Every since I was little I loved doing things for other people. As I got older I began doing random things for people. For example, during holidays, such as Christmas, I would make out an extra card along with the ones for my relatives. Then I would go and find someone in the grocery store and just hand it to them and walk away! It was so much fun. Although I admit, the first time I did it I was so nervous. I didn't know who to give the card to. So I said a little prayer and knew that the right person would just appear...about that time an elderly man ran into me with his shoppping cart!! It was an accident, and he apologized a million times! We smiled and he walked away, and I knew that he was the one! Later I found him in a different isle, ... Read Full Story >>
I was with my oldest son and we were on the lookout for an open parking space in our jam-packed shopping center. We spotted a perfect one in the next row of spaces, and I manouvered our van around the turn, all the while hoping no one else would spot it and grab it before I could. And, as luck would have it, a lady was wheeling her shopping cart right in front of us, and it looked like it was getting away from her - crammed with bags and cartons of soda underneath. She herself was carrying three extra bags in her hands while trying to push the cart against a strong spring wind, and looked frazzled. She noticed us and I could tell she was trying to move over to the side so we could pass. At that moment, some of the lighter ... Read Full Story >>
After several months of having only one income suporting our household, we had been struggling to make ends meet. One day, I took all the cash I had for the next week ($60) and went to buy groceries, as the fridge and cabinets were empty. I kept a running tab in my head of everything I was buying, even rounding up to the nearest dollar to make sure I didn't go over what I could afford. Once the food and basic items we needed approached $60, I went to checkout and somehow the total came to $65. On the off chance that I had room on a credit card, I tried using two of them...both declined. Getting very embarrassed, I asked the clerk what I could deduct that was about $5. Everything in my cart was important and it scared me that money was so tight. I didn't know how to decide. ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, my friend was leafing through a bunch of clothes when he found a crumpled up note. Right then, he turns to me and says, "I don't know what amount this is, but it's yours. Pay it forward, leave 'em a smile card and lots to smile about." That bills ends up being a ten-dollar bill. All week I've been wondering what to do. Saturday morning rolled around and I had to drop off a couple of bags of clothes at Goodwill. I had been to this particular Goodwill store before and as I'm driving, my mind wandered to the people working at the store. There is a large room at the back of the store for dropping off items and there are always people in the room sorting through the dozens of bags left for donations. I thought to myself, that's not the most ... Read Full Story >>
I was in line at the grocery store yesterday and the lady in front of me was purchasing her items and buying a treat for her grand-daughter - a bag of mini M&M's.My 3-year-old daughter started clamoring for the same thing. I only had a little bit of money with me as payday wasn't until hubby came home that night, and I tried to tell her that we couldn't get it this time, that mommy didn't have enough money.
She was fussy about it but I finally calmed her down.
Then as I started to ring up my purchases, the cashier passes me a bag of M&M's. I asked her what this was about. She said the lady in front of me bought it for my daugher while I was trying to calm her down. I didn't notice and I didn't even get to thank her because she had left while I wasn't looking.
If you're somewhere reading on this board - I say Thank You! My daughter smiled all the way home!!Since I now had one of the smile cards, I thought I better come to this site and see what it was all about.
What a great concept by the way!!
That's my story - not the grandest thing I suppose but it made my day a whole lot brighter that's for sure.
I was standing near a store window, waiting for my friend with whom I was supposed to find materials for our college assignment.
I was waiting for quite long, when I noticed an old woman sitting in front of me. She looked very weak and poor and was rummaging through garbage cans looking for food.
Since many people work as garbage collectors, I thought that maybe she was one such person and didn't want to degrade her self esteem by asking if she wanted any food.
Our eyes met and I smiled at her. I don't know why, but she suddenly came to me and said that she was feeling very hungry and didn't have any money. It was evident that she wasnt a beggar but just that her circumstances were tough.
I went to a store in the next street and bought her some food that she could eat immmediately, and a bunch of fruit that she could eat over the next few weeks.
She looked very pleased and blessed me, making *me* feel very happy for a long time.
While getting a couple of things at a local gas station, I noticed a girl walk in and pay for her gas. She caught my attention with her very very green hair. I remembered 10 years ago when I dyed my hair purple ... and loved it!! She apologized for the cashier having to count her change as she put down a handful of pennies and a couple of nickels. She said "Believe it or not, this is suppost to get me home" At that time I was getting my change back from my purchase ($2.00) and not having anything else to give her, I gave her my last two dollars, knowing I wouldn't need them. Plus I had a full tank of gas ... and I had been where she was. She looked at me with such a surprised look on her face. She thanked me and you could tell ... Read Full Story >>
Today it was raining really hard. When I went to the grocery store, all of the Shopping Carts were dripping wet. I managed to find a paper towel and wipe it down and off I went to do my shopping.
