Woman learns army widow’s hard truth and plans a special holiday ‘adoption’ for the family
Thanksgiving is a joyous celebration to share blessings and feast on traditional American food with one’s family. However, not everyone is in a position to fully enjoy it. Thankfully, there are some people with hearts of gold who are open-handed enough to share their blessings with others less fortunate.
At around 10 p.m. on a Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2015, a woman, who has not named herself, was returning from a business trip when she happened to notice a mother with three children on the train at the airport.
The children were all under 7 and one was in a stroller. She saw that the mom looked lost and unsure of where to get off. She offered her help and showed the woman which stop baggage claim was.
Later, she bumped into her again and the mom looked worried. She learned that the airline had lost one of this lady’s bags, and it seemed she was at the end of her tether.
To make matters more complicated, she had missed the last bus for the night. Unable to get home, she was considering booking in at a hotel for the night.
“I asked her if someone was coming to get them, just wanting to make sure she was going to be ok,” she wrote in a post published on The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
The woman also learned that this mother and her kids live at the army base two hours from the airport.
When asked whether her husband was deployed, she said, “No, he was killed in August.”
“My heart sunk, I looked at her and those kids and I knew I had to do something to make this night better for them, they had been through enough. I told her I would drive her and the kids home that night and that is just what I did.”
On the drive home, and when the kids seated at the back had fallen asleep, the mother opened up about herself and how difficult it was coping without her husband, and the kids not having a father.
For the first time, she felt relaxed enough in this kind woman’s company to talk about her feelings.
“I listened, I gave her tissues, I suddenly didn’t mind what hour it was.”
Upon returning to work the following day, the woman told one of her co-workers about the mom and her kids. She listened with interest and then suddenly out of the blue her colleague exclaimed, “We have to adopt them for Christmas!”
“Over the next few weeks, we gathered food, presents, gift cards, and dry goods to take to the family. We dropped them off at their house on Saturday – 6 boxes of presents, 4 totes full of food, stockings for everyone, and pantry goods for a month or so.”
The mom was extremely grateful, and her 4-year-old was over the moon.
“We have never felt so good about giving at Christmas. We left that day knowing we had made a difference.”
“For me, I know I will keep in touch with this family, let them know that kindness is not just a Christmas thing. My child and her children will have play dates and I will make sure she knows that the kindness of strangers is real.”
She added: “I believe that her husband found a way to tap me on the shoulder and said ‘Notice that family, they need some help.’ I couldn’t be happier that he did.”
What a gem of a story. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
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Giving to strangers is a wonderful gift.