A Random Act of Kindness

When I headed to my office Thursday morning to go to work, I noticed several small envelopes scattered throughout the Food.com cafeteria area inside the Newhouse Three building. All of the cards read something like, “Open Me! A letter for you.”

No one was around and so I decided to open one. I found a card inside that had a gold design with word “Wassssssup?” written on the front. Inside, this greeting appeared, written with a blue marker:

give up, there
is no such thing
as an ending
just a new

Keep smiling!”

A small slip of paper tucked inside the card listed the social media accounts of Campus Cursive at Syracuse University, the SU branch of the national More Love Letters program, “lifting and empowering individuals through tangible acts of love.”

Here is more information about More Love Letters.

The idea of anonymous letters given to strangers is so appealing to me. Someone I’ve never met actually took the time to purchase a card, write a warm greeting, stuff the card in the envelope and then place it in a location where it would be discovered.

I loved the feel of the heavy paper and the handwritten words on the page, and this random, tangible act of kindness is so much more meaningful than a Facebook “like” or a text message. It demonstrates the positive impact of real human connection, and I am happy to know that a bunch of merry well-wishers are spreading joy and love in the universe. No doubt our world needs it!


An Unexpected Kindness: Parking Garage Christmas Spirit

I received a surprise Monday morning when pulling into the University Avenue Garage at Syracuse University.

University Avenue Garage, Harrison Street Entrance.

University Avenue Garage, Harrison Street Entrance.

I drove in on the Harrison Street side, and after I swiped my card and the arm lever raised, the female parking lot attendant came over to my car and handed me an envelope. After I parked my Focus I opened the envelope and pulled out a Christmas card.

The front of the card had an image of Santa’s sleigh loaded with a small Christmas tree and blue and green-colored wrapped presents.

Dawn's Christmas Card.

Dawn’s Christmas Card.

The greeting inside read:

“Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.”

Underneath the greeting the attendant had scribbled a note that read “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Dawn … Parking @ Uag.”

Christmas Card Greeting.

Christmas Card Greeting.

The kind gesture brightened my day. I thought Dawn’s action embodied the Christmas spirit, as she offered me, a passing acquaintance (a stranger really), a gift without expecting anything in return.

I looked up Dawn’s name in the university directory and emailed her later in the day, thanking her for the card. She wrote back that the cards are her “Christmas smiles” and she hands out over 300 of them. She added, “Magic happens when you make someone else smile.”

I agree with that sentiment, and she inspired me to reciprocate the favor. On my way home from work last night I dropped off a Christmas card for Dawn at her UAG booth. She wasn’t working at the time, but I hope she’ll smile when she opens the envelope and feel the same warmth she instilled in me. And I will try to live up to the example of her generosity for the rest of the holiday season.

University Avenue Garage, Adams Street Entrance.

University Avenue Garage, Adams Street Entrance.