Here are two stories about "giving" that we're collecting from readers and publishing this week. To find out more or submit your own >> click here.
Today a total stranger--a wonderful, generous, ebullient woman from Staten Island--by the name of Maria (she never gave her last name) came to my Pre-Kindergarten class amidst the East side housing projects and gave each of my students a huge shopping bag full of toys, books, hats, scarves, gloves and goodies after I placed an ad on Craig's list asking for toys for my little ones...
She also left bags of toys and games and dress-up clothing for the classroom!!! Maria was a miracle worker for 16 little ones who otherwise would not have received much during this holiday season.
I was on the bus home one day when a stressed out Japanese girl asked me in poor english where an address was that she had written on a scrap of paper. "I think we've passed it", I explained. "Get off the
bus at the next stop, cross the street, and catch it back, get off at the service station..." by which time, she'd whipped out an english-to-japanese translator device, and was trying to translate service station. The bus passed the stop.
"Wait", I said, "get off with me and I'll take you there." Jenny (her english name) was a student here to learn english. She'd never worked, never lived away from home before, indeed, had never travelled overseas or even more than a few hour's drive from her home in Osaka. As part of her english course, students had to get an english speaking work experience job, and hers was as a waitress at a local Thai restaurant. She was immaculate in her silk top and skirt, and four inch stilletto's. I explained that waitressing was a dirty, thankless and footsore job, gave her a cotton business shirt and some cheap ballet flats (which she valliantly tried to refuse, of course, and tucked in her bag). I drove her to the restaurant, and wished her luck.
As we drove, she fiddled with her phone. Pulling up at the restaurant, she presented me with a plastic geisha doll, which I immediately hung from my rear view mirror. Wishing her luck, I drove off. Later that week, I drove past the restaurant, slowly, to see if she was there. Wearing my white shirt and black shoes, with a plain black skirt, she was chatting to a customer and pointing to the menu.
A year later, I still have my geisha doll, albeit slightly faded from the Queensland sun, hanging in my car to remind me that a small act of kindness is a huge gift.
Thanks Maxwell, I hope this story is what you were after.
(Painting by Sebastian Stoskopff via Ancient Industries)
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