When Real Life Mirrors Hollywood - A Good Samaritan Pays It Forward

Susanna Sisson's picture
money and kindness

Most people don’t expect to be the recipient of a random act of kindness, but that is what happened recently to Jamie-Lynne Knighten, a young mother of two on a trip to the grocery store when the only credit card she had with her was declined.


As she was deliberating going home for another credit card, with a fussy baby in tow, a stranger standing in line behind her offered to pay for her grocery bill of over $200, and had just one request – that she “pay it forward’. That stranger’s name is Matthew Jackson, a 28 year old personal trainer who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

A few days later Knighten decided to call the LA Fitness gym where he worked and give him the praise he deserved. The gym manager, Angela Lavinder, happened to answer the phone and when she heard the reason for the call, a tale of kindness that was no surprise to her because she knew Matthew, she began to cry, then broke the sad news that Matthew Jackson had been killed in a car wreck.

Upon hearing the news, Knighten realized he passed away less than one day after changing her life forever.


While unable to tell him personally how much his kindness meant to her, Knighten created a Facebook page to honor the Good Samaritan and tell his story. She called it Matthews Legacy.

What is written in the timeline is this, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop” and she also used the quote by Julia Alvarez which says, “The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”

Matthews Legacy now has over 22 thousand likes and has become a place for others to share stories of random acts of kindness, a reminder, especially during this holiday season that there

is more life than money, and we can each make a difference in someone’s life, just at Matthew Jackson did the day he saw a stranger in need.
One young man’s generous act has become a global movement as others are vowing to also “pay it forward” in honor of Matthew Jackson. Social media is buzzing with the story as well as other stories of random acts of kindness. One reader from the Philippines has pledged to purchase $200 worth of food to distribute to the poor children where he lives to honor the young man whose life, though cut short, was not lived in vain and has made an impact on the lives of many.