This week has been filled with acts of kindness. It may be because the holidays are here. But no matter the reason, I like it.
One night after work this week, I had to stop and get gas on the way home. My fuel light was blinking, so even though it was unbelievably cold outside there was really no way of getting out of it.
I pulled up to the pump, got out, and started filling up. A man was fueling up his car on the opposite side of my pump and a mini van had pulled up behind my car. About midway through filling up, the guy in the mini van comes over to me and asks for a couple of dollars for gas. Me being the paranoid person I am, I said, “Sorry, I don’t have cash on me.” (It’s instinct for me. In no way would I reach in my car to grab cash if I had it or not. It’s just how I operate.) Then, the guy limps back to his car. (I have no idea if he limped up to me in the first place or if he was making his story more convincing.)
The man who was filling up opposite me asked what the guy said to me. I told him. He said, “Oh, okay.” As I was making my way to the driver’s door, he said, “Did you get enough gas? He didn’t scare you away did he?” I replied, “Yes, I did. Thank you.”
I appreciated this small act of kindness. Just by our short conversation I knew he’d have my back (per say) if the guy in the mini van had scared me or if a situation happened when I told him I didn’t have any money for him. It was a reminder that good people are out there looking out for others. I gave the man a smile and a wave as I drove away.
And then yesterday, I joined my team from work and volunteered at Harvester’s, the only food bank we have here in the Kansas City area. I haven’t volunteered in years. The last time I remember doing it was back in high school when I was serving meals at the City Union Mission in order to get a certain number of hours for NHS. I also remember chipping in some volunteer hours while I was in Girl Scouts. One of those times I sorted through items that were donated to a domestic violence shelter.
It felt really good to pitch in and help serve a community again. Harvester’s provides meals to 66,000 people per week. Isn’t that amazing? Our group sorted through several pallets of collected food and dropped each item in its appropriate bin. You would not believe what some people donate. You know those massive bags of Halloween candy that contain about seven different types of candies? Well, someone just donated the Whoppers that were left. Harvester’s tapes up the bag and accepts it. How about a pack of four candles but only three are present in the package? Yep, they’ll take those, too. I was impressed with all that they accepted.
One of my favorite parts of the whole experience was that it was a team-building activity. I work with such great people. They’re kind and caring. Not one of them complained. We had fun — even heckling one another every now and then.
Volunteering felt so rewarding. I’m thinking of adding it to my New Year’s resolution list.
Have you experienced any acts of kindness recently?