In the middle of writing another article, this writer was inspired to write an article focusing on random acts of kindness.
It just seems like there is a need to write about something positive for a change. Sometimes we just need to take a break for all the sordid, ugly things going on in the world around us and focus on the good things that are around us every day right where we live. The sad part about it is that there is not the kind of media coverage with those things. So, it is this writer’s hope that your hearts will be touched and your faith in humanity rekindled and strengthened.
There are many everyday heroes among us. You may not hear about them often but they exist. Who knows, you may be one of them.
When people take it upon themselves to do random acts of kindness, it can change lives. When those who are recipients pay forward for someone else, that one act of kindness can have a domino effect and many hearts and lives benefit as you will see with the following stories and videos. So get ready to have your faith in humanity enriched and possibly salvaged.
Have you ever had someone help you out when you were in a tight situation; someone you’ve never met before? Do you know anyone who has humbly given service, even in what may be seen as a very small way? The following stories were found on Yahoo Shine. It is this writer’s hope that after you read these stories and watch the videos included with this article, that you may be impressed to do some random act of kindness, as well.
There is a story about a 9-year-old boy who found a $20 bill in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant where he and his family were going. His first thought was to maybe buy a video game, but he changed his mind when he saw a soldier walk into the restaurant with his wife and little baby. He decided to give the $20 to the soldier because he reminded him of a dad he never knew; only heard about from his mom and others who knew him. His dad was killed in Iraq five weeks after he was born. He wrapped the $20 bill in a note and gave it to the soldier.
This is what he wrote in the note:
My dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this $20 in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It’s your lucky day. Thank you for your service
Myles Eckert, a gold star kid
This writer apologizes if the last name is misspelled; it was not very clear in the picture of the original note.
The soldier, who was the recipient of the $20, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Daily of the International Guard says he looks at the note every day. Again apologies if the last name is misspelled, it was not clear how the name was spelled. He paid it forward by giving the $20 away.
Many people wanted to give the $20 back to Myles when they saw his story. However, the Eckerts forwarded the donations to Snowball Express a charity that helps kids who have lost parents to war. Donations rose quickly to over a quarter of a million dollars. The money from those donations has helped many, many children.
The caring heart of one little boy has touched so many lives and has brought help to so many other kids who have lost one or both parents to war. It only takes one random act of kindness to touch the hearts and lives of many.
Waitress Shannon Leavitt and her 10-year-old son Kaden of Pocatello, Idaho live in a mobile home with her husband and three other children. Shannon works for $3.35 an hour at the Sandpiper restaurant.
She has taught her children to do good deeds every day. When they get home from school each day, she asks them, “What good deeds have you done today?”
Shannon came up with the idea of giving out a white card to everyone she and Kaden do a good deed for. The card is just a plain white card with a message on one side that says, Pay It Forward and on the other side it says, “Please do a good deed, whatever it may be, then pass this card to that person and tell them the same thing---pay it forward.”
It occurred to Shannon that they could turn this into something bigger so she had 200 business cards printed out with that same message on them. Kaden carries them to school. When he does a good deed at school for another student or a teacher, he gives them one of his cards.
The inspiration for this came from the movie “Pay It Forward” (2000).
She doesn’t know how many of those who got the card has paid it forward, but she knows that doing random acts of kindness has blessed hers and her family’s lives. The whole thing has become a family activity. They feel good about doing good deeds without expecting anything in return.
Mom Grateful for Stranger Who Paid for Family Groceries: ‘You Didn’t Judge’
This story came from a blog post written by a mother of five. In her blog, True Stories of a Midwest Yankee, she sends a message of gratitude to a stranger behind her at the grocery store. She had no cash in her purse; only her debit card and when she was ready to check out, she found that the machine was out of order. Her groceries only totaled $17.38 but with only her debit card with her, she was unable to pay for the groceries. The woman behind her, graciously, paid for the groceries.
Her blog was in the form of a letter explaining to the stranger what her one simple act of kindness meant to her and her family. The whole letter was filled with deep-felt emotion and gratitude for this woman and the kindness she’d shown.
Thanks to Yahoo Shine, this writer can relate to you the letter that she wrote on her blog. Here it is in its entirety:
“Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,
You don’t know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue that we have been humiliated, humbled, and destitute. But you didn’t judge me. You didn’t snarl, ‘Maybe you should have less kids.’ You didn’t say, ‘Well, get a job and learn to support yourself.’ You didn’t look away in embarrassment or shame for me. You didn’t make any assumptions at all.
What you did was you paid that $17.38 grocery bill for us. You gave my kids bananas, yogurt, apple juice, cheese sticks and a peach iced tea for me; a rare treat and splurge. You let me hug you and promise through my tears that I will pay this forward. I will pay someone’s grocery bill for them. That $17.38 may not have been a lot for you, but it was priceless to us.”
