Paying it Forward: Woman Receives Gift, Passes it On
On Friday, December 14, 2012, April, a Community Support Worker at Crider Health Center, was heading home from a long day at work when she decided to stop at the QT store located on Fifth Street in St. Charles County. She wanted to purchase herself a Spiced Pumpkin cappuccino. Little did she know that she was about to receive a very special gift—just in time for the holidays.
After locating the cappuccino machine, April reached for a cup, filled it, and found her place in line at the counter. While awaiting her turn at the register, an elderly woman noticed April’s badge which identified her as an employee at Crider Health Center.
The woman engaged April in conversation as they waited.
When the time came for April to pay for her cappuccino, the elderly woman insisted on buying it for her. April, appreciating the woman’s offer, told her that it wasn’t necessary but the woman insisted. The woman went on to explain that because of Crider Health Center’s services, her daughter is no longer homeless and has been able to receive the medication she needs to care for her own children again.
Touched by this show of gratitude, April obliged the elderly woman and allowed her to pay for her drink.
As the woman took out her money, she stated, “It is the least I can do.”
April walked back to her car feeling warm and fuzzy inside and thinking how privileged she is to work for such an amazing organization that does so much good for the community.
As she drove towards home she placed her cappuccino in the cup holder and waited as it cooled down. Shortly after she got on the highway, she noticed a man with no coat holding a sign that read, "Hungry and thirsty-- anything will help".
Without a second thought, April stopped her car and since she had not taken a sip of her cappuccino, she handed it to the man thinking that he needed it much more than her.
As the man took the cappuccino, his eyes filled with tears. When April asked if he was alright he stated, “I will be now because I know that someone cares about me.”
Moved by his statement, April asked him what he meant. He said, “I have been standing here with this sign for four hours and not one person has acknowledged me except for you.”
As he thanked April, he explained that because of her kindness he would not give up believing that things in his life could get better.
April, knowing that Crider Health Center strives to help underserved individuals live fuller, more productive and healthier lives, she handed him a business card making sure to write down Crider's main number. She left hoping that he would call and would be able to find some help.
April returned to work the following Monday and let her supervisor know what happened and the lesson she learned. She said that most of all, she wanted her team members to know that all of their hard work doesn't go unnoticed and, often times, it can put them in the right places at just the right time.
“The work that we do at Crider Health Center does make a difference,” said April. “I just want everyone to know that we can find opportunities to help others every single day if we just take the time to open our eyes. At this time of year, it is easy to get feel overwhelmed with the things we need to get done. However, there are people in our communities who are struggling and could use a little added dose of hope.”
“It doesn’t take much. One small act of kindness can set off a whirlwind of good deeds that spread feelings of warmth, love and happiness across our communities.”