Everyone Is Hungry To Help

, , , , | Hopeless | June 27, 2017

The other day, while coming home from an afternoon event, I decided to save some time before I go home to eat dinner and pick up some cinder blocks that I want to use in my backyard for a raised garden bed. I’m not that hungry, right? 85 degree weather shouldn’t bother me, right?

Maybe not so much. After checking out and pushing the heavily loaded cart of cinder blocks up the parking lot to my car, I start feeling light-headed and having white sparkles across my vision. I decide to walk back to the store and find a water fountain, but have to stop and sit down part of the way there, then pause to catch my breath near the entrance of the store, and end up going to one knee once I am inside so that I don’t totally black out.

Here is where the awesome part of the story begins. Every single person who sees me, whether an employee or a fellow customer, asks if I am all right. When I go to one knee, a woman who had just passed me, after I had assured her I was okay, turns around and comes right back to grab a bottle of water for me from a nearby display. More than that, the man at the nearby checkout told the cashier to put the water on his bill!

After I finished the water and caught my breath, the cashier made sure that another employee came out to my car and helped me load the cinder blocks. I was able to drive home just fine and was perfectly recovered after having dinner and resting up a bit. They say you should never go grocery shopping hungry… I guess that also applies to large heavy hunks of concrete!

Harry Potter And The Act Of Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | June 25, 2017

(Back when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the last book in the series) comes out in the bookstores, I am a teenager in high-school with little money to my name. My grandmother knows I am a big fan and has given me exact change to be able to buy the hardcover version of the book I have been waiting so long for. In my excitement to get the book, I leave on my bicycle to buy it, not bothering to take anything else but the amount she gave me. During the 15 minute ride to the store, I noticed a middle aged man cycling the exact same path from my street and to the bookstore. We both enter the bookstore and I am first in line with him standing next in line.)

Cashier: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Me: *excited* “I’m here to buy Harry Potter seven!”

Cashier: “All right, which one do you want, the hardcover or the paperback?”

Me: “The hardcover, please!”

(The cashier grabs one of the hardcover books and tells me the amount I owe. Having gotten some loose bills and coins, I haven’t taken the time to count it. When she looks at it she frowns and tells me this is only enough for a paperback version. My grandmother must have miscounted by accident, and having no other money on me, I’m momentarily speechless and only mumble some incoherent words in an attempt to gather my thoughts and make a decision. I must’ve looked very distraught; the man next in line taps me on the shoulder.)

Man: *holds out two euros which, is the extra amount I need for a hardcover, and smiles kindly* “Here, take it. The hardcover books last a lot longer.”

Me: *surprised and happy* “T-thank you! That’s unbelievably kind of you.”

(I took the two euros he offered me and finished the transaction with the cashier for a hardcover book. Being an awkward teen I could only smile and didn’t know what else to say, but it really did mean the world to me. I still cherish that hardcover copy and I wish I could’ve made it more clear to him how happy he’d made me with that small act of kindness. If you do happen to remember an awkward teen girl with glasses on the day of the release of the last book, please know that you’re a hero in my eyes, especially in a world that can be so cold and harsh at times. It’s the little things that count, and I try to do the same for others when I’m able.)

Charity Doesn’t Have To Start At Home

, , , | Hopeless | June 24, 2017

(A woman and her young son have come into the charity shop I volunteer with. She was in the previous week asking for us to hold a couple children’s VHS cassettes.)

Me: “Hi there. I’ve got everything right here.”

Woman: “Thank you. Could you please tell me how much it all costs? I’m afraid I can’t remember.”

Me: “£10.99.”

Woman: *sighs* “Do you mind if I take quick look at them first?”

(I had them over and she kneels on the ground so she is at eye level with her son.)

Woman: “Okay, [Son]. Mummy had to buy bulbs this week, so she can only buy one.”

(The son looks upset, but he chooses one. I’m honestly holding back tears as the woman looks at the other two and mumbles about “maybe next month.” I have an idea.)

Me: “Umm, [Son]. There’s some toys over there. Since you’ve been really grown up, I’ll let you take one.”

(The son’s eyes light up instantly and he runs off.)

Me: *whispering* “Look, I’ll pay for everything.”

Woman: “Oh. No, you don’t have to do that!”

Me: “I know I don’t, but I am. You shouldn’t have to decide between bulbs and your son’s happiness.”

(She tries to argue back, but I refuse. When she leaves though she does seem considerably more relaxed, and the son is ecstatic with his new Pikachu toy.)

Me: “[Boss], can you come and put through the sale. I’m paying for it.”

(He starts putting it through and I pay for it on my card.)

Boss: “You know, this is your first and only warning. I’ve seen plenty of do-gooders like you who think they can make poverty disappear with a few good deeds. I can guarantee that she will be spending that money on heroin the second she can offload her son. This is a charity shop. Our charity comes from the time we spend here, selling other people’s crap!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but if I have to lose my place here so I can help people so worse off that they can’t even spend TEN POUNDS, then please, by all means accept this as my resignation. Get stuffed!”

(As I left I bumped into the woman again, and we sat down for coffee. I now babysit her son free of charge, meaning she can work more hours so money isn’t as tight any more. She and her son are in a much better place. I also found another charity shop which a more compassionate staff.)

New Job, Old Friends

, , , | Hopeless | June 19, 2017

(When I worked in retail, I used to get the same bus home from work each day. A group of elderly women used to be on there at the same time, and I used to talk to them. After three years of retail work, I got an office job full time and gave my notice to the store I worked for. I mentioned to the ladies on the bus that I would be finishing that Friday. Friday comes, and I am pretty emotional after spending the day saying goodbye to people. I get on the bus… and find a card a wrapped present in my usual seat.)

Lady #1: “You’ve been so kind to us over the last few years. We thought the least we could do is give you a little something when you’re starting afresh.”

Me: “I don’t know what to say. Thank you; that’s so generous.”

Lady #2: “I’ll tell you what you can say. Promise never to work in retail again!”

Me: *laughing* “Deal.”

(The present was a coffee mug with the first letter of my name on it, and box of chocolates. They had gotten two of the regular drivers to write in the card as well. I hugged them all before I left the bus, and still keep in contact with all three women. That mug still has pride of place on my desk. Thank you, ladies.)

Lending An Ear

, , , , | Hopeless | June 15, 2017

I’m very young at this time — maybe six years old — and unfortunately haven’t grown into my ears, so they stick out far. At the resort is a koi pond and I love fish. The pond is barred off to prevent over eager children like myself from falling in. Not one to be deterred I manage to squeeze my head through the bars to get a close look at the fish.

That’s when trouble strikes. I can’t get my head back through the bars with my huge Dumbo ears. My parents try to fit my head back through without making too much of a scene. I’m crying and in pain from my parent trying fit me back through the bars. I’m sure we are beginning to draw a crowd.

That’s when a huge man walks over grabs the bars with his bare hands and bends them! I’m freed.

I don’t remember much being so young but to that huge, strong man, thanks. My parents have told this story so many times and we’re all grateful you were there that day.

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