While we may read about generous donations to needy causes made by those with far more than most, it’s often the small acts of kindness that can have the biggest impact.
When we witness someone share what little they have with someone less fortunate, we are reminded that anyone can help someone else – and it often has a chain reaction.
Barbara Mack, doesn’t have much, she lives in a trailer and makes money by delivering food to people, but what she does have she shares with others.
On one very hot day in Florida she had stopped to buy herself a bottle of water when she noticed a familiar homeless man struggling in the heat.
“I’ve seen him around several times,” she told Fox News. “I’ve given him leftover food before, if I get a cancellation and have food leftovers in the car. He didn’t look good … like he was 10 seconds away from heatstroke.”
Barbara saw the state he was in and immediately returned to the store to get the man a bottle of water. Not wanting to delay the delivery for a second she shouted to the cashier in the store, where she was a regular, that she was taking the water to the man outside and she’d be right back to pay.
“When I came back in, the lady in front of me turned around, hands on hips, and told me that I was just enabling that ‘homeless person’ (said with a sneer) and that I shouldn’t be wasting my money on him,” Barbara wrote in a Facebook post.
“It’s hot as hell in Florida right now. Mid nineties with humidity around 80%. It’s a good day for heat stroke, and I told her so. I said I’d rather give him a water than call an ambulance. I was gonna shrug it off. Let it go. Chalk it up to ignorance and the heat making everybody cranky.
‘Started a revolution’
“And then she told me I should be ashamed of myself. That someone should call the police on him, and that it should be illegal to beg for money. That people who give the homeless money just encourage them to stay homeless and that should be illegal, too.
“Ashamed. I should be ashamed for giving some poor old guy a water – it cost a whole dollar, BTW – and I should get in trouble for making sure he didn’t stroke out in this heat.”
After the two exchanged some choice words Barbara said she “inadvertently started a revolution in the convenience store.”
One of the people waiting in line then bought a sandwich for the man and then someone got him an ice cream. Another person cashed out $20 to give him and the cashier gave her the waters for free, she said.
“When I went outside, he was eating his ice cream and drinking his water with a pile of stuff all around him, a big old grin on his face,” Barbara wrote of the homeless man. “He didn’t look shaky anymore.”
Her post has had over 175,000 reactions and 139,000 shares so far.
The kindness she showed that day with one bottle of water has spread even further with people reaching out to offer donations for her care-for-the-homeless fund and someone even started a GoFundMe for Barbara to help her with her living arrangements, as the camper she lives in needs work.
‘People are mostly good’
Despite the harsh words from one person in the store that day, Barbara still believes in the kindness of strangers.
“I do believe people are mostly good,” Mack told Fox News. “I think sometimes we all need a reminder not to be selfish. I don’t have it in me to walk past people who need help. I’m not saying I’m a saint because I’m certainly not.
“I have a lot of empathy … I’ve had hard times myself. People have tried to help me, and I pay it forward.”
It’s the small acts of kindness that count as we’re all reminded that we don’t have to be millionaires to make a difference to someone’s day.
I’m glad Barbara challenged the woman in the store and inspired most of the people in there to help too. She is in an inspiration.
Please share if you agree.