The Grocery Giver: Man buys groceries for strangers, and it’s brought light to his life

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EAST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania — After several dark years dealing with depression, a man found light in his life by giving to others. Terry LaFaver said he’s not a wealthy man, but doing things like buying groceries for strangers is what makes his life worth living.

The random stranger is hand-picked from the aisles of the East Manchester GIANT Food Store.

“You never know what the person that you’re getting (groceries) for — what their life is like,” LaFaver said.

LaFaver generally looks to pick up the tab for those who need assistance getting around, or elderly couples.

“I don’t call it paying it forward, because I know the people I’m picking won’t be able to pay it forward,” LaFaver said.

While he doesn’t do this for recognition, his selfless acts aren’t going unnoticed.

“Terry is just phenomenal, you know? He’s really touched a lot of folks’ hearts here in the store,” Gary Cottingham, GIANT Food Store GM said.

“I just want you to have a nice day,” LaFaver told a stranger.

“Well that’s very nice, but you shouldn’t be doing that,” John Prescott, grocery recipient said.

LaFaver does it in order to keep moving forward.

During his darkest days, his neighbors actually thought he’d committed suicide because he was so depressed. A short time later, he found his calling.

“Maybe he’s got more in store for me than what I think, and I think I should start giving back to other people,” LaFaver said.

He stresses to others that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make people happy, or to be an influence. Sometimes, LaFaver said, just opening the door for someone or saying “thank you” makes all the difference, and sometimes, all it takes is a simple nod or smile.

LaFaver also buys lunch anonymously at a local cafe, and during the holidays, he bought as many toys as he could to hand out to children at the grocery store.