Three GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) customers discovered helping others has its own rewards.
As skyrocketing food prices take a toll on wallets, Stephanie Braynen, Barbara Harris and Rosena Joseph each walked away with $1,000 in grocery items after winning a three-minute holiday shopping spree promotion on Friday, January 13, at Xtra Valu Food Store in Nassau Village.
Braynen sent money to a relative. Harris wired funds to help out a friend in a financial bind; while Joseph dispatched her cash to Haiti, assisting her sister and three other children from her old neighborhood with school fees. Their generosity was returned to them in multiples.
“This will help me a whole lot,” said Braynen who’s battling neck, shoulder and back injuries from a fall at work. Unable to dash through the aisles herself, Braynen turned to her friend Veronda Finley to assist with the grocery store grab.
With her daughter-in-law hospitalized Braynen has been helping her son with his two young boys. Her initial plan was to have Finley get as much juice and snacks for the children as she could and then, maybe, laundry items.
That was before she scoped out the spacious supermarket for the first time. The plan changed to having Finley snatch as many items from freezers -like chicken and shrimp- and off shelves – from snacks to cleaning supplies- as possible.
“I’ve never won anything in my life. This has to be God. I’m out there helping people all the time and I never get any help. To win out of so many people, God is answering my prayers,” said Braynen.
According to Lovy Jean, operations and network development manager at GKMS Bahamas, the company had no idea random winners were doing something good for someone, expecting nothing in return, when they usedthe money transfer services between November 1 to December 31.
“They made a positive difference in their recipients’ lives and we are happy to do the same for them,” he said.
During GKMS’ wildly popular annual campaign every customer who sent a money transfer from anywhere in The Bahamas was automatically entered to win the holiday shopping spree promotion, explained Narissa Eve, the company’s business development and marketing officer for Cayman, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.
“Weekly winners received a $100 John Bull gift certificate. At the end of the promotion, three lucky winners were randomly selected to receive up to $1,000 from Xtra Valu in a grocery grab.”
On Friday, shoppers and food store workers were captivated by the spectacle while hundreds tuned in on Facebook live to watch Louby Georges host the event. In-store, DJ Counsellor provided the music and told shoppers about the opportunity to score an assortment of free GraceKennedy giveaways including shopping bags, knapsacks, phone chargers and water bottles.
First up for the grocery grab was Barbara Harris’ friend Voylona Johnson. Harris, a bakery worker, was unable to participate in the shopping spree and sent Johnson as her replacement.
Johnson, who was unable to discuss strategy with Harris beforehand, made a beeline for the store’s wholesale section, where she spent most of her time picking up cases of water, Vitamalt, cleaning supplies and bath and body products.
Johnson filled more than four trolleys and was noticeably winded after running through the aisles.
“Grab everything and go,” was her strategy, she said.
Harris, who arrived at the food store after the event, was impressed by her friend’s haul.
“She got so much stuff I was able to bless my sister, family and friends with groceries,” she said. “A promotion like this allows the winners to be a blessing to others, and to think I was just helping out a friend going through a tough time.”
Rosena Joseph was the final grocery grab winner. After a couple phone calls and much persuasion, the skeptical hotel worker was eventually convinced to come on down to the food store.
Realizing the event was no prank upon arrival, she took full advantage of the opportunity to snap up a freezer and microwave. With her selection made and most of her money spent in under a minute, Joseph used the remaining time to sprint aisle after aisle not picking up much except for a couple bags of shrimp, wholesale size oil, dishwashing liquid, milk and orange juice.
One lucky Xtra Valu shopper who was able to answer a GKMS trivia question received a $200 shopping spree.
“We’re happy to help our holiday campaign winners save money on groceries,” said Jean. “From what we were told, it seems like these prizes couldn’t have come at a better time.”
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