Author Topic: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers  (Read 77155 times)

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LizC

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #90 on: July 09, 2009, 02:07:57 AM »
Mine isn't so much a pay it forward, as a "from the other side" story.

Years ago, we lived in a very small town in the mountains. A family we knew was having a very, very rough winter, and we knew Christmas was going to be pretty bleak for them. DH decided that he wanted to play Christmas Angel... we budgeted $150, gathered up two weeks of groceries, a turkey, and small presents for each of the four family members. The hardest part was getting it all to the front door without their dogs barking! (DH spent a week ahead of time dropping by at random moments and giving them jerky, so they figured he was a buddy).

Christmas morning, I had the little boy of the family in Sunday School, and we were talking about the gifts of the season. He was so excited to share about their Christmas morning, and the things that impressed him most were the supplies to make cookies, and that their Christmas Angel *must* have been sent by God, because only God would know that his Mom liked mint tea best, and there was a whole box of mint tea, and a new teacup.

Fast-forward almost a decade. We were living in a new state, and DH had been out of work for seven months. He was taking any small odd job he could for a bit of money, but even that was petering out. We were coming out of the grocery store with about $30 worth of stuff, which had to last about a week, and a small car pulled up in front of the door.

A smiling family of four inside rolled down the window and passed out a little white envelope. "Merry Christmas to your family, and God bless you!"

We were delighted to be given a card by strangers-- "Merry Christmas to you! God bless you, too!"

We talked about how good it felt to have a heartfelt, cheery wish given to us, all the way home.

When we unpacked the grocery bag, we sat down to read the card. Inside were tucked two $100 bills, with a small note about hoping it would be a blessing.

Well, yes. Yes, it was a blessing.

So we got to spend that Christmas knowing two things: how good and humbling it felt to be someone's Christmas Angel, and how good and humbling it felt to be the recipient of a Christmas Angel.

We've since had the chance to "deliver Christmas" again, and it's a tradition we really, really enjoy.

Alida

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #91 on: July 09, 2009, 10:29:33 PM »
Liz, that made me cry.  That was beautiful!

lecach

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #92 on: July 14, 2009, 07:13:08 PM »
That made me cry too. I've always wanted to do that.

Elle

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #93 on: July 14, 2009, 07:48:01 PM »
I've been paying forward for the guy who called 911 after my pickup rolled and he stuck with me til they arrived for quite a while now. (If he hadn't stopped it could have taken *hours* to find me)

Fittingly most of my opportunities have been automotive ;)

Picked up a grandma, kid and poodle after their car broke down. Let them use my cell phone and drove them to a air conditioned restaraunt where they could wait

Bought a tank of gas for a woman in near-hysterics who needed to get home to another town and had just lost her wallet

Picked up a dog on the side of the road and brought it home

Stopped at several stopped cars to see if the occupants needed help.

I bought a tuna sandwich, bag of chips, lunchable, and a balloon for the guy with his kid at the shopping plaza who asked for grocery money. Gave them $20 in one dollar bills to so they could catch the bus home. Sure it might have been a scam, but the kid's eyes lit up so much at that spiderman balloon.

Daffydilly

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #94 on: July 14, 2009, 07:54:17 PM »
Decided make my Christmas project a donation to Operation Smile for a kid with cleft palate. Someone once left me a hundred dollars as a Christmas angel and it helped my family out in a big emergency. My dad was in the hospital several hours away and my mum didn't have a dollar left for the gas to get us there.
So I funded several dinners at work and made just enough for the cost of one operation. We got it sent out by Christmas and the little boy had his surgery. When I received the pictures months later, I cried. He was the best Christmas gift ever.

rhirhi

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #95 on: July 14, 2009, 08:52:32 PM »
I had an angel help me and my kids this past Friday. I was at one Wally World in town, had a basket of groceries and realized I didn't have my wallet (luckily BEFORE I checked out). Left the cart with CS and ran out to the car.

