questionshas anyone else been involved with a random act…

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I've never done anything as big as give gift cards out, but there is a woman who comes to my job almost every day. She's old, lives alone, and walks pretty much everywhere she has to go. I work at a convenience store and we fry chicken at lunch and a lot of the workers nearby eat there.

Over time, I've noticed that at the end of the month, she's short on cash. She tries to buy a little something to eat while she takes her medication, but some days it comes down to her counting spare change in her hands in the hopes of being able to afford a $0.50 Little Debbie snack cake. On those days, I try to put together a little plate of chicken, maybe some fried okra and a fountain drink for her. I don't get free meals, so I end up paying for it out of pocket. $4 isn't a lot to me, but I like to imagine that it makes those tough days for an old lady on a fixed budget a little easier to bear.

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@purplefeather: Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Some of you might remember me mentioning my adult son who has Asperger's Syndrome and other challenges. He works part-time at a Game Stop (of course) and makes very little money. A couple of weeks ago he asked me whether he had done the right thing. A young man at the store was asking about the prices of long-distance calling cards (I didn't even know those things were stillt around), because his grandfather has been hospitalized in another state and the customer needed a card to call him. He kept counting through his money to find one he could afford so DS just bought one and gave it to him.

After much thought DS was concerned that he might have been scammed. Maybe so. But I told him that it really didn't matter whether it was a scam or not. I was very proud of his generous heart.

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That is such a cool thing - definitely how we will be celebrating birthdays in my family from now on!

A couple of weeks ago I was over in Ocean County, NJ which was hard hit by the hurricane. One of the things on my mental list to do was to thank an out-of-town electical worker if I ran across one. My SIL and I were eating lunch at Applebees and happened to be seated next to two men from Alabama Power. I made arrangements to take care of their check - the waitress told them when they went to pay, and they were extremely appreciative. Interestingly, the folks at Applebees were also. The waitress and manager were almost overly attentive to us for the rest of our visit, and made a point to thank us for doing that. They mentioned that it wasn't the first time (I know so many people in the area are doing all they can to thank those hard working electrical workers), and they even gave me a 50% discount on their bill!

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Wow, that's cool. Usually around here, people celebrate with a random act of violence.

Anyway, now that we are entering the holiday season, the world could reminded to be more kind to one another. Thanks for sharing this story.

@barkwoot: Are you going to pay it forward? If so, are you thinking of doing something similar (like a gift card) or something different? My favorite thing was to go to a drive-thru and say the car behind me was in my group and pay for their lunch. Then I wait in the lot to see their total shock and surprise in my rearview as I drive off.

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What a great idea! I love implementing random acts of kindness, but I'd never thought of celebrating my birthday that way. My family says I'm hard to shop for (picky and/or buy it for myself before they can get to it), so I'm going to suggest that we do this next time around.

Thanks for sharing!

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@curtisuxor: yes, I definitely intend to pay it forward. I do like the idea of giving a gift card, especially if I can get one of the kids to do it. I think it teaches them a good lesson. As we continued our drive, my wife & I discussed the drive through idea too. I like it as well. I might even have the kids pick a table at a sit down place and pick up their check.

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Wow! What a great little surprise! I love the idea of pay it forward!

@purplefeather, I'm sure it makes a huge difference in her life and she's probably extremely grateful for it!

As for me? I can't do much, but I did find a single mother with two children on craigslist that needed help for Christmas. I'm picking up some presents for her girls (nothing much as I'm not rich, but it will be something under the tree). I adopted some Salvation Army Angels last year, I can't adopt them on JCP site this year, and I'm having a hard time finding the trees locally. I have a call into both the local SA (which had no idea what I was talking about!) and the one about 1/2 hour from here (which is who I got the Angels from last year). Hopefully one can get back to me so I can pick an angel or two (they have a wish list of sorts). I also donated stuff to my dads church for their toy store.

I've also donated some handmade beaded cat pins to a local cat rescue to sell to help the kitties.

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This has to be my all-time favorite Woot question thread. If I could give double up-votes to everyone who has contributed, I would. There's a wonderful older man who lives (alone) in my apartment building, & a few years ago out of nowhere I decided it would be fun to put together a package for him from Santa. So now for something like four years or so I've helped Santa to assemble a surprise gift pack for John, often including an item or two from Woot. Usually I have at least one warm article to help with the winter cold (a fleece throw, a scarf, etc.), some food or beverage treats, & maybe a couple of practical items like a pen & some note cards. I don't think I've even mentioned this to anyone until now in writing this post. It's so much fun to put this together each year that it has become one of my favorite holiday traditions. I look forward each year to creeping down the hallway early on Christmas morning to leave Santa's package for John at his door.

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Think of how much better our world would be if more people lived their lives practicing acts of kindness as a way of life.

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My husband is a pay it forward kindda guy. He eats lunch with a few of his workers and friends at the same place every day and one day he gave some money to the cashier to pay for the next people who were in line (however many it would feed). The manager was so appreciative that he doubled the amount and fed even more for free.
The next day one of the people who got a free meal came over to my husband and thanked him , he said that was the first time anyone had done something like that for him and it felt so good that he was also going to pay it forward .

