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Love Everybody: Gadsden County man spreading love and kindness through simple act

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:27 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - What would you do if someone handed you a note with money and words of encouragement? Would you stop and say thank you? Would you want to know more behind the message?

One man in Gadsden County spends every day at a McDonald’s handing out a dollar bill, that has a special message attached, to every customer who walks in.

Walter Alexander Johnson walks into the restaurant, orders a hot chocolate and oatmeal and sits in his booth, with his special box.

That box is stacked to the brim with one dollar bills, paperclipped with a note that says ‘Love Everybody.’

“I’ve given away thousands in my life,” shares Johnson. “I’m getting older you know, maybe someone will come up with something better, but ‘Love Everybody’ ain’t a bad one.”

The notes share the phrase, ‘Love Everybody’, which were the last words his mother told him.

In 1970, his 500-acre family farm almost went under. After making a donation to a small local church, Johnson, a religious man, said God more than provided for him and his family that year.

From that moment forward, Walter was inspired to continue paying it forward.

“I didn’t plan that, I wasn’t bribing God,” Johnson shares with a laugh. “But he took care of me when I needed it and that might have something to do with those little notes you see there.”

With COVID-19, times have gotten tough once again, but that has not slowed down Walter’s giving.

Creshonda Price, an employee at McDonald’s, smiles when Johnson walks through the door, “He always give tip, always a blessing to others. Even on days when people don’t deserve tip he tip them and he is just a blessing in our life.”

Frederika McGhee has been the manager at McDonald’s for quite some time. She says Johnson has become a staple to their restaurant, “It’s not too many people that does that out of the kindness of their hearts. And he does it on a daily basis, he’s not mandated, and he doesn’t need to do it, but it’s amazing to see people interact with him no matter what color of your skin is, he does it. And it’s just amazing.”

For Johnson, he says it is not about the money. But the simple act is about showing up for someone else and being there for them.

He hopes the small note and change, will give others comfort, “Most people smile, most people read it, they see that,” Johnson shares as he points to the note, “That love everybody...I think most of them slow down just a moment in their busy world, it slows them down just a second, it might stay with them a moment, a minute...It would be good to think that when you help somebody...you can be a shotgun for the Lord so to speak.”

Walter jokes that no matter what life throws at him, he will continue to give for as long as he can, going from dollar bills to quarters.

What is most important to him is the message and hopes it brings joy to others, like it does to him.

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