No, that was not me using profanity! I shortened the name of my Wednesday morning post from Good People Doing Good Things to GPDGT in the interest of saving wear and tear on Filosofa’s fingertips!
I began this new feature two weeks ago with an article about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, followed last week by one about Little Caesar’s founder, Mike Ilitch. Those were both big stories about people doing big things. But sometimes, the small things we average people do can have a profound impact on the lives of others, as well. Since this feature is still in the evolutionary stages, I am thinking that some weeks I will write about a few day-to-day acts of kindness, while other times I will write about the larger philanthropists. What I most like about reading/writing about the more common, day-to-day stories is that it inspires us all … shows us that each of us, though neither wealthy nor powerful, have the capability to do good things for others. If we only look around, there is always somebody who can use a bit of help, even something so simple as helping them by giving them a ride to the grocery, or boosting their battery. Anyway, today I have a few stories of good people doing good things, just on a slightly smaller scale than Bill, Melinda and Mike.
This story touched my heart … a small thing … a $15 restaurant tab … but nonetheless a tale of kindness and compassion, of humanity. Two firefighters, at the end of their shift, after battling a warehouse blaze for most of the night … tired, and hungry, Paul Hullings and Tim Young of Mount Holly Fire Department in New Jersey just wanted a bit of breakfast before heading home for a shower and some shut-eye. After the bacon, eggs, ‘n biscuits, looking at the check, they saw this:
The balance for the two hearty breakfasts was $0, and their waitress Liz had written:
“Your breakfast is on me today – Thank you for all that you do; for serving others & for running into the places everyone else runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave, and strong … Thank you for being bold and badass everyday! Fueled by fire and driven by courage – what an example you are. Get some rest.”
“I started tearing up and it made me feel good – us firefighters are wanted, people care about us,” said Hullings. Happy story, right? But wait … it does not end there …
Turns out that Ms. Woodward’s father, Steve, is a quadriplegic as a result of a brain aneurism in 2010 and is in desperate need of a wheelchair-accessible van. Touched by Ms. Woodward’s gesture, the two firefighters soon learned about her father’s plight, and that a GoFundMe account had been set up for the senior Woodward, but had only received a small portion of the $60,000+ they would need for the van. Well, Hullings and Young shared the story with fellow-firefighters, who shared it with friends and family, and in just one short month, the GoFundMe page had received $85,395, as well as offers of help to build ramps, etc., from among members of the community. And a local rental company loaned the family a wheelchair-accessible van until they could buy their own.
A series of small gestures that have given a man and his family some much-needed freedom.
How about a few images of small acts of kindness:
See … philanthropy doesn’t have to involve billions of dollars, it can be just the simple, everyday things we do to help one another. Stay tuned next Wednesday … I have a story of many people coming together to do good works in the … works! And now I shall return back down the rabbit hole …