As Jimmie Grand drove down Clay Street in Vicksburg Monday morning, she noticed the driver in front of her doing something questionable.
“It looked like she was throwing things at people as she passed,” said Grand, a pharmaceutical representative from Clinton. “Not at cars. People!”
Grand watched as the other driver slowed in front of the McDonald’s restaurant and tossed something out of the window at a pedestrian on the sidewalk. At the next stoplight, the driver tossed something into the open window of a patrol car beside her. When she saw the driver throw something to the crossing guard in front of Vicksburg Catholic School Grand was beyond curious; she was upset.
“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she said. “I was already having a rotten day, and watching her just made me mad. So, I decided to follow her until she got where she was going and see what her problem was.”
As it turned out, the other driver did not have a problem.
Grand caught up to the driver and asked her what she was doing. She could barely believe her response.
“She said she was throwing love out every chance she got,” Grand said.
The driver was Lisa Anderson, a computer scientist at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg. Anderson had filled cellophane treat bags with things like candy, coffee pods, chap sticks and even dollar bills. She told Grand that she carried a few “happies” with her to pass out when she saw someone who looked deserving or in need of a reason to smile.
Anderson was inspired when her son, Hunter, was hurt and received tremendous support from the community.
Hunter Anderson, a Vicksburg police officer, was injured during a traffic stop Nov. 14, 2020. The intoxicated driver attempted to flee, and Anderson received a 4-inch laceration to his head in the ensuing struggle.
Officer Anderson required 12 staples to his head, and the assailant was charged with disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and driving under the influence.
“When Hunter was hurt, the amount of love shown to him was incredible,” Lisa Anderson said. “I had total strangers telling me they’d prayed for Hunter, Halle (his wife) and the baby. People were sending cards, gifts and meals. I mean, people they don’t even know.”
Anderson said there is no way for her to know specifically who showed her family kindness, so she decided to return the love randomly.
Grand said that talking to Anderson turned her rotten day around.
“My husband couldn’t believe that I had the nerve to confront some stranger because that’s totally out of character for me. But there was something telling me I needed to. And I am so glad I did,” Grand said. “She inspired me. I’ve been going all over Clinton throwing love out the window!”