Feroza Syed couldn’t believe what she saw happen in front of her: a man threw a large drink directly at the woman working in the drive-thru window at a fast-food restaurant in suburban Atlanta.
Apparently, he didn’t want ice in his drink.
When Syed pulled up, the woman, Bryanna, was soaked and crying. She was also six months pregnant.
Syed gave her a $20 tip, expressed her outrage at the man’s behavior and offered to contact the police. Hours later – and still fuming – Syed posted about the incident earlier this month on her Facebook page and got a huge response.
That gave her an idea. She asked her thousands of Facebook friends and followers if they’d be interested in sending “$5 or (whatever)” to her Venmo or Cash App and she’d figure out a way to get the money to Bryanna.
Donations poured in.
“I used to work retail and this story has me shaking mad,” one woman replied on the post, after donating.
A few days after the incident, Bryanna said her manager told her the woman who witnessed the incident was trying to get in touch with her. They eventually connected.
“(Feroza) was like …’I have a surprise for you and I really want to give it to you in person’ so I sent her my address,” Bryanna told CNN, asking that her last name not be included. “She gave me the envelope and I couldn’t do nothing but cry because I wasn’t expecting that.”
Inside the envelope was $1,700 in donations from people who saw Bryanna’s story on Facebook and, as Syed said, wanted to “put a smile on her face and show her not all humans are horrible.”
“A large portion of the donations were $5, $10, $20 and that totaled up to a large sum of money,” Syed said.
In a follow-up post, Syed shared Bryanna’s Cash App handle so others could donate directly to the soon-to-be mother and even helped set up an online baby registry at Target.
“She has been a blessing,” Bryanna said of Syed. “There’s still some good people out there.”
Syed said she didn’t do anything special: “I just saw somebody being mistreated and I didn’t like what I saw.”
“Doing the right thing inspires others to do the right thing and what I keep learning again and again and again is when you see something like this or any situation where someone is being mistreated or harmed … all it takes is one person to change the narrative,” she said.
And that lesson is particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When we talk about how to give back to our essential workers who put their lives on the line feeding, housing, shopping and providing health care for us – remember that anyone can do what I did,” she wrote.