Saturday, December 17, 2011

Give a Little Bit

Do you ever have days where you think, wow that was an amazing day?  They are the kind of days that cancel out 3 or 4 bad days because they are just that good.  Yesterday I had one of those days.

I was supposed to be cleaning, getting ready for company,but instead I visited with a friend who had moved into her new house.  Her name is Anna, and besides being super smart, supportive, and beautiful, she also lives in the most amazing house.

We have been trying to hook up since the summer when they first moved in, and it took until now for me to get over there and see it.  I came away from our visit thinking...I should tear my house down and start over, that's how truly gorgeous her new home is.  But even better than the house was the time we spent chatting, going for a walk, and just getting caught up.  Anna is a giver, she is someone who listens to what you have to say, gives wonderful advice, and shares with you what's going on in her own life.  We talked about dreams we have for 2012 and how we plan to make them all come true.

I'm lucky to have wonderful women in my life.  Strong, smart, and beautiful women, both inside and out, who I get to call my friends, and for that I will be forever thankful.

While I was visiting with Anna I mentioned that I was having trouble deciding if I should keep my dining room furniture or not.  It belonged to my grandparents, though it's not super old, it's Duncan Phyfe and so not my style anymore.  I explained that I had found the perfect china cabinet, that I really wanted to make a change, but that I felt horribly guilty about letting it go.

Anna said that maybe I should sell the furniture and do something good with some of the money, something that would honor my grandparent's memory and still allow me to get my new cabinet.  When I got home yesterday afternoon after having lunch with my son (another procrastination technique to avoid cleaning), there was a lovely email from Anna telling me to sell the furniture and she sent me a link.

The link, which I've posted at the bottom of this post, is about how people have been going to K'mart and paying off people's layaway accounts except for a few pennies.  They leave a few cents on the account so that K'mart's system doesn't close it out completely.  Then the people are notified that their accounts have been paid off, many of whom thought they wouldn't be able to get those items since they were delinquent on their accounts.

Mr. Tide and I watched the video together, getting teary eyed at the plight of some of these people and feeling sad at the thought of these people working so hard to provide a little bit of joy for their children or grandchildren but just not having enough to make it all work.

We always donate at the holidays, and all year long, but we really hadn't done as much this year as we wanted to.  So we hopped in the car, drove to K'mart and stood in line for almost an hour.  We were waiting for everyone to clear out.  When we first got to the store there were  plenty of people in line, some making payments, others paying off their accounts, but you have to be careful.  You never know if someone will see your giving as generous, or if it will hurt their pride that someone is trying to do a good deed, so we waited and then approached the cashier after everyone had left. 

We explained why we were there and told her that we wanted to pay off someone's delinquent account.  That we hoped she could look up an account where there were toys for a young child, someone who still believed in Santa.  She immediately smiled and said, "oh you guys are some of those people, I wondered why you were just waiting here for so long without coming to the register."   The girl working the register took her time, amazing really since we saw first hand how busy they had been all day.  She went through the list of delinquent accounts until she found one with toys, Dora the Explorer, etc. and said, this one looks like it's for someone with small kids.

She gave us the balance, and we paid all but 47 cents so that the account would stay active.  We then asked if they would call the family to let them know that they could pick up their items and she assured us she would.  She said she knew they would be thrilled, that the man on that account had been in the store that day and he wasn't sure he could pay it off by the 20th but he would try his best.

We don't know the people whose account we paid for, and they will never know us.  But they will know that someone reached out a helping hand, maybe when they needed it the most, and hopefully if they are ever in a position they will do the same for someone else.  That's the beauty of giving, it makes everyone feel better.


  1. This is such an amazing idea - I have tears in my eyes just reading your post. I'm afraid to read the whole story for fear of just breaking down in tears. I'll definitely be doing this today, at least for one family.
    Thanks so much for posting this, Kat.

  2. Oh be still my heart. What a fabulous and generous thing for you to do. It's no wonder I love reading your blog, Kat. Love you!!

  3. I love you, and your wonderful husband, and your bigger-than-you-ever-thought-possible heart!! What a wonderful thing you did!

