With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Christin and I decided to do a small Random Act of Kindness here on the blog. Both of us have been the recipient and the giver of Random Acts of Kindness.
Here are two of our stories.
Christin (The Giver)
It was about 5 years ago on a hot day in July. It was a few days before payday, I had exactly $20.00 to my name. As I walked into the grocery store with my young son in tow, I noticed a young man in his late teens or early 20’s sitting on the side of the building. He looked dirty, defeated as he sat in the 100-degree sun, with no clouds in sight. I took my son’s hand as we proceeded into the air-conditioned store. I pulled out my list: Milk, eggs, and bread. Calculating the prices in my head, I quickly grabbed the items and got in line. I’m not sure what it was but the young man’s face flashed in my mind. I grabbed my stuff off the conveyor belt as my son followed me to the back of the store.
“Mom, where are we going?”
“We are going to do something nice for someone who needs it,” I said, grabbing some bologna, another loaf of bread, a gallon of water and some bananas.
We got in line again, again I mentally calculated the costs of everything, hoping I would have enough.
I gave him the $20.00.
We grabbed the bags and walked out the door.
With my son next to me, we walked over to the young man, whose head was hanging low.
“Here, I got you some things,” I said, nervously, holding the bag of groceries towards the young man.
He looked up and for a moment, his eye met mine.
“Thank you so much,” he said, with a hint of a smile.
“You’re welcome,” I said, returning the gesture.
As we walked away, my son turned to me and asked: “Mom, why did you give that stranger food?”
“Because we should always help people when we can. You never know when that could be you.”
He nodded as if he understood.
It might have been a small gesture, but sometimes that’s all it takes to make somebody’s day a little better.
To this day my son still talks about “that time we gave groceries to the guy.”
It was a learning lesson for him to do for others, even if you don’t have a lot to give.
I hope this holiday season you find an opportunity to practice random acts of kindness, you never know how you can brighten someone’s day with a free coffee or even holding a door open.
Jennifer (The Recipient)
I was a single working mom of two boys. A toddler and a 9-year-old. Times were tough. I had no idea how I was going to make a Thanksgiving Day meal. In a way, I was lucky. I knew at any time I could call my family, tell them the situation, and they would either send money or a gift card to a grocery store so I could purchase a turkey and all the fixings. It was not an option for me. I did not want my family to worry about me. I did not want them to feel sad while they were having their Thanksgiving Day meal, knowing I was close to rock bottom. So I played it off and never said a word to them.
Wednesday. The day before Thanksgiving, I am working on my budget or lack thereof. My boys were young. They would not know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I had enough money for some chicken tenders and french fries. One of their favorites. I figured I could cook a Thanksgiving Day meal when I got paid, and turkeys would be half off.
I will never forget the next few moments.
Standing in front of the open refrigerator, looking at nothing. I made a mental note to call my friend Alphonso, who just lived upstairs. I was going to ask him to watch the boys while I walked to the grocery store to buy chicken tenders and french fries.
As soon as I closed the refrigerator door, there was a knock at the door. Everyone I know just walks in, so, this was weird. I make my way to the door, slowly opening it. There was no one there. What was there was a large cardboard box. I bent down, almost expecting to find a kitten, for no other reason than I just love cats. There was no kitten. What there was, was something I will never forget.
Inside the box was a turkey and two boxes of stove top stuffing. I looked around on my very small landing. Nothing. Cautiously, I made my way down the stairs. There is a guy, carrying another box. He passes me, goes up the stairs, and places the box right next to the other.
“Hi, excuse me, I think you have the wrong apartment.”
He pulls out an index card from his jacket pocket.
“Is this Apartment B-303?”
“Yes, I am Jennifer, I live here.”
He places the index card back in his pocket.
“This is the right place. It’s my mother, she does this every year.”
He kinda of motions his head in the direction of the parking lot.
I see an elderly lady with a cane, walking, carrying a small plastic bag.
“I am sorry, I am confused?”
He walks off, meets his mother. Gives her a hug. His mother then turns around and heads back to the parking lot, while giving me a quick little wave.
At the same, I start walking towards the mother and son.
The guy meets me halfway, hands me the plastic bag, and turns around to leave. I look inside the plastic bag and find three pies in there. Two apple and one pumpkin.
I am more confused than ever.
The elderly lady and her son are already at their car. I head bag upstairs to look inside the second box. A five-pound bag of potatoes, three cans of green beans, corn, dry milk, and cranberry sauce were looking back at me, along with a small ham.
I sat there for a good 8 minutes or so, just stunned, going through the boxes.
There was a note.
“Happy Thanksgiving. I know times are tough. Remember, this is only the journey, not the destination. When you are able, pay it forward.”
To this day, I have no idea who these people were.
And now, well now I am in a position to pay it forward.
And that is exactly what I am going to do.
In honor of Random Acts of Kindness, we are giving away a $50.00 gift card to Wal-Mart for your Thanksgiving Dinner! Please like & share our Vodka Calling page and comment your favorite random act of kindness (given or received). We will draw a random name on Friday, November 10th @ 8 p.m. (PT)
Stay tuned for more flash random acts of kindness giveaways!
Have a Vodka Calling holiday from Jen & Christin!