carlos Ortega, a store employee at Soccer Pro.
Ortega was working at the time. The stranger pretty much paid the whole amount, leaving the family a grand total of just $3.75 for a brand new Arsenal soccer ball.
“Me and my co-worker Juan were like, are you sure? It’s kind of one of those things you don’t expect,” said Ortega.
“We were floored, and we just, you know, we got in the car and my kids and I all prayed, and we had tears in our eyes, and it was just a special moment. He didn’t know anything about me. You know, $20, that to somebody else might be no big deal. But to us it was huge,” said Summer.
What this kind stranger really gave was much more valuable than $20. And Dylan wasn’t the only recipient.
“Random act of kindness really goes a long way,” said Ortega.
“Like, then maybe if we do that to another person then that person, when he grows up, he may do that to another one,” said Dylan’s 10-year-old brother Logan.
Sounds like the boys have “paying it forward” all figured out.