I’ve heard people say they wish they had the money to help out. And sure, money can help non profit organizations buy the supplies they need to support their clients. Kind actions, however, cost nothing and mean everything to the recipient.
Holding the door open for someone with their hands full is a random act of kindness. Filling your parking meter as you leave so the next driver doesn’t have to dig around for change is a random act of kindness. Buying a homeless person an umbrella to stay dry from the rain is a random act of kindness.
A few years ago, a friend at work said to me “Can I see you for a sec?” I followed her outside to her truck parked nearby. She slid the door open and presented me with a box full of food goodies. A huge package of fresh chicken, tasty mixes for dips, chocolate, oatmeal packs, sweet baby peppers, organic pasta. I was moved to tears.
“Oh my god, you didn’t have to do this” I sobbed, thinking I was SO glad she’d done it. It was too good to be true! “Of course I did,” she replied. “I was raised by a single mom too and remember the hard times. It’s the least I could do.”
My daughter and I oohed and ahhed over the surprise box of food. We felt rich as we added the sun-dried tomato pesto to our organic pasta. We slowly savoured the chocolate. We made that food last as long as we possibly could.
About a year later, my roommate brought home a friend who had run out of food and was on income assistance. I quickly packed a cloth bag with half a chunk of cheese, apples, bananas, bread and peanut butter. He was apologetically grateful. I was finally able to pay it forward.