Store owner buys plane ticket for customer with sick mom

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Furniture stores are not known for reuniting families or making dreams come true. They’re functional. You get what you need and get out, but some places can surprise you.

Sateva Seals and her family went to Tennessee Wholesale Furniture in Columbia last week and put a $300 layaway down payment on a bedroom suite. But a few days later, she got a call that her mother in California was extremely sick.

Seals needed to go to California and bring her mom back to Tennessee to live with them.

“In order to do that, we needed that deposit back because we’re not rich,” said Seals.

Tennessee Wholesale Furniture has a no-refund policy.

When the salesman told Seals she couldn’t get her money back, she had a meltdown in the store.

“I kind of had a Madea moment and went off,” Seals said. “I was so emotional and just so devastated that I wasn’t going to be able to go and get my mom.”

The store’s owner, Edward Ellsworth, got involved and learned why Seals needed the money.

“We sat down and talked to her and based on that discussion, we were just led to help her,” said Ellsworth.

Instead of giving the deposit money back, Ellsworth offered to buy two plane tickets to California: one for Sateva and one for her daughter.

“I would pray that if I was similarly situated, someone would help me,” he said.

“I had no words,” said Seals. “I couldn’t say ‘thank you’ enough. I couldn’t apologize enough for acting crazy in his store.”

Sateva was blown away by the gesture. She wanted to share the story with News 2 to remind us that there are still good people out there willing to help a stranger in need. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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