People in Nanaimo are proving that it is truly the season of giving.
Donald White was shopping for presents in his scooter at Wal-Mart over the Dec. 20 weekend and when he was at the cash register, a complete stranger offered to pay for him.
“He said… ‘It’s Christmas time,’ and that’s when he told the cashier that he wanted to pay for my stuff and I said, ‘No, no. I have my own money,’ and he said, ‘I insist, it’s Christmas time. I want to help people,’ and I shook his hand and [thanked him],” White said.
White started to cry and said he never received such help before. He was so touched that he decided to pay the good deed forward. Later, when he and his wife were at a dollar store, they came across a mother and two young boys – White estimates they were five or six years old – sitting on the floor, looking at colouring books.
“I observed her in there. She was walking back and forth in the toy aisle but she couldn’t pick out toys … We could see that they were poor, so my wife and I gave them some cash to pay for some toys for the kids and she was so happy,” said White.
For Sarah Gilks and her family, giving needn’t take place only at Christmas time. Inspired by author Robin Sharma, Gilks has been doing year-round random acts of kindness with children Logan, 12, and Sophia, 7, for the last four years.
They’ve done anything from buying coffee to handing out flowers.
“I started doing these things with my kids just to show them how we can make a difference, even just as individuals we can make a difference in other people’s lives,” Gilks said.
A memorable moment happened this spring when they handed out five bouquets of flowers and four of the recipients were so touched they began crying.
“It really impacts people, especially coming from a child … coming from a little one, I think it makes a difference for people,” said Gilks.
White said paying it forward made him feel great and suggests more people should follow suit.
“We should make a chain and do it with everybody,” said White.