“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ~Plato


Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Source: lovebuildsthishappyhome.blogspot.com

Today’s Be Happy Challenge:

– A Random Act of Kindness (That You Did or Someone Did For You). –

We’ve all heard a lot of talk in the news lately about random acts of kindness –

The 500 Starbucks customers who had their drinks paid for by the customer directly ahead of them.

The Military Veteran who left a sweet note and $40 on a woman’s windshield at Dunkin Donuts because her husband was fighting in Afghanistan.

The mystery restaurant customer who picked up the tab for 180 other diners.

These stories make you feel good, don’t they?!

Just recently, Eugene was pumping gas, when he ran across a man at the gas station who had been asking other customers if they could spare a few dollars so he could make it to work.  As usually seems to be the case, they turned him away and said they didn’t have any cash on them.  Eugene told him that he didn’t have any cash, but that he’d be happy to put a few dollars of gas in his car for him.  As you may expect, the man was overjoyed and thanked him, probably shocked that someone would actually help him out.

I’d like to think that man’s life was changed, if only a little, and that he then felt the need to randomly do something nice for someone.

Here in Charleston, we have a residential home by the name of Florence Crittenton that offers comprehensive help for pregnant teens.  They offer full-time residential care for these girls, as well as counseling, prenatal care, life skills training, academic instruction, and postnatal placement.

Having been a young mom myself, I know how scary and stressful it is to find out you’re pregnant and not know whether the baby’s father is going to stick by you and support you or not.  In some instances, the baby’s father may even be abusive.  You worry about whether you’ll be able to finish, or even attend, college.  You worry about finances.  Sadly, in many cases, a young woman’s parents are not supportive, as they’re angry at the choices their daughter has made.

As we’re all aware, this fear and uncertainty often leads to abortions and abandonment.  This certainly isn’t always because the young mom doesn’t want to take care of her child.  It’s because she’s completely overwhelmed and lost and has no idea where to even begin in moving on with her life and taking care of an infant.

Florence Crittenton is a great program whose goal is to help these young moms learn to take care of themselves and their babies.  Although I didn’t personally need their help when I was a young mom with two young sons, I am completely supportive of the program and thankful that it’s there to help these moms choose not to abort or abandon their babies.  Not only that, but I’m so thankful that it helps them to be good, educated, prepared moms.

With all that being said, one of my favorite random acts of kindness was something I did a few years ago.  I proposed to our small group that we give up our normal Thanksgiving plans of lying on the coach watching football and go and cook Thanksgiving dinner for these girls.  Sadly, so many of them don’t have the option of going “home” once they announce that they’re pregnant.  They’re disowned and left alone.

So we all got up on Thanksgiving morning, cars full of delicious holiday foods and desserts, giant turkey included, and we went to the house where we prepared every main dish, side dish, and dessert you can think of.  (You know pregnant women love to eat!!!)

I brought the boys along with me because I think it’s so important to teach them to be kind to people who are different than we are while they’re still young.  It’s important that they know that we are undeservingly blessed, beyond understanding, and that we need to help others simply because we can.

Even though we were all working tirelessly, slaving over hot stoves and pans and pots, we had a great time just knowing that we were giving these girls something that they weren’t expecting.  They weren’t expecting to be loved.  They weren’t expecting to be accepted.

I hope that our small act of kindness that early Thanksgiving morning changed at least one girl’s life.  I hope that it gave one girl hope – hope that she and her baby could have a happy, successful future in which she knew they were truly loved.

Do something nice for someone today.

Source: Jennifer Fong

Source: Jennifer Fong

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