This time last year was a little tough for me. I had a brand new baby and was adjusting to juggling the baby plus my other 3 little boys. I was tired and exhausted. Money was tight, as we were in the process of buying our home. This time last year was also one of the most humbling and inspiring that I have ever had.
It all started off with my first attempt to the store with the new baby and boys in tow. As soon as the cashier finished ringing up my groceries, I realized I had brought the diaper bag instead of my purse, and my wallet was in my purse! Yes, one of those moments. At this point the baby is crying, my toddler is screaming for his grapes and I can feel the tears starting. I looked at the cashier and said, “I will have to come back”. The next thing I knew, out of no where a complete stranger walked up and paid for all my groceries! I tried to stop her but she wouldn’t let me. I stood there and cried even harder, I couldn’t believe it.
A few days later, I took the boys for a treat and someone ahead of us in the drive thru paid for our food!! I was again amazed at the act of kindness.
Then, I went to pick up a layaway for the boys that I had done at a local store (hadn’t done that in 20 years) and someone had already paid the whole thing off and if all of that wasn’t enough, a family member gave us a large gift to help us buy our house. Yes, all of this happened to me within a matter of 2 weeks. I felt so lucky, so grateful, so blessed, so humbled and so inspired. I knew that I couldn’t pay these people back, so I decided I would begin to pay it forward. This is something I have been working on all year.
To get the boys involved in paying it forward, I decided we would do an
“Acts of kindness Jar”.
The boys and I found a bucket from the dollar spot in Target, decorated it with ribbon, added letters and made a label.
We chose 3 different colors of paper, each one representing something different.
1. White – What we can do for our family: Take daddy lunch at work, write a letter or draw a picture for grandparents.
2. Light Blue – What we can do for others: Pay for someone’s meal, leave money in a vending machine in the Urgent Care, take a treat to the nurses at the children’s hospital.
3. Dark Blue – What we can do for the needy in our community: Make a handmade blanket, purchase socks for the “sockless” or make placemats for nursing homes.
The boys have been having a blast paying it forward! They love going on “Mission Kindness” and I love it too.
It is so true that there is more happiness in giving.
Thank you Mandy for having me.