So Angela Peters stopped into the independently-owned nail salon inside the Walmart where she shops in Burton, Mich.
“When I went in there they denied me because they said I moved too much,” Peters told WNEM in Bay City, Michigan.
Peters has cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair and yes, her hands have a mind of their own.
Cerebral palsy does that to a body. It is a movement disorder that, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause abnormal reflexes and involuntary movements, floppy or rigid limbs.
Ebony Harris, a cashier at that Walmart, was working the day the salon turned Peters away, she told ABC 12 in Flint, Mich. Harris knows Peters as a frequent shopper she has spoken to frequently. She’s helped her shop a couple of times, too.
“She’s such a joy, she’s a sweetheart. She has a humble heart,” Harris told Cars 108 radio station in Flint, Mich.
Harris saw that Peters was upset and asked if she could do her nails for her.
“And she just started smiling and said, ‘yeah,’ ” Harris told WNEM.
So Peters bought a bottle of polish and Harris set up a makeshift manicure station at one of the tables in the in-store Subway.
“I thought that was so nice of her and I already felt comfortable with her because, like I said, I shop at Walmart a lot,” Peters told ABC 12.
Tasia Smith, who works at that Subway, saw the women and took a couple of pictures. She posted them on her Facebook page where they have been shared more than 3,000 times since July 30.
“Today, this sweet girl went into burton Wal-Mart’s nail salon “Da Vi nails” and they denied her service because “she moves too much”.. Out of the kindess of the walmart workers hearts they went and bought nail polish and came into my work to paint this sweet girls nails,” Smith wrote.
Though some of the comments that have been made on Facebook have been barbed ones aimed at the salon, both Peters and Harris have made a point to say they bear the shop no ill will.
“I forgive the nail people for not doing my nails and Walmart has never treated me wrong … and when people do us wrong we must forgive,” Peters wrote on her Facebook page.
“If not we harbor bitterness I don’t want anyone fired i just educate people that people with different challenges like being in A wheelchair we can have our own business and get our nails done like anyone else and I am going to be sure to say that I don’t want anyone fired at the nail salon I just want people educated.”
Harris has been set upon by local and national media outlets clamoring to spotlight her kindness, and she appears to be working hard to deflect it.
She seemed uncomfortable soaking up the praise that came her way from Pat and Jenny (AJ) Clark, hosts of the Cars 108 morning show. The station posted video of her recent visit to their studio on YouTube.
“This is a beautiful thing that you did, and it warms my heart,” Pat told her. “So Ebony, can we do something beautiful for you?”
Sensing that some kind of gift might be coming her way, Harris replied, “I don’t … that’s fine. The reason why I did it was because God told me to do it. I’m a spiritual person. I’m not perfect. I have my flaws. I have my own issues. But my heart goes out to people who are in need.
“To actually sit and talk to her … she recognizes what’s wrong with her. She accepts it. She told me it could be worse. And I told her she is a blessing to me and many others. I pray every day that I am a blessing to someone … and it has nothing to do with a financial or material thing.
“The blessing I got out of it was to see her smile. Because all I wanted to do was to make her day better.”
Then Pat leaned over and put a pair of Jay-Z and Beyoncé concert tickets in Harris’ hands.
She looked stunned.
“What? OK,” she said.
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