Do you ever get weird ideas? I mean, random thoughts not even related to what you are doing and find that those ideas were good ones? While packing for our trip, I really strongly felt that I needed to put painter’s tape in our Kindness Kit. We were packing for oodles of acts of kindness fun, but I really didn’t need painter’s tape for any of them. But, I put the painters tape in. In fact, I kind of felt like I needed two rolls of painter’s tape . . . but, seriously, what would I do with that? During our trip, I found out what.
While touring through New Orleans, on this year’s Kindness Quest, we happen to pass a moving van with several teenage girls dragging boxes out of the back. I, personally, wasn’t feeling well and thought,”Oh, poor things! I hate moving.”
Then I hear Big Brother say from the backseat, “Dad, we need to stop and help them move.”
Um, what? Big Brother is 8, and although he is a tall and strong kid, he’s still kid-size.
Dad drove a bit further explaining that the boxes were going to be too big for him to move and that, “Mom, really isn’t feeling well.”
Well, that wasn’t enough for Big Brother. “Dad, we really need to help them.”
So, we turned the car around and went back.
I was thinking, “What on Earth is this family going to think with a car of strangers pulling up and asking to touch their stuff?” I was about to find out.
Dad and Big Brother got out and immediately started helping. Little Brother was asked to stay inside and he was VERY upset about that. I just didn’t know what was going on and wanted to keep him safe.
Very quickly, I discovered that wasn’t going to work and as Dad and Big Brother carried the rug up the stairs to the second floor unit, I caved into Little Brother’s begging to “help out, too,” and we got out of the car.
As soon as we did, we met the owner and her daughters, Paulette and her Privas!
Upon learning more about Paulette, just moving cross country to participate in breast cancer treatment, single mom of 8 awesome kids, and breast cancer warrior, Dad knew we couldn’t leave without finding out if there was anything else we could do.
“Can you help us paint? The movers come tomorrow, and I need my bedroom painted first as I won’t be able to move the furniture after it is moved in,” she asked.
That is something we know how to do. And, baada-bing-baada-bang: the WHOLE reason that I felt inspired to bring painter’s tape. Don’t you love it when it comes full circle, and you are there to see it?
So, we turned our shirts inside out (didn’t have our work clothes with us), started applying painter’s tape, and got to work.
For the next four hours, we: painted, shared about our lives, and learned about one another. The more we shared, the more we found we had in common. Big Brother and Little Brother had a hand for a bit in the painting and played with her youngest daughter. As we ended our evening eating a huge meal Paulette prepared, our new friendship felt like forever family, where no matter where we go, we’d always make time to stay connected.
A Message and Picture from Paulette:
Today the Privas and I moved into our brand new beautiful home. And as the privas and their brother, Adrian was unloading the U haul A family vacationing in town on Spring break, passed by saw us working, stopped and offered to help. After helping us unload the truck. They asked if they could do anything more. I said, I need help painting my bedroom before the big moving truck come with my bedroom furniture. Not only did they help, they painted the whole room. Just like that out of no where God brought His earthly angels by my house at the right time. Amazing God we serve. And we now have friends for life. I cooked a big dinner and we ate and had a blast. Thanks Erik and Shelia for allowing God to use you both to answer my prayers!
If it weren’t for Big Brother strongly telling us we needed to stop, we wouldn’t have stopped to help. And, we would have missed out on a most treasured experience, meeting the most fun and amazing family.
Ideas for Acts of Kindness for Single Moms:
- When making a meal, make extra and take it over. One less meal to make after work is often a relief.
- Take pictures of her kids at school events and text them to her. Single moms often miss out on school events because they are working and don’t have the flexibility of attending.
- Invite her over for events and fun! A friend of mine had shared custody of her kids and was always alone for some holidays during the year. We always invited her over on those holidays, and she loved sharing in our holiday chaos!
- Share! Whether it is extra clothes your kids have outgrown or toys, when you have more than enough of something, offer to share.
- Late night grocery runs are virtually impossible for single moms. Help her out with those, especially if you are already making a late night run, too.
For all the articles related to the Kindness Quest Road Trip:
What have you done to reach out and be kind to a single mom you know?