Austin company surprises shoppers with gift cards

- Last-minute Christmas shoppers got some help crossing items off their list and, they didn't have to spend a dime.

Shoppers at the Wal-Mart in Northeast Austin could hardly believe what was happening.

“Let me catch my heart,” said Vilanda Blocker.

Commercial real estate company, The PPA Group, bought $5,000 dollars-worth of gift cards and handed them out Tuesday.

"My daughter just came from New York and I needed this money. Oh, I'm so excited! I don't know what to do,” said one woman.

" I'm starting to shake now guys. Oh my God. Okay,” said Blocker.

It took Vilanda Blocker a moment to express what the surprise gift meant to her.

"I'm here to shop ‘cause we picked names. Money is short. I didn't know how I was going to do it. I didn't know how I was going to do it and I can do it now,” said Blocker.

Christmas was also going to be tough for the Collins family.

"They actually weren't going to have a Christmas. We have bills to pay and they knew it. This helps out a lot,” said Lory Collins.

Both recipients and PPA staff were moved to tears.

"It just makes me feel good and I'm going to go hide and cry,” said Wal-Mart customer Reynaldo Bocanegre.

"Oh it's very emotional to see that we can help these people and this is so amazing. This is the feeling we were trying to get,” said a PPA employee.

PPA Group CFO and Owner Nalie Lee-Wen came up with the idea after handing out gift cards with her family last year. 

"I think it was the epitome of the feeling of what Christmas is. So to give that to our children and now to spread it as a company to be able to have that as our core value and to say we care, we care,” said Lee-Wen. "A simple little act is amazing how much it will touch people. From now on they'll remember this and they can do this with their families, so it's a very special thing to do."

"It's good to know there are beautiful people like you,” said Bocanegre.
 

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