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An anniversary meal turns into a 'pay it forward' event one couple will always remember

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One kind gesture can change a person's life.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - That thought is behind a west Fargo couple's recent good deed.

That inspired another and hopefully more -- after they took in a man who was out in the cold.

A night out at a restaurant can be as simple or special as you want to make itBut a date here on Saturday night turned into something extraordinary.

After 32 years of marriage for Tony and barb Hampson, love is still in the air.

"A few sparks"

Amy Unrau: But on the night of their anniversary dinner at Red Lobster, something else was in the air as well.

"It was cold out."

 Not just the cold, but also compassion.

"He came up to us and the only words I heard was "hungry'," said Tony Hampson

And instead of turning him away...

"You gotta go with your gut and heart, and help people," said Barb Hampson

The two set their date night aside and had him join.

"Was I nervous a little bit? Sure," said Tony

With broken English, the man named Shundy attempted to tell his story of being form the Congo and having a brother in the hospital.

"He was really humble."

A conversation their server, Colleen, couldn't help but overhear.

"Tony was leaning over saying it's going to work out. It's going to be okay." said server Colleen Kurtti.

Within minutes, the first kind act had turned into another, with the restaurant picking up the tab... and Tony, ecouraging Shundy to take some leftovers.

"I tried to make it as comfortable as possible, like "stick a couple rolls in your pocket. (laughs) Sorry Red Lobster!" said Tony.

From there, they brought him to a motel and parted ways,leaving Shundy with a warm and full stomach

"Probably myself, Tony and Barb benefitted just as much as Shundy." said Colleen.

But also Colleen with a filled heart, the Hampsons an anniversary they'll never forget... and hopefully an inspiration for others.

"We all have it inside, if we just take a leap of faith," said Tony.

The Hampson's say they hope to find and cross paths with Shundy some day, and maybe share a meal and conversation again.

Amy Unrau

Amy is proud to be a Red River Valley native and cover stories that matter to her community. She was raised in Hallock, Minnesota and received her degree at the University of North Dakota where she participated in the student run TV show Studio One. In college, Amy met her husband, WDAY’s Jody Norstedt, while interning at WDAZ in Grand Forks. She started at WDAY in April 2014 and is currently WDAY'Z Xtra News at Nine's anchor and producer. Have a news idea? Amy would love to share your story or investigate an issue you’re concerned about.

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