Pay It Forward: Convenience store owner adopts family over the holidays

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man's kindness during Christmas had a lasting impact on one family.

The convenience store at 24th and Brooklyn sells canned foods, soda and candy, but the compassion is free.

“We had nothing under the tree, we didn't decorate our tree or nothing until that day he blessed us,” said Danielle Wrinkle about the store owner, Howard Bettis.

He opened the store because the neighborhood didn't have one. Rhonda Robinson works there.

“I told Howard she doesn't have anything for Christmas, and the kids don't have anything. And just out of the blue he said ‘we are going to adopt them, we are going to adopt them,’” said Robinson.

Adopt them he did. Howard gave Wrinkle family money for Christmas gifts, food and toys for the girls.

“It's amazing, they’re like family to me,” said little Ashland Wrinkle, Danielle’s daughter.

“My kids have shoes and clothing and toys and he's just a wonderful person,” said Danielle Wrinkle.

After counting out $300, FOX 4 found Howard behind the cash register.

“I love you so much. I know you don't like cameras but I had to thank you so much for everything you do for me and for everyone. Here is your money,” said Wrinkle. “One hundred, two hundred. Three hundred...”

Howard says the store has had its ups and downs but it's worth it to him.

“I figured the neighborhood actually needs it. I just wanted to give something back to the community instead of taking from the community. I wish I could do more,” said Howard.

To nominate someone, who's not a relative, for FOX 4’s Pay It Forward, CLICK HERE.