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How a Hidden Note Spread Ripples of Kindness

Ashley Joss was shopping at her local Target, when a book caught her eye. The 27-year old had pledged to read more books, so she picked it up, got home, and began reading. Shortly after she sat down with the book her dog barked, causing her to throw the book aside and revealing a hidden surprise--a $5 bill and a note hidden at the end of the book.

The note read: To the person who buys this book, I am having a tough day. I thought maybe I could brighten someone else’s with this little surprise. Go buy a coffee, a donut, or a face mask. Practice some self-care today. Remember that you are loved, you are amazing, you are strong. – Lisa

Joss was so moved by the note that she posted it on Twitter. After several of her friends shared it, the local newspaper got ahold of the story, and the Tweet went viral. Not only were people enthusiastic about sharing the story; they were motivated to take part in spreading more acts of kindness.

Joss’ dad, for example, bought groceries for a customer in front of him at the supermarket. Another follower wrote to Joss that she had been inspired to do kind acts in honor of her 19-year old daughter who passed away in a car accident a few months earlier. When people see how easy it is to make a stranger’s day, they naturally gravitate to be part of the movement.

For Joss, the note was life-changing. Every week since she found it, she has committed herself to another act of kindness. She said, “This has shown me the value of checking in with people around me and making sure that I take these opportunities to [encourage them]. I don't think we can ever do that enough."

Possible Preaching Angle:

Many people are discouraged given the present situation. Imagine the domino effect in your church, or small group, or neighborhood if you were to follow this example and send an encouraging note, or an email, or a text to someone. “Let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25; 1 Thess. 5:11).


Hilla Benzaken, “How a Hidden Note Spread Ripples of Kindness,” GoodNet (5-19-19)

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