Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Beyond Dollars A Day

--by nanahana, posted Sep 3, 2013
When I worked in a large city, passing by someone experiencing homelessness wasn't an uncommon sight. The plight of those I saw touched me deeply, and I often felt, "There but for the grace of God go I." 

I felt compelled to do something, and as a single mom and newcomer to my field, I decided to come up with a plan that fit my limited budget. I began by setting aside five to ten dollar bills each payday, and during the week, passing them out to those I met on the street.

Though a dollar felt like a small amount, I realized how powerful it was to give the gift of being seen: for me to recognize that those I passed by were people just like me. Sometimes we would joke a bit and smile together. On some occasions, I was able to give more. I'll never know how and if the dollars helped, but I know that the connections we made did.

One day after I had initiated this weekly practice, I had saved up enough to buy myself a new winter coat. With my recent purchase wrapped around my shoulders, I realized that my old coat could still be put to use by someone who had little or nothing to protect them from the cold. However, in that moment, I felt inspired to pass on this opportunity for kindness. I turned to the salesman who had helped me, and asked if he would feel comfortable taking my old coat, walking to the corner, and offering it to someone in need. Slightly taken aback, he smiled. "I will as soon as I get a break," he said. "Thanks for being so thoughtful."
I can't help but feel that my experiences with kindness have moved me to pass it on, and in this way, I feel I've helped more than just those I pass by on the street. Kindness touches many hearts, and I am grateful for the way it has touched mine.
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Readers Comments

Ammi wrote: I too cannot pass by a homeless person on the street without sharing some of what i have. I wish it made a bigger difference than it does, because i would like a world where there was a home for everyone.
debj wrote: You are an angel on earth. Bless you for your kindness~
kelleyo wrote: I work at a homeless ministry and i applaud that you do not just give handouts, but offer a connection to connect. I was homeless long ago, and one of the things i think that is most difficult is the invisibility to other human beings. When we reach out in respect, and laugh and joke, we are all human together. Thank you for your kindness.
peacehunter wrote: Bless you. So simple and affective ,each dollar making a ripple in a different direction , your dollars are priceless kind soul xo much love to you. Keep being the change! :)
jsmc10 wrote: This was so amazing of you :) thanks for sharing your story :)
Mish wrote: Where can we find this "Good News Journal "... I stopped reading the newspaper a while ago because it I mostly bad news!
Bless you.
nanahana wrote: mish: If you send me your email address,I will send you a copy. Nanahana
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: That is very kind nanahana! I love that you make it a point to set something aside for them each week. No matter what the amount, the fact that you take the time to care and recognize them makes all the difference! :)

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