She continues in her blog: “You know none of this but you didn’t let that stop you from being compassionate and generous to someone you have never met. She says that her family has dubbed this stranger as their “angel in disguise.” She says, “You have no idea the impact on my kids. You have no idea how incredibly thankful I am for you. Your action may have been small, but to us it was monumental. Thank you.”
Good Samaritan Pays Stranger’s Baggage Fee at Airport
You may have seen this story online or possibly on the news last year. This one is about having you credit card declined when you really need it. Having experienced this, as well, this writer knows all too well the embarrassment and humiliation of going through that.
Well, at the Tampa International Airport, a man known only as Andy told his story to Yahoo Shine.
When Andy tried to pay his baggage fee, his credit card was declined. He stepped away from the counter to see why his card was declined. When he returned to the counter, he found that someone had generously paid his baggage fee and left him a note.
The note read, “Hey, I heard them say your card was declined. I know how it feels. Your bag fee’s on me. Just pay it forward next time you get a chance. Have a safe flight. :)”
Andy posted a photo of the note on Reddit and wrote, “If you’re reading this, thanks for making my day.”
He plans to pay it forward but said it will be a random thing just like it happened for him.
The Topeka Capital Journal in Topeka, Kansas encourages people to write letters to them about their experiences with random acts of kindness and they publish them. Here are a couple of such stories published by this newspaper:
This random act of kindness happened at a Denny’s restaurant on S.W. Topeka Boulevard.
A man and his wife celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day but decided to wait and have their dinner date the next day. The restaurants that day were packed but they went to Longhorn for their dinner. They were told there would be an hour wait before they could be seated. They waited and were finally seated. The waitress was very kind promptly saw to their needs. They were very happy with their steak dinner and were impressed at the courtesy extended to them and how efficiently the staff worked to take care of them and the other patrons. They made their 33-year dinner date very special and were very grateful to the staff.
As busy as this restaurant was that day, it would have been easy for the waitress to lose patience with so many patrons waiting to be taken care of. It is pretty certain there were some patrons who were not so patient, but the waitress that took care of this couple, made their day special just by being courteous and amiable. You see, it doesn’t take much to do a good deed and you may not even be aware of it.
Also in Topeka, there was a man and his wife shopping at Hy-Vee. When they got to the checkout line two men approached them and said “We are going to pay for your groceries today.”
At first they thought it was a joke, but they were reassured it was for real. They represented the Shawnee County Farm Bureau Association and they explained that this was something they did once a year in celebration of Food Check Out Week.
In Seattle Washington, Mary Ann Johnson had just finished a salmon pot pie dinner and chocolate sundae. When the waitress came over to her table, she told Ms. Johnson that another patron had already paid the bill.
Mary Ann went home and told her friends about it and they said they wanted to do something like that, too.
So you see, doing good deeds for others can have a rippling effect and maybe change a life or two or three down the line. This is the kind of contagion that many Americans could use today. Frankly, it is refreshing to write about something uplifting for a change.
This is interesting. According to the Seattle Washington Times, random acts of kindness were spurred on in 1982 in California by a writer and peace activist who scrawled on a place mat in a Sausalito restaurant these words: “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
In 1993 at Barkersfield College, professor Chuck Wall heard about “another random act of senseless violence on the radio. Because of this news report, he challenged the students in his human-relations class to perform a “random act of senseless kindness.”
Here is a story from the online Orlando Sentinel: At Lake Whitney Elementary in Orlando, Florida, an 8-year-old boy nick-named Dino suffers from a disease known as Alopecia areata, an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss. His hair would fall out in clumps, leaving large bald spots.
He was trying to decide if he should get his head shaved because of all the hair falling out but he was concerned that he might be made fun of. Dino’s teacher, 27-year-old Ehren Steiner wanted to help ease his concerns about going bald, so he told him he would shave his head, too. So to show him it wouldn’t be so bad, he did.
In doing this, he was able to explain in a special way about Dino’s condition to the school and none of the kids made fun of him or made him feel uncomfortable. He made it easy for the other kids to understand Dino’s disease and that having no hair wasn’t a bad thing. It also made it a lot easier for Dino to deal with his disease. Now he and Steiner are “two bald bros” who aren’t afraid to be different.
Random acts of kindness could change the lives of so many people. Hearts are touched and all of a sudden giving and doing takes on a whole new meaning. Humans become less selfless through the kind acts of others and they, in turn are more likely to pay forward. Not all who receive random acts of kindness will pay it forward, but just think of the hundreds and thousands plus who could be motivated to do good deeds because of just one random act of kindness.
This is still alive in America; they’re just done very quietly and humbly. These people don’t need or want any fanfare for the good deeds they do, even when they’re really big ones. All they want is the knowledge that what they did benefited someone who had a need and they were there to fill it. These are the things that give our lives meaning and when we do them, we are following the word of God that says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Will you take every opportunity to do random acts of kindness? You never know when you may be the one needing it from someone else.