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Pinellas parents praise Walmart cashier for her kindness and generosity

Posted at 5:11 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 21:46:07-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County parents are praising a Walmart cashier for her kindness and generosity.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th-grade students at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School in Seminole, Florida recently held a walk-a-thon to raise money for the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals).

The kids ended up raising $3,500 by pledging their own money and asking for donations.

“They blew it out of the park with how much money they brought in,” teacher Leslie Carneiro said with glee.

The amount of money raised alone is newsworthy, but it’s what happened next when they went to purchase the items at the Bay Pines Walmart in Seminole that has all the parents and teachers at the school talking.

After filling 9 carts with kitty litter, paper towels, bird food, dog toys and other items from the SPCA’s wish list, the parents, 26 students and Mrs. Carneiro proceeded to the checkout. They bought several items using the school’s credit card, but when they went to pay for the remaining carts, the credit card was flagged for fraud because the amount was so large. The credit card payment wouldn’t go through. By that point, the parents had already escorted the students out to the car to load up the paid items and Mrs. Carneiro didn’t have her wallet.

“I told Phyllis (the Walmart cashier) let me go run and get some of the parents, I’ll be right back with the wallet and she said ‘no, I’ve got this, please let me do this,’” Carneiro explained.

Then, cashier Phyllis Collins swiped her own credit card for the remaining $648.


Parent Amanda Stanganelli said when she found out about the act of kindness, she was blown away.

“She did this out of the kindness of her heart. This woman was an angel,” she said with a smile.

The move also stunned the kids who were in the middle of their own act of kindness.

“She was very nice and generous to us,” added 3rd grader Noah Sehner.

Stranganelli paid Collins back with the money raised by students later that day and Collins explained to her that she didn’t want the kids to have to put any of the items back on the shelves.

“All she kept saying was she had been blessed in her life and God is good,” Stranganelli added.

When ABC Action News asked Collins to do an interview Wednesday she said she’d rather the focus be on the kids for their actions.


Her humbling response has since turned into a teachable moment for the students, by showing the kids just how far one act of kindness can reach.

“It’s a full circle of how doing one act of kindness can lead to so many other acts of kindness,” Mrs. Carneiro elaborated.

The students at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School spent the first half of the school year collecting blankets, sheets and towels from their own homes to donate to animals in need at the Humane Society of Pinellas County.