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It has been a while, but I have bought whatever was on the belt at the grocery store for whoever was in front of me.

The last thing I did, that wasn't giving money/paying was a few years ago. It was raining and a woman was waiting at a bus stop with no shelter from the rain. I offered her a ride (which she wouldn't take) so, instead, I gave her my umbrella.

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For several years I ran a motel, The first Thanksgiving I noticed everyone was looking for a place to eat as nothing close by was open. For Christmas I bought two turkey and all the fixins and had the furniture taken out of a room. I put a Thanksgiving dinner is served at 2 in room ### on the front door and waited to see what would happen. By 2:30 the room was filled with stranger getting to know each other and having a good time. I kept that up for years after each Thanksgiving and Christmas and it was always great to see so many strangers having a nice holiday.

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@purplefeather: Thank you so much for your kindness. This brought tears to my eyes. There but for the grace of.....that could have been me, or others I have known. Bless you!

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I still remember when I was a kid and didn't have enough money for food (convenience store jalapeno corndog), a lady saw I needed money and gave me $2.. I told her I wouldn't take it and she said "No, take it.. but someday you'll see somebody that needs help and when you do you'll help them."

Not related to that ^, coincidentally I gave a little kid some money at the store a couple of days ago.. I saw him spend a few minutes trying to figure out how he could afford something to eat AND something to drink - then end up not having enough at the register anyways. He appreciated it, so hopefully he pays it forward.

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Some friends of ours (and man they've been having a bad year financially) were grocery shopping at a local market a few weeks ago, and as they went to pay - a complete stranger in line behind them stepped up slid his card to pay for their groceries. He told my friends, "I remember being younger, with a family, you're doing great." And that was it. This has been happening a lot in our area and it makes me misty eyed every time. My friends were in tears telling us what happened. It was beautiful.

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@barkwoot What a wonderful question to pose. Very uplifting! And yes, I've been the recipient & the giver of random acts of kindness. Both are heart-warming. :-D

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I had an opportunity for a small act of kindness yesterday. I'd bought a bag of burritos to take home and there was a homeless guy with a lovely German Shepherd at the stop light. I gave him a fresh, hot burrito and a salsa cup.

It's too hot in the summer months to carry food in the car, but during the cooler months I usually carry sack lunches to give to homeless people. I put a can of Vienna sausage, a Little Debbie, a bag of chips, a juice box, a razor, comb, a hotel soap, shampoo and conditioner, along with a piece of paper listing the local homeless shelters and the services they provide. I usually keep some baggies of dog food for those with dogs. When there's a fire sale on blankets I carry those to hand out as well. The local homeless agencies don't want people giving money to the homeless as they really need to get into the shelters and get some kind of case management and real help. But I don't want to pass by someone who's hungry.

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Inspiring thread. Now I'm trying to think of the best ratio of limited funds to helping someone out activities. Picked up some cute doorbuster cheap mitten hat combos for the mitten tree at church this weekend while doing a couple of Target laps for exercise.

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yes

someone taped a bag of microwave popcorn to the redbox machine and left a note saying. "Random act of kindness. enjoy your movie with some popcorn"

neat idea, but i'm paranoid and left it for the next person.

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When I read that it was a gift card I was thinking that it was a Five Guys marketing promo :) (realized I was wrong about a sentence later).
It's good that there're people that nice still around - it helps make up for the majority.

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My wife and I go out to eat on Thanksgiving and Christmas, normally to a run-of-the-mill type of place like WaffleHouse or Denny's, and we'll leave a $100 tip. Usually people that are working on the holidays have to be there for financial reasons, so we will normally ask them why they're working that day. Normally it's because of being a single mom, or unemployed spouse, or illness, not something like because their an atheist or something like that. We've met some very nice people that way. We will normally go up, pay the bill, and then go back and had them the tip directly, all folded up, and then make for the door. We've been caught a few times, and it's one of the coolest feelings in the world. We just set aside $20 a month and then get 2 shiny new $100 bills before going out on each of the holidays. We're glad to be able to do something like this. Thank you to Dave Ramsey for starting us down this path.

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When I was a bit younger I used to go to the club with my boyfriend. The club closed at 1, and the pizza place next to it closed at 2 or 2:30. After going a few times I noticed this older guy asking for change and sometimes he'd just be sitting there, staring off into space. I started buying him a slice of pizza and a soda. Once the owner of the pizza place saw me give it to the guy, he started only charging me for my pizza and drink when I'd go there. :)
Also, when I was younger, my dad used to donate blood about every 3 months, so I grew up feeling it was important. When I was finally old enough to be able to donate myself, I asked my friends to donate blood with me instead of getting me a gift. I've gotta say, it felt really great. When I was 7 I needed open heart surgery. I was lucky that I didn't lose enough blood to need a transfusion, just iron pills. But some people aren't that lucky and need transfusions. 1 donation can help save 3 lives and it doesn't take that long to do. :)