Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Free Zoo Day Goes Both Ways


--by MagentaHeart, posted Jan 23, 2020
I have a San Diego Zoo membership.
This membership comes with 4 passes to share with others. Each year towards the end of the year I typically still have 3-4 passes left as my membership also includes bringing a friend.

Several years ago I decided, instead of recycling them, I would go to the zoo with a friend on Thanksgiving or Christmas and give them away. The people have to walk in with me so I have to be there in person. San Diego has a lot of visitors from all over the world.

The first year I gave them to a young family from somewhere in Asia (don't remember exactly). They were the most modest for sure. The second year I gave them to a Guatemalan family. That was exciting because I got to talk to them about my time in Guatemala in the past.
This Christmas I gave them to a family from N. California. They were truly the most exuberantly grateful people. The mother kept saying "is this a joke?", "is there a camera nearby?!!".

I often get hugs after giving them away. I absolutely love the surprise, excitement and gratitude that people show. As well as the brief connection we share. Each time this experience leaves a smile on my face for days. Though I am giving a gift of a free day at the zoo, really I'm the one receiving the greatest gift of joy.

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Readers Comments

Rajni wrote: You did a wonderful job. Hope people learn the simple thing that giving is receiving. Thanks for sharing.
lindariebel wrote: Zoos don't always get the appreciation they deserve -- in the last few decades they have become crucial participants in saving endangered species -- raising money, sponsoring projects in the field, etc.
olivierchhu wrote: Great way to use the remaining tickets - you and the receiver get the positive benefits of this act :)
Novice50 wrote: A great way to share.
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: That is very nice, way to go!
drjoybug wrote: How wonderful ❣️
Mish wrote: So cool! Big hugs.
mindyjourney wrote: A beautiful way to share! We have been the recipients of a similar kindness years ago at a zoo in the Chicago area...never forget it either. Thank you!!!
michelelpurce wrote: how wonderful! just like one of Rajnis cards.....GIving not only blesses the receiver but also the giver as well. :)
dotmatrix wrote: This is such a great idea! Really kind of you. ♥.

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