Several weeks ago we were headed out somewhere and Lucas brought 8 quarters from his piggy bank with him. He said he wanted to have it just in case he saw something he wanted to buy, or in case they had "one of those boxes where you put money in for the children's hospital" (like he has seen in a local store).
He didn't use any of his quarters that day, but he did say he was going to leave his money in the van so he would have it available in case he wanted to buy something, or if he saw something he wanted to buy for someone, or if there was somewhere to donate the money.
We were at a restaurant recently that has a large display case near the front counter of breads, sweets, treats and various candy for sale. Lucas said he wanted to buy something for someone and when I asked who he was going to buy something for, he looked around, shrugged his shoulders, and said "Just anyone. I don't know...someone here. I want to buy them maybe a piece of candy or something. Do I have enough money?"
We found a big bowl full of single wrapped buckeyes and he said he wanted to buy 2, but he didn't quite know how he wanted to give them out. He's heard the stories about people paying for the coffee of the person in the drive-thru behind them and paying it forward so I asked him if he wanted to leave them at the counter and tell the cashier that it is for the next person who checks out. He liked that idea but said he would leave piece and he wanted to give the second one to someone else.
We walked around the corner and there was an older, grandparent-type, couple enjoying their dinner and we approached their table. He was a bit hesitant about speaking up with what he was doing, and didn't know what to say, so I told them he wanted to do an act of kindness for someone and he bought this buckeye he wanted to give to someone.
They were touched and told him how thoughtful and nice that was and that they would pay it forward. The gentleman then told us a story about how he had the opportunity to be a blessing to someone last week and now it was coming back to him in a blessing from Lucas. He kept telling Lucas how much he blessed him by his act of kindness.
One of his old friends, a veteran from the Army, passed away and he had no one - no family - to take care of the details for him and to give him a proper burial. This gentleman was able to do that for his friend and he told Lucas that God just blessed him back with Lucas' kindness. It gave me chills to hear his story.
About a week after that Lucas took the $1.50 that was left of his quarters and put it in a jar he labeled "hospital." He said whenever he finds money he will add it to the jar and when it reaches an as-yet-to-be-determined amount he will donate it to the children's hospital. When the jar is empty he will start over with donating to the animal shelter, and when he's made a donation there he will start collecting for a homeless shelter.
Kayla jumped right in with this idea to help fill the jar. She lost a tooth two nights in a row (and yes, the tooth fairy still visits!) and each morning she ran to put her $1 in the jar "for the hospital!" She also put the $1 that Lucas put in her Christmas stocking in the jar too so it's really starting to fill up now. After cleaning up dog poop in a neighbor's yard, yes - dog poop!! - the jar is now up to $7 and change. Not bad since he started this about 2 weeks ago.
Spreading kindness ... and #bekindtooneanother