Started scrambling, looking for my wallet when a woman comes up and asks if she can help. I tell her about the situation, but leave out that I left my cart inside and that it was full. She asked if I was getting diapers, and I confided in her that really, I had just come for bananas for JR, as they are his favorite right now. She slipped me some cash and I was just speechless. I was so grateful, as I had also gone in for diapers, but didn't want to say. She had handed me a $20 (I didn't check until she walked off, as I was grateful for anything). It was plenty to get Jr's diapers (he's allergic to Parent's Choice, so it actually does matter for him) and bananas.

She was gone by the time I looked up and locked my car.

Samantha

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #96 on: July 15, 2009, 05:58:41 PM »
A student at the university where I work just came in and handed me a $5 gift card to Starbucks. I'd helped her a few times with getting information she needed to return to college. I know she isn't really a stranger, but it still brought me to near tears, as I've had a really crummy day. I told her it wasn't necessary, as I was doing my job, but she told me that I'm always so nice and cheerful when she comes in, that she wanted to do something for me.

(C) Get Fuzzy 5.13.07



 


Ralkana

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #97 on: July 19, 2009, 06:22:06 AM »
Mine is two acts in one. I was on my way to work, driving along on a going-flat tire, and I didn't realize it (it wasn't driving any differently yet), and a lady in a minivan pulled beside me. She honked, and once she had my attention, she told me through a series of gestures that it was going flat, which I really appreciated because it kept me from doing more damage to the tire. She hovered by me until I pulled all the way to the right side before she took off again. That was act one.

While I was biting back curses and clearing out my trunk to get access to my spare before I called AAA, I saw this sedan go by in the slow lane, pull over waaaay ahead of me and then steadily reverse towards me. The driver got out of his car and asked me if I needed help changing my tire. I said that I'd be calling AAA, and he said that it was really no problem, he didn't mind changing it for me.

So he did, as I thanked him profusely the entire time, and all he said was, "I'd hope that if it were my wife, someone would do it for her."

And then stored the flat and the tools in my trunk, gave me a smile, got in his car, and took off. I wasn't even late for work.

juliasqueezer

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #98 on: July 22, 2009, 06:25:31 PM »
Yesterday, I stopped at a market (the name rhymes with Crater Doe's) and picked up a basket full of snack foods. As I was checking out, the nice young guy ringing me up was chatting away, telling me how much he loved one of the chocolate candies I was buying. I told him I was putting together a basket of treats for my dad, who fell and broke his hip a month ago. Dad's going through physical therapy and it's rough, slow going, but we're hoping he'll be able to come home soon.

We discussed what miracle workers the physical therapists were, and how he'd recovered so well after being badly injured in a car accident a year or so ago.

As soon as I'd paid, he said "wait a second", ran to the side of the store and came back with a big bunch of flowers for my dad "to cheer him up".
I was stunned, but managed to say thanks, thank you, this is so nice, thanks again, burbling like an idiot all the way to my car.

Dad loved the flowers.

Namárië

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #99 on: July 22, 2009, 10:07:11 PM »
And once again, proof that reaffirms my assertion that they are the best store in the world. ;D
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AmyJD81

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #100 on: August 03, 2009, 03:16:22 PM »
OK this is my first post but I love this thread and would love to get it resurrected. Please accept my apologies if I do something wrong but I have two random acts of kindness I would like to share. Both occured when I worked as a cashier years ago. It was almost a good ten years ago but I still remember them, they meant so much to me.

The first was something that co workers did for me. I had lost my mother the year I started working there (I was 17) and I happened to mention to one of my supervisors that I wouldn't be getting a stocking that year because my mother wasn't around. Well I came in one day and they asked me to come into the office. I had gotten in trouble the day before so of course I was wondering what I did this time. They had all chipped in and had gotten me a stocking! I did start crying and it still warms to this day that they would do something like that. I honestly wasn't trying to do a pity party when I mentioned my mom. It was just sweet remembrances.

Another incident that happened was a couple from out of town had come into the store looking for various items. They were the sweetest couple and I tried to help them with what I could. Well they ended up leaving the man's wallet behind on accident. I had no way to contact them so I had my head cashier put it in the safe. The next day the woman came in and picked up the wallet. Nothing was really said, I was just glad they figured where it was at. Well about an hour or so later the gentlemen came in and gave me 20 dollars. I didn't want to take it but he insisted and told me that anywhere else they would have lost everything in the wallet. I didn't even look in the wallet (it was rather thick) other then to check out the ID. They were so nice to me it didn't even occur to me to take anything. He was just so appreciative that they got everything back. I was making min wage so every dime helped.