  4. What a lovely idea, it warms the cockles of my heart.


    I hope you have a chance to visit this young woman from NYC- SHe has inspired me to be very mindful at all times of charity and giving to others.
    I too have my favorite charities, but she too has made me think outside the box on a daily basis. The spirit of giving is contagious and addictive. Let's infect everyone <3

    Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours

  6. Thanks for this! It is inspiring!

  7. Oh Kat, thats a wonderful thing to do. I can just imagine the happiness of that family.

  8. Someone shared that article on FB yesterday & I was in tears reading it. How wonderful to be a part of this family's sheer joy! Good on you & your husband!!! Happy Holidays!

  9. Kat, that was such a lovely special act of kindness.I love Christmas just for those kinds of reasons. We were on the receiving end only a couple of days ago. Your friend Anna sounds special too. Have a lovely Christmas xx

  10. You and Mr. Tide did a beautiful thing. When you wake up Christmas morning, think of those happy kids seeing gifts under their tree! :-)


  11. Kat:

    That is a wonderful thing that you are doing during these tough times! I would love to see the kids expressions on their faces when they receive their packages!

  12. Good job. It will make someone's day. Maybe they will be able to pay it forward somehow, someday.

  13. What an amazing thing to do! This brought tears to my eyes, those little children and their parents are going to have a very special Christmas because of you! Happy Christmas! xo Kirsty

  14. What a beautiful idea! Made me cry. Bless you for doing that. I'm just imagining the joy that Dad will feel!

  15. Kat, You and your husband are Christmas angels!! What a wonderful story, I have tears as I type.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Just imagine the smiles you will make on Christmas morning!


    p.s. thank you so much for leaving your "calling card"!

  16. OMG - that is the most amazing story! I have goosebumps just thinking about the man getting the phone call to say that his account had been paid. Stories like this (and people like you and Mr Tide!)restore my faith in humanity. Well done! ;)Sharyne

  17. Kat,
    I have been having a really bad day and after reading your post, my day is much better...thank you:) I hope this family has a wonderful Christmas. We are planning on helping out a family that Mr.CC has been working with on a sale of a house (not much of a house, but it's a home for this family), well the sale didn't go thru and now they will not have it in time for Christmas. I wish that we could do it without them knowing that it was us, but I don't think that will work. hope you and your family have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  18. Kat, you and Mr. Tide are truly amazing people!! I love this post. I am so glad you visited your friend, Anna and she told you that story! What a lovely Merry Christmas that family will have and all because of you two!!! You are truly a wonderful, kind and giving person and I'm glad I blog with you! Someday I hope I can meet you in person! Merry Christmas!!

  19. Very thoughtful, I'll bet you felt really good inside, but can you imagine the burden you lifted from that dad who was worried he wouldn't be able to give his children a Christmas. Well done! Have a Happy Sunday!


  20. I love this post, Kat. So glad you had such a wonderful day, and spent it with your friend Anna. She sounds like someone it would be wonderful to know.

  21. Kelly J/Hunters HillDecember 19, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Kat I love this story!! Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring others to give in this way. What a great idea this had never occurred to me. I work five minutes away from KMart so I am going by and doing the same this week

  22. Beautiful post. So nice to meet you just found your lovely blog and so happy I did. I have enjoyed looking around and I'm now following you, if you find a spare minute hope you visit me sometime and follow back if you like. Sending you special wishes for a very Merry Christmas Day and look forward to keeping in touch in 2012.

    Always Wendy

  23. That is a wonderful idea. I didn't know about this. I'll have to keep this in mind for next year. I donate to the local food bank all year long. We adopt a family every year at Christmas through the local school system. I have also found out that we can adopt a military family and am going to look into that. Plus I attend a fund raiser every December where the proceeds are given to the hostesses charities of choice. Thank you for sharing this great idea!

  24. I saw a story about this on the news tonight and thought it was really special! Really puts a face on the giving and makes it personal...lovely post, Kat! XO

  25. This is a post that really inspires Kat. It is the most heartwarming idea that I have heard of this holiday season. It makes me want to see the reaction of that man when he discovers his Christmas miracle. Bless you my friend! xo ~Lili


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