Store manager

Edmonton woman overwhelmed by friendliness of Salmon Arm store manager – Penticton Western News

The daughter of two Salmon Arm residents and a Salmon Arm store manager both describe themselves as having tears in their eyes when talking about their recent interactions.

Samantha Wallace contacted the Observer to express her great appreciation for the actions of Salmon Arm Co-op Gas Bar store manager Marilyn Williams on Nov. 17.

Wallace explained that she lives in Edmonton, her brother and his family live on Vancouver Island, and her elderly parents live in Salmon Arm.

With all the flooding in British Columbia followed by photos circulating of empty grocery shelves, she knew she couldn’t leave her parents, in their 80s, to line up for groceries.

She contacted the Co-op’s gas bar in Salmon Arm, as she knows it sells pre-prepared foods that her mother has already purchased.

Wallace ended up talking to Williams, the co-op store manager. Wallace said they were having fun deciding which races to choose. She told Williams to put the tab on her credit card. Williams told her no, she didn’t have to pay.

“She said absolutely not, pay it forward,” Wallace said. She asked Williams if she was sure.

Williams told her she was paying it forward because her parents lived in Ontario before they died, so she knows what it’s like to be distant.

Wallace asked if there would be someone at the store who could deliver the groceries. Williams didn’t hesitate. She said she would.

Wallace’s mother texted him later. Her mother told her that Williams had tears in her eyes when she was there.

“Literally, I had tears in my eyes that someone would do that,” Wallace said, his voice captivating with emotion.

“I think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing. I really can’t believe she did.

Wallace said she believes that, as bad as flooding is, it sometimes brings out the best in people.

“With everything going on, and everyone doing what they can to help.”

Wallace said she had heard her mother talk about Williams’ behavior at the co-op before. Although her mother didn’t know her name, she said the woman who worked there would help her carry things to the car.

When the Observer contacted Williams about her good deeds, she was reluctant to be in the paper. She doesn’t do such things to be recognized. But, since Wallace wanted to publicize her kindness, she agreed.

She was quick to point out that it was the “girls in the kitchen” who prepared the food so she can’t take all the credit – it’s all a cooperative effort.

Williams said Wallace’s mother brought him to tears because both of his parents are now gone.

“It was one of those heartfelt, ‘I gotta do this for you.’ Her daughter is so far away from her elderly parents; there was no hesitation in my mind,” Williams said.

She said she did the same thing – ordering things to be delivered – when her parents were alive.

“I wasn’t there physically and I wanted them to know, ‘Hey, I love you, I care about you, I’m here,'” she said of her parents.

Wallace’s mother has a respiratory problem, so Williams left her phone number and urged her to call if she needed help.

Williams said she told Wallace’s mother, “You’re a mom, you were there for your daughter, now she’s there for you.”

She said she would stop by the elderly couple with a snow shovel to make sure they were okay.

“It’s so nice to be able to help with all your heart,” Williams said. “Some people do it for recognition but, for me, I’d rather be poor and give someone your last meal.”

She said she thought it was her training.

Williams was born when her mother was 44 and she was raised in poverty by her Italian parents.

At his father’s funeral, his mother said, in Italian: “You know, Mario, we were very poor but we lived a rich life.

“That’s what she said. I’ll never forget it, it was so true.

Williams said her parents danced in the kitchen, her family never ran out of food, and her parents were never stressed about anything. They weren’t driving – his father was cycling to the paper mill where he worked. He had his garden in the backyard.

“They were so happy.”

Williams said nowadays “we are so lucky to have what we have, healthy children and grandchildren…”

She pointed out that the accumulation of things does not bring happiness.

“We have to take a step back, give people our freedom of time…”


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