When Giving a Little Can Mean A Lot

Giving comes in all shapes and sizes. We give what we can, when we can. Some times a little can go a long way.

Giving a little

Monday the most important question of the morning was “Where to go for lunch?” After tossing around a few restaurant options, my friend Mayra and I settled on a Freddy’s down the road. Soon after we got our food, a young couple came in. Looking a little disheveled they were carrying backpacks and sleeping bags. I saw in her hand she held a cardboard sign that said, “Just hungry.”

I know that every one has a story about the circumstances that have lead them to that place. The place where you have no other choice but to ask for the help of a stranger. I watched as they patiently waited in line and then approached the counter. I couldn’t hear what she said, but I could see her movements. The girl behind the register stepped away, and they stepped off to the side. I could only imagine the cashier said to her, “Let me talk to my manager.”

Count your blessings

Earlier in the day, my friend and I were talking about our many blessings. A good job, healthy kids and family. Our problems are small compared to others.

I stopped eating, put down my burger and reached for my debit card. How could I possibly continue enjoying my hot burger and fries knowing someone standing 10 feet away just wanted something to eat. After standing at the counter for a bit, but the girl didn’t come back to the register. So I stepped to the other side where the food is served where at least five employees were having a pow wow.

“Hey,” I said to the manager in the group. “I want to pay for two meals for them.” I told him I didn’t need them to know it was me who paid for their food. He thanked me as I handed him my card. The cashier told them they would get a meal, and just seeing the girl’s joyful reaction was worth the whole $17.62 it cost.

Freddy's meal receipt
How much does giving cost?

Timing is everything

I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t often give to pan handlers on the corner, but I was meant to be at that restaurant when those kids walked in.

As I glanced at them waiting in a corner booth for their food, I realized that they are around the age of my own kids who are 19 and 22. I have no idea what their story is, or where they are headed. In the end it doesn’t really matter.

Give what you can, when you can, and when it feels right. It’s not about getting a pat on the back. But a small gesture of kindness can mean a lot.