Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Random Awesome Deeds {RADness}

The idea for this post -Random Awesome Deeds- requires a little of a back story, so hold tight while I explain...

My sweet little cousin, Abby, was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) in March of this year, and needless to say it hasn't been a walk in the park for her, or my family, as she's gone through the ups and downs associated with the necessary treatments. What has really amazed me, apart from her resilience and determination, is how the community has really gathered around her and her family to support them during the most stressful and scary weeks. At least once a week, my aunt shares stories with us of an incredible and selfess act of kindness by a friend, the community, and even sometimes a total stranger, and it humbles me more and more each time.

For instance, at least two to three times a week, friends and neighbors will drop off groceries and already prepared meals, so my Aunt and Uncle can focus on Abby's medications, treatments, and health instead of wrestling with what to make for dinner. Numerous local businesses have held fundraising events where they donate an amount of their day's proceeds to CURE in honor of Abby. A couple of months ago, during a particularly rough patch, my aunt and uncle managed to take the kids out to dinner for a special night, where they could sit, relax, and have fun like "old times"; when the time came to pay the bill, the waitress informed them that a total stranger had already picked up the tab, and left them their best wishes. More recently, Abby was given the opportunity to have a little shopping spree at some stores in a local mall - an act also set in motion by a total stranger.

These are just a few examples of the amazing things people have done in the spirit of goodwill and kindness, and as I was driving home from my latest trip to visit Abby, was feeling particularly moved and inspired by these stories. I was conjuring up all kinds of ways someone could spontaneously change a stranger's day for the better by one simple act, when I arrived at a toll booth. I'm old fashioned and I don't have an EZ Pass, so I moved over to the full service lane and reached for my wallet. I found a couple extra dollars inside so, feeling inspired, I rolled down my window, handed the attendant a couple extra bucks, and asked them to pay for the next person to roll up behind me. She looked at me bewildered, asking, "Why do you want to pay for the person behind you if you don't even know who it is? People only do this if its their husband, or kid, or friend behind them!" I simply said I just wanted to help the next driver out, and she smiled.

I won't ever know who that person was, what their story is, or if it mattered to them that their toll that day was covered- but I have some hope that it might have inspired them to do something randomly awesome for another stranger.

So that finally brings this story full circle: I want to challenge all of our readers to dream up your own Random Awesome Deed and put it into action - and then share your idea and story with us! The first person to tell minimalist about their RADness experience in the comments section will receive an extra special something!

To read more about Abby and her journey, click here to read an article about her that was recently published by the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation.

Emily Jones


Christie Hope said...

Really excited about this Emily! Thanks so much for sharing about Abby :)

Anonymous said...

Great story. Planning to repost to Facebook today. When I was going through chemo, people (especially my blog ladies) were so awesome and it made all the difference.