Grocery store mystery 'elf' inspires others to give back

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- A Super Saver grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska has what they refer to as a "mystery elf."

A shopper comes into the store every Friday and purchases a $10 gift card. She then gives it to a cashier and tells them to give it out to shopper. She doesn't have any stipulations and doesn't mind if it's given to a customer for necessities or just for a treat.

Mindy Rabbe was behind a man who received one of these gift cards and said it inspired her to start doing the same.

"I really just wanted to do something, a little to give back and I thought it was great that the lady who was doing this wasn't asking for any recognition and she probably never receives thanks. And I thought, I've been blessed with enough, I felt an obligation to give back to the community, too," said Rabbe.

Rabbe was a teen mom and said there were many people in the community who helped her when she struggled to make ends meet throughout high school and college.

"My thought is $10 probably isn't going to change anyone's life dramatically, but if enough people give small amounts, that could inspire someone to maybe give a larger amount at some time, or all those collective small things could lead up to a big impact," she said.

Lisa Von Behren has been a front end manager at the store for about a year and said the mystery shopper has been doing this since before she started and always gives the gift card to the same cashier to use at his or her discretion.

"This cashier knows who the person is but it's still kept pretty low key. As far as I know, none of the other cashiers know who she is, which I think just gives a testament to her humility," said Behren.

She also said that it isn't unique for customers at that Super Saver store to help each other out. She's seen people give a few dollars here and there or pass back a gift card that still had money on it. However, for a shopper to go a year while staying anonymous, she said is incredible.

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