I pictured being in the store and noticing a single mother unable to pay for her groceries. Seeing her in trouble, I would swoop in and pay for groceries. She would cry. I would cry. We would hug.
In reality, I have been taking my kids to the grocery store with me lately, which usually ends in disaster. I was so consumed with getting out of the store without causing a scene, I forgot until we were safely in the car.
I kept waiting for inspiration to strike and it finally did in early December. My family and I were waiting in line at Home Depot to buy a Christmas tree. The line was long, but I was intrigued by a family in line behind us. The oldest daughter seemed so sweet. She would go from quietly standing in line next to her parents to watching her younger siblings while they ran around the tree lot. When it came time for them to pay, I told them I would get the tree for them. They seemed confused and I told them about the Yahoo Acts of Kindness and how I was doing something nice for them in the hopes that they do something nice for someone else.
Of course, I barely got those words out. I was so choked up, which is odd because I don’t get emotional. It just felt so incredible to be doing something nice for someone else. They seemed touched and happy. Can’t ask for much for than that.
After such a great experience, I decided to wait until inspiration struck again. That happened at Los Angeles International Airport after my kids and I were stuck waiting for our flight to Tucson. It was delayed more than an hour, not because of the bad weather, but because something was wrong with the plane. I fought the urge to just go home and Skype with my family instead of getting on the plane, but then I had an idea.
There were so many kids on our flight that my 2 boys and I bought a box of See’s Candy lollipops. My boys split up the lollipops and handed them out to all of the kids waiting in our terminal. The children were excited to get the lollipops, but the parents were even more thrilled by the gesture.
That wasn’t my kids first Act of Kindness for the holiday season. They both helped pick out gifts for girls who were spending Christmas at the Maryvale orphanage. It was arranged through my son’s preschool. I also donated some of the fabulous gifts that I got from the Los Angeles Latina Bloggers Discovering Mas Luncheon that I went to a few months ago to Maryvale.
The kids and I were full of ideas for the rest of our Yahoo! How Good Grows money, but it was my niece who had a truly inspired idea. It was pouring rain when we got to the San Francisco Bay Area and she thought it would be nice to buy rain slickers and give them out to the homeless. Unfortunately, the day we planned to do it was sunny and beautiful. No rain for the next few days.
Instead, I donated the rest of the money to Help A Mother Out to buy diapers for kids whose mothers can’t afford them. It’s a great organization and they are definitely spreading Kindness. I love Yahoo’s Kindness program and it was a fun way to teach my kids that the holidays aren’t all about us. If you’d like to read more about how other people spread a ripple of kindness through their community, check out the Yahoo! How Good Grows page or Yahoo! Motherboard’s page on Shine.