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A Florida Goodwill fired a teenage employee after he was caught giving away discounted store items to some of its poorest customers. They were also pressing felony theft charges against the teen, but those charges have been dropped.
19-year-old Andrew Anderson was an employee at a Goodwill in East Naples, Florida until he was fired and arrested for giving out discounts.
"I'm not a bad person. What I did was with all good intentions," Anderson told NBC-2 in an interview.
He said that he felt bad when he saw people come into the store, “wearing all of the clothes they had.” Sometimes, he added, he would see customers with only two or three dollars in their pockets.
The big-hearted teen would give those customers discounts of up to 50%, which he said always made them happy and grateful. Anderson said that he loved to see the smiles on his customers’ faces when they were able to afford the necessities, thanks to him.
"It makes you feel amazing, makes you feel like you can actually be the person to help them," Anderson said.
The store found out and fired him. They then reported him to the police, who took him into custody.
Anderson gave away thousands of dollars worth of items, and Goodwill was reportedly pressing grand theft charges against him following his arrest.
After an investigation, however, Goodwill released a statement on Friday, saying that they would not be pressing charges after all. According to WCTV, Goodwill believed that what Anderson did was "not for personal gain, but rather for the benefit of others."
"Because this is a violation of our policy, we recognize that the former employee's termination is an appropriate action. However, in light of his overall intent, we are not pursuing criminal charges," the statement said.
Anderson told NBC-2 that he did not know that giving discounts was illegal.
"My heart was in the right place, my head was in the wrong place," Anderson said.