Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Jar Full of Change and a Trip to Home Depot


--by hobo, posted Oct 10, 2007

For years I had always taken my change out of my pocket each night and placed it in one of those water cooler jars.  I would use the change every so often when it got full.  As nature would have it, I got older and the glass jar got fuller.  I changed my process to taking the change and putting it in a small container. Then every so often I would take the change to my bank and have it put on a visa card which is what I carry around in my wallet for "Smile Emergencies". 

So the other day I was in line at Home Depot and a lady with way too many kids for one person to watch at one time was in front of me. She was buying some curtains and various plants and house hold items.  She was telling the kids to stand still, be quiet and they would get something to eat after she finished.  The clerk and her had some conversation and it turned out that she was sprucing up her house in preparation for her husband to return from the middle east. 

The wife handed the credit card to the clerk and turned to address one of the children.  I sneakily reached for the credit card and handed my "Smile" visa card to the clerk.  I winked and the clerk smiled.  She rang up the total and not knowing the amount left on the card, I prepared my other credit card just in case I needed more cash.  The lady turned to address the clerk and with a big smile, the clerk started to hand the receipt to me and I motioned for her to hand it to the wife. 

The wife looked at me and I said "Thank you.  Go get your house ready."  She was stunned and started to speak and I just waved my finger.  She loaded up the cart and headed to the door.  As she was about to exit, the oldest of the kids ran back to me and wrapped herself around my leg and hugged me tightly, then ran back to her mother. 

They left the store. The clerk was in tears and we both just sat down and wept together.  It spread to some other employees and I gave out some smile cards for others to join our ranks.

Semper Fi.

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Readers Comments

Sue Cutter wrote: Thank you so much for this. Aside from your wonderful story, you have helped me figure out what to do with my change jar. I don't need it for myself as when i was a younger person, and gift cards are a perfect way to spread the smiles.
katlampi wrote: I like that idea about putting money on a card for Smile Emergencies. What a great opportunity to spread joy! :)
myschief1 wrote: Tell me how many readers didn't have a tear or three running down their cheek? A wonderful story. Thank you for spreading the word :)
Paula wrote: I also had tears after I read that was
awesome of you...God Bless
rockl35 wrote: What an example you are of unselfish love to strangers, thank you for the example. must go get tissues.
anwahs wrote: Very nice gesture. Not only are you helping the children and supporting troops, you passed the message on to lots of people. Keep up the good work
jordan wrote: I really like that story. That was nice of him to pay for her stuff.
JuneBug wrote: YOUR STORY TOUCHED MY HEART!!! Made me cry tears of joy for you, the cashier, the mother AND the children....Look at how many people you spread joy to!!! I gotta go and blow my nose...:}
Flowers wrote: What fun, good on you:)
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: Thanks for making a difference. I like how you are prepared for smile emergencies! I'm sure her husband will be happy he is appreciated and for what you did. God Bless!

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