Jan Sullivan, who worked for Walmart for nearly 23 years, most recently at the Tyrone Boulevard location in St. Petersburg, said she was shocked when a Sunday story in the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times about her firing resulted in hundreds of responses, including offers of money and housing, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.
"I'm overwhelmed," she said. "I didn't think people could care that much, you know?"
Sullivan was fired three days after grabbing the sweater of an angry Black Friday shopper who attempted to shove her out of the way and exit through an entrance door.
"Based on the information we have, the situation led to a bad experience for our customer and it could have been avoided. We had to make a tough decision -- one that we don't take lightly," Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said. "We understand this is a difficult situation, and we're glad Ms. Sullivan will be able to move forward. We wish her the best."
Sullivan said her "misconduct" firing made her ineligible for unemployment and she was forced to sell her home and move into a trailer when she was unable to find a new job.
Amy Wetherbee, a former neighbor of Sullivan's who is helping her sort through the offers of support, said the response to her story has dramatically improved the senior citizen's mood.