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A few years ago, I was in a really bad place. I had lost my farm, my cows, my marriage, my business, my future and pretty much all joy, hope and confidence in myself and life in general. I was also broke. Very broke. I had a lot of trouble finding a job, then when i did, it was for slightly more than minimum wage. Bad times!

Some people helped me out in a big way. I appreciated what they gave me, but more so the kindness that was shown at such a bad time in my life. It really helped restore some of my faith in goodness and I sure needed that.

Life is better now. I have never recovered the stuff I had, but I have recovered in terms of confidence, happiness and joy, which means a lot more. I have a good life today and new future to look forward too.

So each year, I try to give back some of what I got. I take some money, usually $20 bills (a few of them) and go put them places where people can find them. I've put them in books at the bookstore, pockets of coats at the goodwill, just different places. Then I leave. I never see who gets them and that's ok. I can't stop smiling for a week when I do this. It's FUN!!!!!

So it's that time again....I'm pretty broke this year due to my choice to go back to school, but my bills are paid, I currently have two jobs (the new American way) and three more weeks to work both full time before school starts back up. I have much to be grateful for and I'm gonna give it away now.

So thanks to those who helped me back then (you know who you are) and your gift just keeps on giving!

Jena
 

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What a wonderful thing to do! I'm sure who ever finds the money appreciates it more than you will ever know.
 

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just me
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Jena, I was pretty broke for a few years after I split with the kids' dad but once I was on my feet I made a practice at my office job that each Christmas I would gift co-workers with very young children stuffed animals for each child. I always made a point of getting in very early that day so no one in my department knew it was me and no one ever guessed it was me. One friend knew because we car pooled and she got really ticked one day because someone that I had gifted made a snide remark about me. I told her it wasn't about the adult, it was about the children and it wasn't about me it was about people who had helped me.
 

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Livin Life and Lovin it!
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Awesome, makes me smile. We all have something we can share, as much as a smile or a kind word is many times all it takes to make someone happy and give them hope that not all is bad in the world.......Merry Christmas and a big SMILE to all
 

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last year, we were the receivers of a gift--an older gent at church, who've we've never been close to even, gave us a card--with a check for $250!! he gave a few other of the younger families the same. i am still deeply touched by this. his note in the card said something like 'its not if you have much, its that you have enough' and that he 'had enough'. isn't that just so kind??! we are struggling now, but i know it will be better, and when it is, you can bet on the fact i'll pay it forward too! i am really looking forward to doing so. and the message in the card hasn't left me either--i am trying harder to live that way. and we are very blessed as we DO have enough!
 

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Giving is always a good thing, I try to exercise it at least once a day in my life. The hardest thing to give I have found so far is a smile, people just dont seem to want one, they invariably give it back. :)
 

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There was a gentleman in Kansas City MO who did this for years but never revealed his identity until he knew he was dying. He charged some of his friends with carrying on his gift and now they are trying to get a similar program started throughout the country with the interest from the estate of the original "secret Santa." I think I remember that the man gave out around $20,000 in $100 notes each year at Salvation Army stores, bus stations, etc.

Recently our local TV station carried a story about the gifts and this one little old lady just stood there speechless with tears streaming down her face looking from the bill in her hand to the man who had given it to her. His face wasn't shown but he was wearing a Santa hat and red holiday theme sweater.
 

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I usually buy $50 worth of little toys to give to Toys for Kids. I buy the little ones so that more kids can get one plus kids don't care if it's $2 or $200. One year I included ant farms in hopes of inspiring some young biologists. Last year I felt lazy so I bought a little girls bike.
 

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This is such a good thread. My husband and I were out having dinner once a few nights ago. Not a super-fancy restaurant, but a decent one. When we went to pay our check, we were told that someone had already paid it for us, tip included! Wow, we just couldn't get over how someone who didn't know us would pay for our dinner out of the blue. I can't wait to be in the position to do the same for someone else. Until then, we're starting a new tradition with our children. Starting this year, we're having our kids pick an angel from the 'Angel Trees' at various stores and picking out a present for their 'Angel.' I hope this will help them to learn that it really is more about the giving!
 

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Wasza polska matka
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Once, when I lost my job, some one left a $100 grocery store gift card in my mailbox. I never found out who it was
I try to pay it forward evey chance I get...feels great
 

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"Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." - Ephesians 6:8

"He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will He pay him again." - Proverbs 19:17


It seems that God likes the idea of giving also!:D

Merry Christmas!:angel:
 

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Girl the way you carried yourself during those times (I was very new to this board) was inspreational to me.

You were one of many who shared your knowledge of birds and I know we were helped by it. Offen times I have said a prey for you (there are alot of people who's writtens have kept us save or educatated or inspired us)

May your hard work prove to benifit you and may you know that you are loved.
 

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I used to be the Quality Manager for the paramedic service in a city of about 100K. I can say with certainty that I have seen some of the worst side of people. I can be pretty cinical (SP?). Now I am working at Easter Seals ARC who help developmentally disabled folks. We have a workshop where disabled adults learn skills that will allow them to hold a job. Just this week a guy who owns a manufacturing comanpay we do some work for paid 100% for a Christmas part (including gifts) for the people we serve. I'm told he as done it for the last several years - nothing in it for him...just taking a little of what he has and giving back. Guess there is hope for humanity after all.
 

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Life is better now. I have never recovered the stuff I had, but I have recovered in terms of confidence, happiness and joy, which means a lot more. I have a good life today and new future to look forward too.
Jena
Jena, that is great. Stuff is just that, stuff. Replaceable. The only thing that would devestate me now after losing everything in an abusive marriage, and then becoming disabled, would be to lose my kids.

I have some 'stuff' but because of where I am at, I am slowly selling or bartering the 'stuff' in my life for other stuff and the basics that we still need.

Paying it forward anon. is a great way to give.
 

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Bitter Clinger
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Jena, I think what you do is awesome.

That being said...I have to say that if I found a $20 bill in a book or something, I would at first be all happy, then I would feel all guilty, like I stole it or something and obsess over who might have forgotten their $20 in their book and feel like I was stealing someone else's money and it would probably sit on the mantel for years because I would be afraid to spend it because it wasn't mine!!!!

I know...I'm kinda nuts. Can't help it.... :shrug:
 

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Bitter Clinger
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