I only picked up a few items and was on my way out of the store. As I walked out I noticed a Mom struggling as she came through the store doors with a baby in her arms. It was raining so hard outside she was running in. I quickly said she could use my cart as it was dry and she could put the baby in right away instead of looking for something to dry a cart off with. I just grabbed my bags of groceries out of the cart -- they were light -- and I ran off to my car without a cart. The mom was very grateful to me for helping her out.
I felt happy knowing I was able to offer her my shopping cart and was able to help her with her little baby.
Be on the look out for opportunities. They're everywhere, even when you're grocery shopping in the rain!
This past weekend my daughter and I were at a grocery store shopping for some goodies in preparation for visiting my mom and grandmother.
As we were standing at rack trying to decide what to get, I looked up an saw an elderly gentleman pick up a tomato and weigh it. He then began counting coins in his hand to see if he had enough.
My daughter and I both looked at each other. We understood and smiled. She said, "How much?" I said, "Um, about 20?" She agreed, so I pulled out a $20 bill, walked over put in the gentleman's hand and closed his fingers.
He looked at me astonished and speechless, as his eyes began to water.
I looked him and gently said, "Enjoy. And have a pie on us."
We picked up our shopping goodies, left the store with big smiles, and felt blessed to have run into that old man.
Many years ago, my husband and I were at a neighborhood grocery store with our two sons. My elder son has Downs Syndrome and his baby brother was also diagnosed with mild autism a few years later.
Right as we were passing the floral department, a lady who worked there, handed me a bouquet of flowers. Unexpectedly. "These are for you," she said. "I've been looking for someone to give these to!" She said she would tell the cashier at the checkout that they were free.
The gesture brought tears to my eyes.
My son with Downs Syndrome is now 12 years old and my "baby" is 8. I draw on this kind incident to give me strength when people have given me rude and even verbally abusive comments, when my children have had problems being in public.
Receiving those flowers has really made a deep impression on my life. Thank you, to that kind lady in the floral department that day!
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me. "Hello Barry, how are you today?" "H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good." "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?" "Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' ti me." "Good. Anything I can help you with?" "No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas." "Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller. "No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with." "Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?" "All I got's ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, I was shopping for groceries at the local store. The specialty of the store is free stands where customers are given samples of new products.
Being an ice-cream lover, I gravitated towards the free ice-cream stand and the clerk in-charge gave me a big smile saying "You are lucky! This is really popular and this is the last cone I have to give away!"
I was happy too, until I turned around to see a toddler craning her neck up to see my cone with one hand pulling her Mom's dress. Disappointment was written all over her face. Apparently, Mom had just explained the idea called 'no more' to her.
I knelt down, extended the cone and asked if she'd like to have it. Four faces lit up all at-once! And that tasted better than ice-cream :)
I was with my kids at the grocery store. They are 3 and 5.
We were doing our grocery shopping, when we saw a 75-80 year old lady in one of those motorized scooters, doing her shopping. We saw that she was unable to reach something, so I reached it for her and she said, "Thank you."
The old lady also mentioned there were other things she was unable to get because she was confined to her scooter. So my 5 year old son spontaneously tells her, "Oh, we can help you get the rest of your groceries."
And we did. We went through the whole store with her, until she had all that she needed. When we finished, the woman blessed us and told me that it was nice to see that little ones still have manners.
As we finished our own grocery shopping, I felt so very proud to know my children will not be selfish people.
Yesterday I was in the grocery store and ran into an old client. (I worked in Social Services for 14 years and recently left to pursue other things). This particular person had been a very abrasive, beligerant and loud client, which intimidated some of the staff. Somehow I became the person who was best at dealing with these sorts of folks and I was called to the front desk to talk with him. He was tall and, well, scary looking. Wild hair, missing teeth, buggy eyes. I brought him to my office where he began crying and we talked about his life and what he needed help with. I then did my job, and helped him to the best of my ability. He soon found employment and went on his way and was one of my best success stories and I was proud of it. This was over 4 years ago. Anyway, yesterday ... Read Full Story >>
I was working in a supermarket promoting a new variety of bread. My job was to hand out slices of bread; it was very monotonous and at times very hard to keep motivated saying the same thing over and over again.
So I decided to change it up, and alter my perspective on the situation. With a piece of bread in my hand, I started to say, "Would you like to try a slice of love? And I'm also giving away free hugs today."
And so I started hugging complete strangers, as they passed by my aisle.
The reactions of the people absolutely blew me away! An older lady said she had not been hugged in two years. I was so moved by our brief conversation that I decided that I'm always going to be ever-ready to share my hugs freely – you just never know who might need them!
