My first ever random act of kindness
--by zjm409, posted Feb 23, 2014
One of my "primary targets" that I came up with during my brainstorming was McDonald's, because the area around my college is economically depressed and I figured most of the people going to the McDonald's were probably strapped for cash. Unfortunately I don't have a car and I didn't know when I'd be able to have the opportunity to do some random acts of kindness there. As luck would have it that very night one of my friends asked me to go to McDonald's and get her some chicken nuggets and another friend offered to drive me!
On the drive over I nonchalantly suggested that we actually go inside the McDonald's instead of going through the drive-through, because it would be "more of an adventure." She said that was fine. The only money in my wallet was a $20 bill, so I paid for the order with my Debit card and asked my friend to wait at a table until I was done checking out. I would have been embarrassed if she knew what I was about to do. I then handed the cashier the $20 bill and told him I wanted to pay for the next few people to order, "just to make someone's night."
He seemed kind of shocked and unsure of what to do and called a manager over who was walking by. I repeated my request to her, and she also looked dubious but said "If you're sure that's what you want to do." I assured her wholeheartedly that it was and walked away with a huge grin on my face. As I walked out I saw the cashier, the manager and another employee who had overheard the conversation all standing side-by-side at the counter looking awed. I was walking on air as I left that McDonald's.
Next stop, CVS, where I bought an iced coffee and bag of snacks for my friend who had driven me to McDonald's and a huge bag of pistachios (one of her favorite foods) for my other friend who had asked me to go to McDonald's for her. I hid the bag of pistachios inside the McDonald's bag and could hardly keep from grinning from ear to ear when I handed it to her back at the dorm and she didn't immediately open it. I walked away knowing she was going to be very pleasantly surprised in a few minutes :)
I did chicken out at the McDonald's register and ended up not giving the cashier Smile cards to give to the people who's meals I had payed for, like I had intended on doing, but for my first act of random kindness it went extremely well and I'm proud to say I'm already irrevocably hooked. I have a lot of great ideas for future gifting events. As I type this it's 2:45 in the morning but I'm still so stoked up and elated at what I did that I'm not tired in the slightest! Giving solely for the sheer joy of giving is absolutely addicting and I hope to make a real change in my school and larger community. Starting tomorrow, everywhere I go I'm going to be armed with Smile cards, gifts, envelopes and, of course, a smile of my own.
I cannot wait to hear more about what further acts you do. No doubt they will be just as amazing. Join us over at the community and in our forums. We would love to see you there xox