Rebecca Mclean - Hero of the Week | The Jackal

23 Sept 2014

Rebecca Mclean - Hero of the Week

I sometimes wonder about my fellow New Zealanders and why they would support political parties that seem determined to increase the wealth divide between rich and poor. How could they possibly not care about impoverishment, and instead appear to only care about big business interests and themselves?

It's easy to lose hope when you see the day-to-day hardship of people who would gratefully take the opportunity to better themselves if it was available. It's especially difficult when there are endless smear campaigns against those very same downtrodden people who simply don't have much of a voice to defend themselves.

That's why stories like this one, reported by the NZ Herald yesterday, are important:

Act of kindness has Facebook abuzz

When Whangarei Pak'nSave checkout operator Rebecca Mclean, 18, helped an elderly customer pay for her groceries last week she did not intend to tell anyone.

Ms Mclean did not want to been seen to be bragging, or worse get in trouble with her boss.

However, Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper witnessed Ms Mclean's generosity, which he wrote an editorial about for the following day's paper.

The article was widely shared on Facebook with plenty of comments praising Ms Mclean, though at that stage her identity was unknown.

Last Monday, during a busy lunchtime, an elderly woman came through Ms Mclean's checkout and struggled with her Eftpos card. "Her card declined the first time and she kind of got a bit of a fright," Ms Mclean said.

With originally around $50 worth of products, the elderly lady proceeded to take items out of her trolley, though her card declined again.

That was likely her weekly shop.

She was starting to get a bit flustered by the line forming behind her and got her pin number wrong, Ms Mclean said.

"She was getting quite upset about it so I just handed her my [Eftpos] card," she said.

Though the total was only $17.30, the elderly woman was obviously touched by the gesture. "And then she gave me a hug," Ms Mclean said.

"Afterwards I just felt really good," she said. "I just was really happy that I had put a smile on someone's face."

The elderly woman was very genuine and the items in her trolley were obviously essentials, Ms Mclean said.

There's nothing like a bit of good old Kiwi philanthropy to put things into perspective. That's why Rebecca Mclean wins this week's hero award. It's only through caring for our fellow Kiwis that New Zealand will once again prosper.