Thursday, September 16, 2010

Change from a Bag of Chips

Here's a great story that was emailed to me. Author unknown. Enjoy ~ Kat

Performing acts of kindness seems to have been a theme in my life for a long time. I started when I was a little girl, when I wrote a poem about friendship to a neighborhood lady who always seemed to be in a sour mood and was especially unfriendly to the neighborhood children.

When I had children of my own, I continued to do acts of kindness in their presence, so that they might learn by example. Sometimes they participated, and sometimes they just observed. Afterwards, each time we would talk about it and it always brightened my day immensely.

One day not too long ago, my son and I were in line at the Dollar store buying an assortment of products. In a line next to ours, a woman was waiting to make her purchases. She had a few necessities and one bag of chips.

She stepped up to register to make her purchase and said, "I'm sorry. I need to put the chips back. I can't afford them today." I sensed her disappointment and embarrassment. Having gone through tough times myself, I knew very well that sometimes the smallest indulgence is enough to lift one's spirits.

The cashier set the chips aside. I knew immediately that I would buy them for the woman, however, I was in another line and waiting to check out, so I was concerned about how I could make it happen.

The woman completed her purchase and began to leave the store. It was finally my turn to check out. I quickly explained to the cashier that I wanted to buy the chips for the lady who had set them aside. Clearly, there was not enough time to complete my whole purchase, so I asked the cashier if my son could please run the chips outside to the lady, even though I was still checking out.

The cashier hesitated for just a second. Then she looked me right in the eye and said, "I didn't think people still did things like that for anybody else." She handed me the chips and I quickly handed them off to my son, who knew exactly what he needed to do.

Now, you probably know that a 13 year old boy is sometimes most concerned about, "being cool," but my son didn't stop to think about this. He ran out of the store to find the lady. A moment later he returned, helped me load our bags and we left the store.

It was his time to share with me. He said that he found the lady walking down the outside corridor. He said to her, "my mom wanted you to have these chips." He told me that her eyes filled with tears, that she was stunned that someone had noticed her abandoned bag of chips. She promised him that when she had an extra dollar, she would pass the act of kindness on to someone else.

I remember thinking that that bag of chips from the Dollar store was worth so much more than just one dollar.

My son changed that day. He shared my urgency with completing the act of kindness and in directly participating, he was deeply touched. He grew up that day in so many ways. My son took a huge step forward to becoming the kind of man who will see the needs around him and will answer the call when someone needs help.


  1. That is so beautiful! I teared up! I love it :)

    I'm also curious...what happened with the neighborhood lady?

  2. Hello Kat, I understand what you did here. I do this also. I was in MacDonalds one afternoon when some schoold boys entered. THey all proceeded to purchase accept for one by who stood back obviously because he didn't have the money to buy. I was on my way out so I gave him money and said,"You remind me of my grandson let me pay for you, its like I am giving to him."
    He looked at me and the note I gave him. At first he didn't want to accept and then he smiled his appreciation and gave in. I got more pleasure than he did that day. Often when standing in line at the supermarket I will give money to a young poor looking mother and insist she buy a treat for her little ones. Coming from a poor family myself, I know how hard it can be.
    Have a great day and God bless your HEART OF JESUS.
    From Australia.


Looking forward to seeing how you made a difference today!