Tis’ the season for layaway angels.
If you’ve never heard of the “layaway angel” movement it’s when someone goes into a store that offers layaway and anonymously pays off someone’s account. Usually, around Christmas time, the angel asks for an account with toys on layaway so Christmas can come in time for that child.
I caught the story of two angels out of South Portland, Maine that might be the most generous I’ve heard of.
WGME reports that a husband and wife team walked into a Toys R Us and paid off $10,000 worth of layaway accounts. The manager at the store says that covered about 100 families. He says the Christmas spirit continued to spread as employees let customers know what happened.
“My cashier was able to let [a customer] know that she didn’t have a balance due and she could pick up her stuff and it took her a minute to understand what happened and she cried,” he said.
Customers were moved, too.
“It makes you think that there’s still nice people out there that do things for others,” one customer said.
I’ve been reporting the news for a long time now and I’ve done my fair share of feel-good reports about acts of heroism, goodness or kindness and you can always find someone who says “this has restored my faith in humanity.” Which always makes me wonder what happened to make us lose faith? How often do we lose faith? If the faith has been restored how long until it’s lost again? And probably my biggest question is what’s the trick to maintaining that faith in humanity so we don’t become so cynical all the time?
Part of the answer, I think I’ve found, is being intentional about seeking out good news (check!). I’m working on another part of the equation which is to find a chance to show kindness, from person-to-person, every day. I might smile at someone, offer a compliment, give a donation above what I’d normally give and sometimes I’ll just buy a stranger something they’re in line to purchase. It helps me feel good by putting good into the world and that, I’m hoping, keeps my spirits up about humanity when the worst of humanity rears its ugly head.
You can hear Colleen O’Brien’s “Daily Dose of Kindness” segment every morning at 7:30 a.m. on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM