Giving – A gift in itself

November 4, 2016By Acts of Kindness, Behind the Shelf Blog, Random Acts of Kindness blog series

by Jamie Sershon, product and merchandise analyst, for our Random Acts of Kindness blog series

When I was first given the opportunity to give out monetary gifts during our Random Acts of Kindness challenge I was having a hard time coming up with ideas of how to distribute it. I had heard many stories of people in drive-through lines paying for the person behind them, and then, of course, there are the common holiday charities we have all heard of. While those are wonderful charities that benefit so many, I wanted to give my money to those who possibly do not benefit from a holiday charity or to someone who could benefit from my gift and pay it forward in return.

I started off by going to a St. Vincent De Paul thrift store. I was a little timid at first because I wasn’t sure how to explain why I was giving them money. Would I just give it to them and say “Happy Holidays” and walk away? I decided that I would give them a short explanation of where the money is coming from and why I was doing it. The first person I saw was a man looking for bed sheets. When I gave him the money he was very Toyssurprised. I could tell that he was very grateful that somebody was doing something so nice for him. I then spotted a woman looking at the toys. After I gave her some money, she explained to me that the toys would be Christmas gifts for her grandchildren. We continued to have a conversation and she told me about her family. I could tell that they were very close and she was extremely happy to talk about them. I left there feeling really gratified.

The other stop I made with the remainder of the money was to a laundromat. My original plan was to leave some money taped to the coin machine for the next person to use. The owner was there and told me that it might be better to pay for somebody’s laundry that was currently there. I picked out a couple who were joking around with each other. They seemed to have such great attitudes. When I told them where the money came from they were very excited about the idea. We talked about random acts of kindness and the benefits of them for a while before I left. I felt like I gave it to a couple who would definitely pay it forward.

This was a wonderful opportunity to spread some happiness during the holiday season. We think about those less fortunate more during this season than any other. However, I believe that these random acts of kindness should be done more throughout the entire year. Seeing those four people so happy was such a gift in itself. Perhaps if we all did little random acts of kindness more often, monetary or not, our days would be just that much happier.