When some people have a happy life they look for ways to bring happiness to others. This was the case with a group of employees in a bank in Ontario, Canada. One Christmas, they decided to take on the role of benefactor. They were given the name of a family known to be in a poor financial position.
Dianne was recovering from an extremely rough time. She had been a manager for a business in London and when her daughter was born, she knew she had to stay home and be a mommy. When Dianne's child was eight months old, the horrendous circumstances in her life caused her to flee to a Woman's Shelter. Finally able to safely return to her home, Dianne discovered her estranged spouse had taken everything of value. Gone were all the photos of the past eight years of her life. The furniture had been taken, the silverware, the teakettle, all of the baby's belongings, everything. Dianne would be starting out a new life with the baby and a garbage bag full of diapers and other baby clothes.
That December, Dianne was phoned and asked by a caseworker if she would consider allowing an unnamed group of employees to provide her with some Christmas gifts. Dianne said that she would be appreciative of anything they gave her. She was then asked about her favorite perfume and if she had towels and the clothing sizes of herself and her toddler. The representative asked her if she could name anything in particular that she really wanted. Since she did not have a vacuum cleaner, silverware, teakettle, ironing board or a dozen other items we might consider basic, it was a simple task to provide answers. Dianne said above all else she would really like a tea kettle for herself and any kind of toy for the baby that could come apart and be put back together again.
Gaining insight from this information, the bank employees made their decisions. They supplied the basics and then went overboard. All kinds of gifts greeted Dianne and her little girl. Among them was a lovely tailored new green suit for Dianne.
Months later, I saw the green suit for the first time and I complimented Dianne on it. Her face lit up with the memories and good feelings she had toward the employees of a branch of Canada Trust. She smiled and told me the beautiful story of how she received it.
The bank employees never met Dianne, nor did they see the pleasure and joy their gifts brought to this young woman as a direct result of their actions. They never met Dianne or the baby, yet their gesture of good will in December of one year was still rippling out more than a year later affecting Dianne, then me as I heard the story.
Dianne was separated from the love and support of her family that year by thousands of miles. Now every year her mother sends out positive thoughts and a prayer of thanksgiving to a group of Canadians who played Santa Clause to her daughter. Dianne is my daughter.
Our every word, our every action can affect the world around us. Here's hoping the impression we leave behind is always positive.