Stories of Kindness from Around the World

It Doesn't Stop With Umbrellas


--by liztree, posted Apr 6, 2008
I have a good friend, Tom, who keeps extra umbrellas in his car.  On rainy days he drives by bus stops and hands free umbrellas to anyone who needs one. 

Yesterday, a young man knocked on my door.  He was canvasing the neighborhood setting up appointments for free window replacement estimates.  He stood far from my door and spoke carefully.  I knew why.  Despite much progress, stereotypes are still very real.  I knew this young African-American man was not getting a whole lot of doors opened in my neighborhood.   I opened my door wide and we chatted for a few minutes.  He visibly relaxed.  Before he turned around to leave, I noticed it was about to rain.  I asked him if he would be okay in the rain.

He told me that he needed to finish out the block before he could return to his car which was parked several blocks away.  I thought of my friend Tom.  I asked the young man to wait.  I went to my hall closet, got an umbrella, and handed it to him.  His eyes went wide.  For a few seconds he didn't say anything, then he asked 'Are you sure?".

"Absolutely", I said.

He was so grateful for the umbrella and I was so grateful for the opportunity to give.  (I wish I had remembered a smile card!)

Later that evening I was spending time Tom.  A Cyndi Lauper song was playing and I shared with him that I was praying for a miracle to by able to buy tickets to her concert.  (I know she is from the 80s, but I love her!).  Things have been a little (okay, a lot) tight financially and I couldn't justify the expense. 

I looked over at Tom and he had the strangest look on his face.  Finally he said, "I was going to make it a surprise, but I can't keep it a secret any longer.  I ordered two tickets for you and Alex to go to the concert.  I did this because I know it will make you so happy and also because I know you will pay it forward."

By the time I told him the umbrella story we were both almost in tears.  If we hadn't been out in public, we would have been bawling. 

Next week, Tom and I will begin volunteering at center for single parents and the circle of giving will continue.
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Readers Comments

Ter wrote: Yes! Take only what you need, give everything you are able to!
Josie Smith wrote: I am a person who don't like to bring umbrella.I feel not comfortable if I am bringing an umbrella with me and also it is hustle to me.
Bob wrote: What a great story...what a great concept!!! How was your concert and do you plan on doing anything else like this in the future. Ther are not enough people like you & Tom in the world, it's a great thing you're doing, don't stop, you inspire so many.
Norman wrote: That's among the best " Pay it forward" examples i have come accross. Thanks for sharing
jack wrote: jack wrote: hai man really great story.wat hapd to thatguy did he called you after reached his car to tell thankx anything.IF YOU MORE STORYS LIKE THIS PLZ SEND TO MY MAIL ID
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jack

Put The Message Where It Matters! WideCircles aka Wide Circles represents relevant, distributed, highly targeted and efficient internet word of mouth marketing using entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion using social network mediums such as blogs, forums, wikis and so on.

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jack wrote: hai man really great story.wat hapd to thatguy did he called you after reached his car to tell thankx anything.
================
jack

Put The Message Where It Matters! WideCircles aka Wide Circles represents relevant, distributed, highly targeted and efficient internet word of mouth marketing using entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion using social network mediums such as blogs, forums, wikis and so on.

http://widecircles.com
smilecards08 wrote: AW, COOL!
archie wrote: Wow!
Char wrote: GREAT job and what an example! I'm going to buy some extra umbrellas TODAY :)!
anonimus wrote: Dear liztree
You my dear are the definition of a BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING..Thanks for the wonderful story

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