Kindness of ‘The Giving Lady’ opens eyes, brightens season

Thursday, December 15, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story was submitted to the Banner Graphic staff this week by an area resident. We chose to share it with only a few light edits. While it remains our policy not to publish letters or other submitted items anonymously, we have made an exception for this piece, keeping it true to the spirit of the acts of kindness described.

Have you ever had a moment when you say, “I get it” and at that moment an avalanche of feelings rush in turning it into indescribable words?

That happened to me today and I feel compelled to share with you why. In doing so I hope you will also get it.

I had ordered some Christmas things online and was due to pick them up from Walmart tonight. I went to the back and there were two lines formed. One was layaway pickup and the other online pickup.

While I was being helped there was a couple in the layaway line to pick up their layaway. I could not help over hearing their conversation. (I was right next to them.)

The lady behind the desk was telling the couple that their layaway had a zero balance, that a Good Samaritan had taken care of it. The gentleman said OK and then she walked away to get their things together. At this point I am sure my eyes were as big as saucers. The couple stood there quietly talking and I was thinking, “Wow they seemed quite calm after hearing that!” The desk lady came back and the gentlemen said to her, a little confused, “What does that mean?” I’m sure they were in shock.

That’s when the gentleman helping me spoke up and said, that he had helped a lady at layaway checkout earlier today, she was unfortunately not going to be able to purchase all of her layaway things. She asked him if she could go through it with him and see what she would be able to keep.

He then said the lady behind her (I am calling her The Giving Lady) spoke up and said, “Please do not put anything back, I would love to take care of it for you.”

Of course the lady who had to put things back said, “I could never let you do that!”

However, The Giving Lady insisted, this bringing tears of joy to the lady who would have otherwise had to put back some of her children’s Christmas. She hugged The Giving Lady and thanked her tremendously.

After she left, The Giving Lady stepped up and told the gentleman she would like to take care of more layaways. He said she had around $4,000 and was able to pay off about 350 layaways.

After hearing this, the couple next to me said they had come in tonight to get their layaway out and they were unfortunately going to have to put some things back as well, before this happened.

The gentleman next to me wanted to know who the lady was, however The Giving Lady wanted to stay completely anonymous.

To me what The Giving Lady has done was a great act of selfless compassion. She may have lots of money and this is something she does often or this may be something where she had extra money and felt compelled to do a random act of kindness.

Either way, to me she is The Giving Lady. She gave the gentleman telling the story something he will always remember and being able to to be part of something very special. He beamed from ear to ear as he told the story.

She gave numerous families not only physical gifts for their loved ones. She gave them, relief, joy, peace and, something that does not happen often in today’s world, a piece of a stranger’s giving heart, just because.

I may not have physically received a gift from her but I would like her to know she gave me far something greater. She gave me a chance to see firsthand how one person doing something that may or may not have seemed small to her impacts so many lives in ways far greater than we may ever know.

Also, she restored my faith in strangers that we see every day and compelled me to show more love and compassion not only during the holiday season but through the new year.

Like the lyric to the song says:

Think of your fellow man,
Lend him a helping hand.
Put a little love in your heart.
You see, it’s getting late,
Oh, please don’t hesitate.
Put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place.
And the world will be a better place,
For you and me
You just wait and see.
Another day goes by,
And still the children cry.
Put a little love in your heart.
If you want the world to know,
We won’t let hatred grow.
Put a little love in your heart.
And the world will be a better place.
And the world will be a better place,
For you and me.
You just wait and see. Wait and see.

Merry Christmas and may God bless and remember even a kind word or a smile can last a lifetime.