Well, winter has finally arrived here in our neck of the woods. Yesterday we had our first Nor’easter, and while the prediction was a foot of snow, we ended up with a couple of inches and I’m happy to enjoy that as a starter. This morning the winds are howling and the trees are dressed in icy white, their limbs sparkling in the sun. There’s always an abundance of beauty with changing seasons.
Before the storm started, I took a ride to Marshalls, a local department store, to pick up a few things. When I arrived, I discovered a police cruiser and several firetrucks out front and immediately wondered if there was some kind of emergency. As I made my way towards the entrance, I discovered they were hosting a toy drive for local families who have been hit hard by the pandemic. And there are many.
Before entering the store, I was handed a list of gift ideas from a fireman in case I wanted to donate. I gladly took the suggestions and picked up several toys, imagining how hard it must be for parents who are struggling to put food on the table let alone buy holiday gifts.
When I got to the register after finishing my shopping I happened to overhear an employee tell a co-worker that a man had just pulled up in a pickup truck to donate several new bicycles. Sure enough, when I looked out the window, I saw his truck bed filled with eight or ten bicycles, price tags dangling from the handlebars. I watched men lift them out of the pickup while people gathered around, clearly touched by the donor’s generosity.
“You know it’s things like this that restore my faith in humanity,” said the cashier who was ringing in my order. “It’s good to know people care.”
I agree, I told her, as I watched word spread through the checkout line. When she finished with my purchase, I noticed tears in her eyes as she handed me my receipt, and I smiled my understanding as I wished her a good holiday.
Walking to my car, I thought about how the bicycle man was not only giving gifts to children, he was touching strangers along the way. I had no doubt that this story would reach its way into the homes and conversations of everyone present at the experience.
Kindness has a wonderful way of going viral, doesn’t it? When you make an unexpected call to someone who lives alone or send a handwritten note to a friend’s elderly parent, there’s a good chance your actions will be shared with others. I know that witnessing the man donate a pickup truck filled with bicycles inspired me (as well as the cashier).
As we all weather these challenging times, I wonder if you could use an act of kindness? Are you feeling lonely? Do you need a reminder that someone cares about you? While I can’t promise to respond to every email, I’d love to share some kindness and I suspect some of my friends would like to as well. Please feel free to reply to this email with your name and address and we’ll see what we can do. Once a card or note has been sent, your email will be deleted.
Remember, receiving is an act of generosity, too.
There you have it. Just look at what that bicycle man started…