My View: There are Many Ways to Pay it Forward – If you can’t open article in the Buffalo News – this is a copy:

If you can’t open article in the Buffalo News – this is a copy:

I drove to Starbucks the other day and waited in a long line of cars. My need for coffee was stronger than my impatience.

At one point, I was looking at my phone (ok, maybe more than one point), and I got a beep from the impatient person behind me. It was raining and cold, another typical spring day – the continuous dreary weather wearing on all of us.

A Jolt

Finally, I reached the front of the drive-thru line and was able to place my order. Driving to the window to pay for my purchase, I received a jolt, and it wasn’t caffeine! The person in front of me just paid my bill, and I even ordered oatmeal with all the toppings!

This gesture was unexpected, and although I’ve heard about these pleasant surprises, I had yet to be a recipient.

After a few moments of elation, I offered to pay for the person (the impatient horn beeper) behind me. I was curious and asked the barista if this was a common reaction to an unexpected coffee line gift. She replied that I was the tenth person in a row to pay it forward, and she wondered how long it would continue.

The ripple of kindness was growing.

Our family witnesses kindness in others in many unique ways. Our daughter Jessica, age 41, has a rare chromosome deletion and needs assistance with all daily life skills. We rely not only on the skill and dedication of staff, but the goodwill of their acts.

Going the extra mile for our daughter when nobody is watching is true benevolence.

Direct Support Personnel (DSP)

We appreciate the dedication of direct support personnel (DSP) who take the time to get to know Jessica beyond the words in her file. Staff who stay after their shift so Jess can receive her medication when she arrives home from a family event. Staff who actively participate in home activities or relay fun stories about Jessica’s day.

There are staff that you know want to be there, and although it is their job, they enjoy our daughter and her housemates and show kindness in return. The same holds true for friends who visit Jessica unprompted by an event or reminder.

Today a friend gave me a bracelet with a logo that said, “Embrace the Difference.” The meaning of the beautiful emblem is kindness, acceptance and inclusion, no matter our differences. Karma? Whatever the vibe, I am grateful for the week of generosity and thoughtfulness.

Pay it forward – I remember telling my parents how grateful I was for everything they gave me and our family. I confessed that we would never be able to pay back their kindness, but made a vow to pay forward to our children. I hope we have lived up to their example.

Spreading the Good Word

And now, back to the coffee line and spreading the good word. I posted a photo of my coffee on social media with a summary of the act of kindness. Surprisingly, the response was extraordinary, with close to 1000 reactions. Comments range from thank you for “spreading some sunshine” to “way to put smiles on faces and make it a beautiful day.” Many spoke of their pay-it-forward experiences.

A small gesture of kindness can turn the day around. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone who reads this story today would do one thing to make somebody’s day?

I truly hope I was number ten in a line of hundreds of coffee lovers who paid it forward throughout that day.

Order Raising Jess A Story of Hope for yourself or as a gift today!

Mom and daughter - book cover
Raising Jess A Story of Hope

5 thoughts on “My View: There are Many Ways to Pay it Forward – If you can’t open article in the Buffalo News – this is a copy:

  1. Ab

    What a lovely way to get your caffeine jolt, Vickie. We need more of these stories and how wonderful that you got to experience that and to also pay it forward. 💕


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