Random Acts of Kindness | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Blog This: Challenge 4 - If you could name one small gesture someone else has made that had a big impact on your life, what would it be?

When I was growing up we didn't have a lot of money. With 5 kids and a big mortgage at high interest rates (in the 'recession we had to have') there wasn't much money left at the end of the month. To this day I still don't know how mum managed the budget, getting all those bills paid and still making sure we had clothes and food (even if they weren't the 'coolest'clothes! LOL!)

However, every now and then, too many bills would come in at once, despite mum's best efforts to have everything budgeted out, and mum would be left with no money and pretty much no food. I'm talking we had bread, milk and potatos (good thing us kids LOVED potatos!). I remember a few nights hearing mum on the phone to dad asking if he could go home via grandmas (mum's mum) and pick up something for us for little-lunches (grandma ran the lutheran welfare centre and didn't believe in use-by dates so she had a cupboard full of out-of-date food she couldn't give away! Thank god she'd usually have a few new bags of chips in there!).

Anyway, it was at one of those times when we had not much money or food that the random act of kindness occurred. I was in my bedroom reading and my mum called out and asked me to put the front light on for dad and close the wooden door over. When I got to the door there was a large shopping bag filled with groceries, sitting on the door-step. Inside was everything mum needed to get us to the end of the week and pay day, stuff for little-lunches and sandwhiches, some tinned soup, rice, a few packet mixes and some fruit and veg. I've never seen my mum so stunned. It was hard for her to ask people for help (as it is for anyone), so to have help just show up on the doorstep, without having being asked for, and with nothing in return being asked, it was amazing.

We never found out who it was, and it happened a few more times over the years, always when we were at the neediest. I will never forget this persons kindness, even though I have no idea who it was and if I ever will. But what that random act of kindness taught me was the amazing value of selfless giving. If I knew a friend was in need in this or any other way I wouldn't hesitate to do for them what someone did for my family. When I asked Mum why someone would do that, she said the person could have been in our position at some time in their life and was only doing what they would have liked someone to do for them. This is why I always try to do things for people (friends or strangers alike) that, if I were in their situation, I hope someone would do for me.


  1. That's so lovely...what a great big heart your mystery giver had!

  2. Wow, that's a great story. My childhood was the same (minus the mortgage). I could tell when money was really tight when we had pancakes for dinner every night!

    Oh and funny, my family are Lutheran, too. Bet your family knows some of the same people my family does! At least some of the same ministers!

  3. I love this story, brought a tear to my eye!

  4. This is a beautiful story which epitomises what the topic is about. Puts mine to shame. Thanks you for sharing it.

  5. what a lovely story! Your mum sounds very wise also :-)

  6. I love this post, your family were very lucky, I am so glad that there was someone there for you all then.

  7. What a beautiful story. I love that whoever left those bags of groceries for you didnt need a thank you - they were just happy to know they were helping.


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