A Southport woman -- who wished to remain anonymous -- told Patch the story of a series of random acts that took place this week, and we thought we'd pass it on:
The resident, who has spent some time working with students at a public middle school in Stamford, learned about one seventh grade boy who lives in a communal home, and is in charge of his two younger siblings, ages 5 and 4, while his parents work multiple jobs.
The boy's teacher told the woman that all the student had wanted for Christmas was a pair of flip flops to wear in the communal shower and a pack of UNO cards to play with his siblings.
Since hearing this story, the resident started buying small things to help the boy and his siblings out -- shampoo, body wash, etc.
"I just feel -- and I don't know this boy -- that it must be hard to be a seventh grader, 11 or 12 years old, and have the responsibility of one’s brother and sister, while trying to focus on school work. This type of challenge doesn’t even take into consideration that he may not be able to enjoy the simple carefree things of a childhood," she said.
This week, the woman went to HomeGoods in Westport, to buy a set of towels for the student. She thought the store might want to help by providing a discount and asked to speak to the store manager. The manager said all he could offer was 10 percent off and that normally the store needed to receive a formal letter from a charity or nonprofit organization.
The woman, who is unaffiliated with any such group, told Patch she had no problem paying for the towels, she just thought since HomeGoods is in the community, the staff would want to help out, especially since what she was purchasing were small items.
"It's not a question of money, it's a question of principle," she said.
But then out of the blue, a stranger tapped her on the shoulder and handed her a fistful of money for the purchase.
The stranger told the Southport resident that she had overheard the story about the boy and wanted to help. She insisted the resident take the money and left the store.
At the same time, the manager voided the sale and donated the towels.
The resident was touched by "the random and unexpected kindness of strangers -- for no reason, and without fanfare."
Now the student will receive the towels, plus other necessities -- like the flip flops he wanted and other items for his siblings -- thanks to the simple acts of generosity.