The Season of Giving is well under way.
New Jersey native John Turner runs a water removal business in Chicago. Recently, after seeing the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, he loaded his gear into his van and drove 14 hours to the Jersey Shore. While working some paid jobs, Turner provided free help to some of the more unfortunate victims of the storm. After a long day on the job, he stopped into a convenience store for a drink. Bought himself a lottery ticket. Gave it a scratch. And won $100,000. He plans to put some of the money into his business, donate some of it to his church, and give the rest to a Jersey family in need.
Then this week the Internet lit up with a feel-good story from Times Square. Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working the counter-terrorism unit on a cold night when he came upon a man sitting on the sidewalk without shoes or socks. He walked to a nearby Skechers store and grabbed a pair of $100 all-weather boots. When the store manager learned what he was doing, he gave DePrimo the employee discount. The officer bought the boots and some socks for $75. He returned to the homeless man. Knelt down to help him put them on. And a passing tourist noticed and snapped a photo with her cell phone. The tourist went home to Arizona, but after two weeks she sent the photo and a complimentary note via email to the NYPD. It was posted on the department’s Facebook page. The photo went viral, generated millions of hits, and was picked up by the NY Times and was featured on the Today show.
Are you inspired? Feeling the need to do something nice for somebody? Well, you’re in luck. Every year, the American Red Cross distributes holiday cards to veterans recuperating in places like Walter Reed Hospital. With so many vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a greater need for cards this year than ever. So here’s what you do: grab a card at the grocery store. Jot down a note of appreciation (don’t include your personal information or any enclosures). Stick it in an envelope. Address it to to address below. And post it before December 7.
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
You’re not going to win 100 Grand. You’re not going to be a Facebook phenomenon. You’re not even gonna know who received your card. The only thing you will know is that you made a small difference.
What a huge gift.