Nathan Fillion shared a sweet pay-it-forward story after a Costco employee helped his mom

In a time when we've watched people fight over toilet paper, argue over mask-wearing and storm government buildings with firearms, a nice random act of kindness story is always appreciated. And when that random act of kindness happens to someone who is famous-adjacent, the impact somehow seems all the more pure.

Actor Nathan Fillion, best known for his starring roles in the TV series Firefly (and subsequent movie, Serenity) and Castle, shared one such story on Facebook this week—and people are loving it.

He wrote:


"The other day in Canada, a woman buying gas at a Costco had trouble with her credit card. The attendant bought her gas out of his own pocket and asked only that she pay it forward. That Costco was in Edmonton, that attendant was Les Thompson, and Les? That woman was my mother. You restore my faith in humanity, sir. My dad and I are sending three iPads and headphones to a nearby senior care facility so that folks there can visit with their families. Right now, we could all stand to be less afraid, and a little more Les. (Canada, Costco, Les, iPads, and my mom not pictured.)"


Fillion's post has been shared nearly 30,000 times, and commenters have expressed their gratitude for highlighting the fact that there are lots of good people out there. Some said they were proud to be Canadian. (Canada is well known for the general kindness of its people.) Others said the story reminded them that hope is not lost, even in the face of fairly constant bad news. Some inquired as to whether or not Fillion was married. (He's not.) But most simply thanked him for sharing a seemingly small, but oh-so-meaningful story about the power of a simple, selfless act of generosity.

Well done, Les from Costco. Well done, Fillion family. Thanks for giving us the boost of faith in humanity we need right now.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.