About a year ago I ran in to sudden, and drastic, money problems when I found that my checking account was overdrawn by nearly $1,000. It is a long story as to what happened, and how I got it fixed, so I will spare those details. Suffice it to say, it was one of the toughest months for me, both financially and emotionally. What made it bearable, however, was the unexpected acts of kindness from some close friends, and some who weren't that close.
I found out about the money shortage while I was over 600 miles away from home on a camping trip. This trip was a get together, of sorts, for an organization I am a part of. We get together twice a year for a three day long camping trip, with members coming in from 8 different states and driving hundreds of miles to get to the site. While I have become friends with most of them, only a small few (from my own home town) have become close friends.
When I discovered the shortage in my account, I had friends (both close and otherwise) offering to pay my gas to get home, buy me food for the trip, and even send me money if I needed it for bills. While I didn't take anyone up on the "money for bills" offer, I was touched to have received it from people I only see twice a year. When I arrived back home, thanks to the money given to me (which I offered to pay back, but was told not to), I was so relieved to have so many who care about me and saw me through that. Though, perhaps the most touching moment came from a friend and her fiance. While the two of them were financially struggling as well, often losing cell phone service or cable for a couple weeks at a time due to money issues, they still showed up at my doorstep (an hour away from them) with a BIG box of food for me for the month. It was what kept me and my partner fed while I figured out what to do to fix my situation.
Those friends, both in my own town and in states far away, have shown me so much kindness that I do all I can to repay them. Though all have patently refused any money I have offered to repay them, I offer my appreciation in other ways; such as small gifts of appreciation, and a very long thank-you letter written to each. If any of them find themselves in similar situations, I only hope that I can live up to the kindness they showed me.
It is when one is truly in need that they discover who their friends really are.