A sweet and charming little old lady came up to me at the supermarket about 5 months ago. She had strict orders from her doctor to avoid artificial ingredients, but she couldn't read the ingredients on the cereal box and was asking me for some help. "No problem," I instantly said. I picked up the box and indeed, it's a shame that the print was so small that even I had to struggle to read it. It turned out that it did have artificial ingredients. With a slightly dejected face, she explained, "I'm struggling to have a decent breakfast in the mornings, because although I love porridge, I don't have enough energy to make it myself. So I need to find something instant that doesn't have artificial ingredients." Just then, I had an idea. "Well, I make my own muesli out of natural products and if you could give me you address, I ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday my son, daughter and I went to the grocery store. Ahead of us in line was a little girl with her mother. The little girl was asking her mother for a box of Smarties. She was asking very politely and you could see it almost broke the mother's heart when she said, "I'm sorry, Honey, but we just can't afford it." My son was watching that dialogue. Incidentally, he had been raking leaves in our yard to raise himself some money to buy a treat. As he watched the mother and daughter leave the store, he ran to the candy counter and grabbed a box of Smarties. (It turns out that I had also grabbed one pack). My son proudly placed the Smarties on the conveyor belt, pulled out his money and bought the Smarties. He turned to look at me and I just nodded. Out he ran after the ... Read Full Story >>
I just came in from the grocery store. I only needed one item but the woman in line before me had spent more than the money she had in her hand. As she checked out her 2-3 packed bags, she asked the cashier to put the jelly back so she would have enough money to cover the bill. As she paid, I looked at her and told her I was going to buy that jelly for her. She said, "Oh no, you don't have to. I just didn't grab enough money when I left my home." I looked at her and happily said, "That's okay. Perhaps you could return the favor to someone else." Caught up in the spirit of generosity, she tried to offer me something else until she landed upon an idea -- "Can I give you some of my "Turkey points?" At this store, they give you Turkey ... Read Full Story >>
A few years ago, I was working "on loan" to a company grocery store, as they were short-handed during the Christmas Holidays. I was not used to the management nor the clientele at this unit. As I was checking groceries that morning, an elderly man in a wheelchair came through my checkstand with a basket filled with candy, cigars, and a few trinkets. As I finished ringing up his purchases, I told the man the dollar amount and he presented an out-of-state check from his son. He explained to me that his son had sent him the check for his Christmas present and he wanted to use it to purchase gifts for the friends and wonderful staff at the nursing home located a few blocks behind the store where he resided. Since this was not my "home" store, I needed to have the check approved prior to accepting it. When ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I was shopping with my four-year-old son, Jacob. We had been in the store quite a while, so his patience was already wearing thin when I mentioned that I had forgotten to get soup. As I turned the cart around and headed down the soup aisle we saw the biggest, baldest, most bewildered looking biker dude staring at the cans. I thought he might be threatening them to jump into his basket! Like most children his age, Jacob is still learning to not shout out his observations about people in public. As we approached the man, Jacob yelled, "He rides a motorcycle, I bet! Do you think he looks mean?" I was mortified, but the biker smiled and won Jacob over with a high five. The biker sheepishly asked if I could help him out. There was a single mom with small children who lived next door ... Read Full Story >>
While shopping at my local Walmart I noticed a young girl ahead of me. She had with her what looked like a newborn infant in the cart along with diapers, formula, and other food items. This young mother wasn't the average mom shopping at Walmart. The pierced nose and tongue might have discouraged others from helping her. The cashier rung up her items and the girl gave the cashier her credit card. The credit card was declined and the girl looked at the cashier embarassed and horrified. The cashier gave the girl the option of keeping her items in the cart while the girl went to get the necessary money. I wasn't sure if this was the person I was supposed to help, after all there seemed to be a lot of stuff in her cart, and I am a single parent myself. The girl left, supposedly to go get ... Read Full Story >>
Here's a quick reminder to all of you when you get stuck in a moment --- that, somewhere out there, someone always comes along with a pocket full of hope. Today I spent all my coins and dollar bills on little deeds. I had skipped breakfast because the clock was ticking away too quickly. On top of the mad rush, I forgot my lunch. I was going to buy my lunch along the way, but a person in need asked me if I could spare them some cash, so I decided that moment, to put them first. So, then later, that evening, I was heading home anxiously awaiting dinner, when I got a call from my Mom saying that she was stuck working the late night shift and wouldn't be able to make it to the market to pick up groceries. Even though there was no food in the house, I took a step back for a second, and I told my Mom not to worry as I would surely find myself something on which to munch. :) While I was ... Read Full Story >>
When I was a young girl, my mother and father divorced which devastated our finances. My mother accepted food from an uncle that worked at a seafood packing plant that offered torn and shredded food for free as they could not sell it. We ate a LOT of seafood. I remember times when my mother would be in such despair trying to spread what little cash she had over the need for groceries to feed us and to this day it pains me to see others in that condition. One day this winter, I dropped into a store to buy a last minute item. It was not my regular store, but it was the one I chose. I think it was chosen for me. Times this winter were very hard on us with the construction industry being so slow, but I felt compelled to do something about the woman and her ... Read Full Story >>
Grocery shopping has never been my favorite activity, but yesterday's trip was different. I decided, before I even left the house, to make this a RAOK "event".