Hurricane Marathon

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #101 on: August 03, 2009, 06:07:17 PM »
The retail stories reminded me of when I worked at a coffee shop while I was going back to school (as an adult) for my Grade 12 before I went to college. We had regular customers, like all coffee shops do, and we would chat and they'd ask me how school was going and everything. When I finished my Grade 12 I wrote little thank-you cards to all those customers, thanking them for their support and encouragement and telling them that I'd been accepted into college.

One gentleman was a big, gruff senior man who used to be a cop. A couple of days later the former cop came into my store, congratulated me and held out his hand as if for a handshake.  When I shook his hand he pressed a $10 bill into mine and told me to "go buy something nice." (I bought a necklace with it.) He's the same gentleman that gave me an Easter Lily one Easter and a box of chocolate-covered cherries for Christmas. 

In that time period I also worked at a "smoke shop" - we sold cigars, cigarettes, pop, chips, etc. owned by the same people.  I was over in that store and I was so proud of myself because that day I got 100% on a math test.  I was showing total strangers :P and this one guy said, "Wow. That's really good. Let me buy you a coffee for that." and he left and came back with a coffee for me.  I was like, Going back to school really DOES pay off!   8)

kkl123

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #102 on: August 03, 2009, 07:47:51 PM »
My mom was in the ICU at the local hospital, and I was with her virtually 24/7 because that was the only way she felt safe, and the hospital was fine with that -- never failed to send an extra meal tray for me, etc.   One night was particularly bad, and I'd ducked out for a bit to try to clear my head, but I was just plain exhausted, and it was 5 am.  I was sitting on a bench in the hall when someone in a coat went by, then circled around and came back.  Took one look at me and asked when I'd last ate, then started herding me towards the cafeteria, which wasn't open yet.  She was the morning cook, and had a glass of orange juice in front of me before she took her coat off, then made me french toast, scrambled eggs and yoghurt and fruit-- all an hour before she was supposed to have started work.

And it was just what I needed.

Kaora

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #103 on: August 25, 2009, 04:38:07 PM »
Mine are minor, but I'm still thankful for.

One time my group of friends were going out to get pizza, and after we ordered (Little Caesar's, they usually have a few premade pizzas which you can just pick up and go) we realized we left half the money back at friend's house.  Someone behind us overheard us talking about how to pay, and gave us the rest.  He insisted we keep the change.

Another time, we had an elderly man come up to us in a restaurant and offer me or BF a shake.  Turns out he had a 2-for-1 coupon, he wanted a shake for himself, but his sweet wife didn't want one, so they went over to us.  BF took it, we thanked him profusely.  ;D

Angenieta

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Re: "Paying it forward"....acts of kindness done for you by strangers
« Reply #104 on: September 01, 2009, 08:06:29 AM »
The other day I was on my commuter train, Florence to Siena, when a German girl behind me started talking to 4 ladies, Canadian as it turned out, across the isle.
She told she was going to do a 2 week master course cello at the Chigiana academy in Siena. And then, that she was robbed of her purse that morning the station of Rome.
In her purse were her documents, as much as 600 Euro (all the money she at on her) and her cell phone. Her parents were traveling so couldn’t be reached anyway, but she wasn’t able to call her sisters either because their numbers were on the stolen cell phone.
She hoped to be able to access the room she had rented, that they didn’t want money right away, and that they’d give her something to eat. The academy had promised they would help, but wouldn’t be open until the next day.
At this, the 4 women opened their wallets. Each took out 20-50 euro. And they gave it to the girl ‘So you don’t have to worry about sleeping and eating tonight’.
The girl wanted to know where they would be staying in Siena, so she could pay them back, or at least play the cello for them to thank them.
Then the ladies told her they would be staying in Siena for the next 2 hours only, before returning to Florence again (I hate these ‘see Europe in a week’ trips…)
So they had known from the start they wouldn’t get that money back.
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