Brandon Carpenter uses his Facebook profile to post little bits of inspiration.
The Port Charlotte father reminds to people to smile. He reminds everyone they're beautiful — that it's important to be comfortable with yourself.
So when Carpenter decided to post a photo of a Winn-Dixie receipt Sunday morning as a reminder of how to co-parent with an ex, he probably didn't expect it to go viral over the coming days.
But the internet had other plans.
Carpenter started out that morning with a request from his baby's mother: the little girl was sick and needed Tylenol. So Carpenter obliged, brought it to the woman's home and visited his daughter.
That's when he said he noticed something. While the pantry was packed with formula, food and snacks for his daughter, his ex's fridge was completely empty.
The single mom, he said, works full time and is paying off a car in addition to caring for their daughter. So, Carpenter decided to take a trip to the grocery store and stock her fridge.
"Just because we aren't together doesn't mean I can't provide for her if she needs it," he wrote in his now-viral post. "If my child's mother is good then I know she is taking care of our daughter the best she can and that mak(e)s me happy."
Soon, the Facebook post — including a picture of the receipt from the grocery trip — was garnering thousands of "likes" and "shares."
Actors Mario Lopez and Shemar Moore shared one of the many stories written about Carpenter and praised him.
In follow-up posts, Carpenter joked he and his daughter — who has the biggest, sweetest eyes — are the next "Cash me ousside" girls, riffing on a teen who went viral after appearing on the Dr. Phil show.
But on Tuesday night he wrote another reminder:
"And the single mothers out there struggling are the heros, not me."
Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.