Today Eliza, Emelia and I set out to do 3 Random Acts of Love. With the encouragement of our church, The Naz, we were out to pay it forward.
Being 3 years old, at times it is difficult to explain things to Eliza. I do my best to teach her what appreciation is, what it means to be helpful to others and how to make strangers happy.
When I asked Eliza if she could think of anything we could do for others, she came up with a few interesting suggestions. One was to watch for babies who drop their pacifier, and to go get it and give it back. Another was to give people towels when they are cold(she had just taken a shower). Then she suggested giving people hot chocolate. Great idea!
We went to the bank and I required Eliza to take the money out of her account. Though she doesn't understand the concept of money, I want her to know she used her money to help these people. She was very excited to tell the ladies at the bank what she was doing.
Our first stop was the hot chocolate. We headed to the local Starbucks and took a seat inside. I gave Eliza her money and one of the RAOL cards. She waited for the right person to come in.
When the woman walked in she said "it's her, Mom!" and she ran to her. Being a bit short, the woman didn't see her as Eliza sat there yelling "Have a good day!" and shoving the card and money towards her...not the best at execution. When the woman realized Eliza was talking to her, she was a bit confused. Eliza kept saying, this is for you to make you happy! I walked over and explained we were doing Random Acts of Love and Eliza would like to buy her drink. She was blown away, she bent down and asked for a hug, which Eliza never denies. The employees were tearing up. It made a positive impact on more than just this one woman, and that is what we want to see! We packed up as the woman got her coffee and headed to our next stop.
With $20 left Eliza was going to pick out a bouquet of flowers for someone. When we saw they were on sale for $9.99, we decided to get 2 and do our last 2 RAOL here. Eliza picked out two bouquets and we went and paid.
We waited at the exit for the "right" people. As a woman came buy, Eliza said "thats her!" She ran up and handed her the flowers and the card. The woman looked at her and said "thanks" and walked away. Though she didn't have much of a reaction, we aren't there for recognition, just to brighten her day. Maybe she thought more about it when she got in the car or at home.
While waiting for another person to come out, I saw an older gentleman watching us. He eventually came over and asked what we were doing. I explained that we are hoping to lift people's spirits with Random Acts of Love. He asked if I was part of an organization or if we were doing this on our own. He then asked Eliza how she was picking people, she said "she can just tell" who needs the flowers.
As we talked, Eliza pointed out an older woman coming towards us. As she walked through the doors Eliza ran up, flowers and card in hand and yelled "have a great day!". The woman was taken back,
Are these for me? she asked
Yes!! I want you to have a great day!
As Eliza said this she gave her a hug. The woman knelt down and said to Eliza
Do you know what I like even more than the flowers you gave me?
The hug! My grandkids are all older now, I don't get many hugs anymore and that made me so happy.
In typical sweet Eliza style, she ran right to her, "here, have another one!" and wrapped her arms around her as tight as she could.
We talked for a few more minutes and as a thank you, the woman allowed Eliza to pick one flower out of the bouquet to take home with her. She told us she couldn't wait to go home and have her husband ask where she got the flowers and to be able to say they were from her new friend, Eliza.
As we packed up to head to the car, the older gentleman was still sitting and watching. He came over and said that we really inspired him and he was off to pay it forward. What a great message for Eliza to hear at the end of our adventure!!
I hope you too will pay it forward!!
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