I also have two stories of giving. Not necessarily holiday related, but Random Act of Kindness specialness.
Both tales are longish, so please bear with me.
Story 1: Our city is in an economic boom, which is good, but has a downside. It means that the cost of living is rising and many people struggle to afford housing.
Jay is a middle aged man who is currently living in a men's shelter. I don't know his past, but he doesn't seem to have had an easy life. He has some limitations which make it difficult for him to hold a conventional job. He does not drive and our city has no transit system.
Jay's sole source of income is newspaper delivery. He delivers 3 routes, so about 350 newspapers. Since he doesn't drive, he must make numerous trips to and from the newspaper depot to load up his wagon to make his rounds. He earns about $125 per week.
Bear in mind that Jay does all this in the middle of a Canadian prairie winter. He tries so hard to do a good job even though it's obviously a struggle for him.
Jay's wagon was on it's last legs - or wheels as it were - and clearly, he could not afford a replacement.
One of the other carriers noticed this and asked if it would be alright he he bought Jay a replacement. It was a wonderful surprise!
Jay's new wagon is a heavy-duty landscaping wagon with big fat tires that can handle the icy sidewalks with ease. It's also bigger, so Jay has to return to the depot less often. It has cut Jay's delivery time in half.
If that random act of generousity weren't enough, Jay's delivery recipients recognize his efforts. This holiday season he has received gifts of cash and some very generous gift cards. Possibly for the first time in his life, he is being recognized for his hard work and his efforts to improve his life.
Maybe it's because I know Jay somewhat, but that someone would do this for him, and that the homeowners should be so generous has moved me very much.
The second story, well, it happened to me (us, my husband and I)
Mr. Dragon and I have been thinking for some time that we would like to travel to Scotland and explore Mr. Dragon's heritage.
We tried to arrange it a couple of times, but circumstances interevened.
However, we have finally made all the arrangements and will be overseas next summer. Even better, it works out that we will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary while in Scotland.
As part of our plans, we realized we needed some new luggage, as ours was worn out.
After shopping around, we found what we wanted at our local Bentley store.
The staff was very helpful and knowledgable. As the items we wanted weren't in stock, we ordered them.
This week, the store called to let us know the luggage was in, and today I stopped in to pick it up.
The same staff member from before assisted me and said "You were looking for bags for a trip to Scotland, right?"
When I confirmed that this was the case, she asked if I still wanted the items and I said yes, very much so.
As I went to ring out, she said "Oh, we have something else for you."
The "something else" was a box and written on the outside was a "Happy 25th Anniversary" message from the store staff.
Inside the box was a beautiful commemorative 25th Anniversary photo album!!
My first thought was that it was a Bentley promo and the album would have some sort of branding on it.
It was not. The staff had gone to another store in the mall and purchased the album as a gift to us.
Their sole request was that I come back with it full of pictures and show them!
I asked if I should pose the luggage for them and they said no, they see lots of luggage, they just want to see Scotland!
I was gobsmacked, and nearly cried!
Not only will I bring the pictures, but I will be writing a letter to corporate praising them to the moon!
Not sure if the store has a rating site, but it too will receive 10000 stars!