I was determined to sow seeds of kindness in as many areas as I could. Smiling and acknowledging the gentleman who brings the carts in from outside; assisting a mother and baby with her cart; quietly reminding myself, "slow down and take your time" (as I am a notorious rush shopper:-); and giving people the right of way in the aisles -- these small acts don't seem like much, but when your attitude is to make people happy - even on the smallest level - there are such benefits.
Letting shoppers with smaller baskets ahead; making sure to place the divider for the person behind me; and making pleasant, positive and encouraging conversation with the cashier all contribute to sowing seeds of joy. You can create a mini garden of joy and contentment that extends beyond yourself.
Attitudes are so contagious and what a gift to be able to spread a happy one!
"Some people!" snorted a man standing behind me in the long line at the grocery store. "You would think the manager would pay attention and open another line," said a woman. I looked to the front of the line to see what the hold up was and saw a well dressed, young woman, trying to get the machine to accept her credit card. No matter how many times she swiped it, the machine kept rejecting it. "It's one of them welfare card things. Damn people need to get a job like everyone else," said the man standing behind me. The young woman turned around to see who had made the comment. 'It was me,' he said, pointing to himself. The young lady's face began to change expression. Almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card onto the counter and quickly walked out of the store. Everyone in the checkout line ... Read Full Story >>
I was in the queue for the supermarket checkout earlier today. All of the checkouts were busy and the woman behind me in the queue was not happy! Every word that came out her mouth was negative, a complaint, a moan, a whinge! She wasn't happy with the number of checkouts opened, she wasn't happy with the amount of shopping some people had in their baskets, she wasn't happy because this supermarket didn't have a stand where you could scan your own shopping. She wasn't happy! I listened to her without looking around as I loaded my stuff onto the conveyor belt. I didn't want anything to do with that kind of attitude, and if ever I had felt like letting someone go ahead of me, it wouldn't be such a moaner! But then I glanced back. Standing beside the woman was a five year old girl, possibly her granddaughter. The girl's part of ... Read Full Story >>
I will never forget a special trip to the grocery store a couple of years ago. My father had just recently passed away. I was missing him terribly and rarely getting through a day without crying. I needed to pull myself together to get some groceries for my husband and young children. As I entered the store, I immediately had to control my emotions as the sweet aroma of my Daddy's favorite cinnamon buns made there at our local grocery store drifted throughout the store. I made my way up and down the busy aisles and filled my cart as I read my list, which I had prepared that morning. I was approaching the in-store bakery when I just couldn't control myself any longer. I held the cart and quietly cried as I looked at the plump, gooey cinnamon buns in the case. An older gentleman came to my side and simply ... Read Full Story >>
I had asked my 22 year old son to bring home some milk from the grocery store where he works as a supervisor.
Anymore, it seems like all we ever hear about are the horrible things people do to others. I can't even turn on the news at night (we get Kansas City, Mo. news) without hearing of at least 3 people who were shot and killed plus numerous other acts of violence. Also, with families everywhere pinching pennies everywhere they can, not everyone is feeling as generous as they normally would be. But I found out that even in tough times, people can do simple things that might greatly improve a stranger's day. Not long ago, I was having one of those end of the week, everything fall apart, rotten days. I had a hard day at work, my week didn't go well and problems just kept popping up everywhere. Things broke or quit, unexpected bills came in and I was struggling to keep from loosing my cool from all the stress. Then ... Read Full Story >>
REDWOOD CITY, CA - Imagine this: on Aug 11 shopper Jenni Ware gets 207 dollars of groceries at Trader Joe’s and realizes only at the checkout line that she has lost her wallet. Carolee Hazard, in line behind the distressed woman, graciously offers to cover the tab! Jenni goes home and sends Carolee a check for 300 dollars, and suggests that her benefactress treat herself to a massage with the leftover cash. Carolee turned to her online Facebook community for advice on what they thought she should do with the 93 dollar gift. The idea Carolee choose was to donate the surplus to a local food bank. Carolee not only sent in the money that Jenni had given her to Second Harvest Food Bank, but matched that amount herself. So did a Facebook friend. And another. And another. Kids have pitched in 93 cents. And since the story has been on Facebook’s ... Read Full Story >>