Elderly man in isolation thanks strangers for showing him kindness

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV)-- With multiple health complications, 68-year-old Ray Parish has followed doctor’s orders and spent the last week isolated inside his Middleton apartment.

Ray Parish cannot leave his home due to multiple health complications putting him at high risk to the coronavirus.

On day three of isolation, Parish said he ran out of food, with no friends or family to restock his pantry.

“It’s very stressful,” he said. “You’ve got to get food, but you hate going out when you have the health conditions that put you in the higher risk of getting this disease and have something bad happen to you.”

That’s when he explained his situation to different grocery stores, getting a "surprising" response from a manager at the Pick ‘n Save in Middleton.

Nick Carr shopped Parish’s grocery list and delivered the food, a service Pick ‘n Save staff do not do themselves-- especially at no additional cost.

Parish said he told Carr, “I’ve got pay you for bringing these food out.’ He said, ‘Absolutely not, I will not accept anything.’”

Carr explained to NBC15 that generosity is embedded into the company’s culture. “It’s what we do,” he said. “We’re in the business of taking care of people. We’re more than happy to.”

Parish said he heard from yet another grocery store committing to kindness. After receiving a call from Parish, Tommy Lancaster, co-owner of the Piggly Wiggly in Cross Plains, promised to deliver groceries once a week as long as isolation rules are in place.

Lancaster said. “That could be me someday, and... I really needed to help him.”

In response, Parish is sharing his gratitude. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. The kindness that you showed to a stranger, and to treat me the way you would want to be treated if you (were) me.”

Lancaster added that he sees random acts of generosity, though they may not be quite like Parish’s. “Everybody in this store, and in our community, has helped people, and I think that’s what going to help us through this pandemic.”