It all happened so fast, he never saw the stranger slip him the envelope.
At first, he thought they might have left it there by mistake, but when he opened it and looked inside, his eyes widened in awe. With no time to lose, he burst out of the bank and chased the stranger down. He just hoped he wasn’t too late.
It was a big weekend for Rob Edwards. The family man was kicking back and soaking up the Florida sun with his wife, having just celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary.
But despite the picture-perfect weekend, Rob had something on his mind that he just couldn’t shake. He’d been thinking about it for months and the big moment was finally here.
Rob’s son Cole was about to graduate from high school. The proud father had been excited about the whole family attending the ceremony and watching his kid collect his diploma – so excited in fact that he was getting nervous for him.
As the day got closer and closer, Rob found himself becoming increasingly distracted – a problem he really didn’t need that afternoon at the bank.
The only thing Rob had to do that morning was to go to the bank. Normally he would have skipped a task like that, but he needed to get some cash for Cole’s graduation gift.
Fortunately, traffic was light and he parked up outside the bank in no time. But when he saw the line out front, he started to sweat.
As he entered the building, Rob looked nervously at his watch as he spotted the solitary bank teller working that afternoon and the huge line of people waiting. Was he going to make it in time, he wondered?
At that moment, a flustered woman came rushing in behind him. Ever the gentleman, Rob held the door for her and let her go ahead. But his generosity would soon turn the situation towards the dramatic.
Rob got in line. He couldn’t stop his foot tapping impatiently on the floor as he peered over the other people to see what was taking so long.
“My son is graduating today,” Rob said to the woman he’d let in ahead of him, suddenly aware it’s probably not a good idea to look so nervous in a bank. The woman smiled at him as he gushed about how proud he was of his son – but there was no way of knowing then what would happen next.
Before he knew it, the line had disappeared and he was next to be served. Time flies when you’re celebrating your family’s achievements, he thought to himself.
Rob finished his business at the bank and smiled as he turned to head out for his son’s big day, but his cheeriness soon turned to confusion as he felt something being slipped under his arm.
Rob picked up the envelope and looked around to see who had given it to him. He started to panic, wondering if someone had pushed some evidence on him or something. Was he going to get in trouble?
Then he saw someone breezing out of the door. Was that the stranger that had handed him the envelope? With only a few seconds to make a decision, Rob gave chase.
As soon as Rob had burst out onto the street, he turned in every direction to see where the stranger had got to. But they were nowhere to be seen.
Whatever it was in the envelope, he had to find out. He took a look around to make sure there wasn’t anyone trying to track down some stolen property or anything, took a deep breath and peered inside.
Inside the envelope was a wad of cash. But why? Rob just had to find out who it was that slipped it to him. Was it some kind of mistake? Or a scam he hadn’t quite worked out yet.
At that moment, he noticed a yellow coat disappearing behind a car door over in the parking lot. It was the same one the mysterious stranger that slipped away from the bank was wearing.
Rob dashed across the road towards the car as he saw the stranger start the engine and begin to back out of the space.
The panicked father was sure he was going to miss them as the car picked up speed before the exit to the parking lot, but as the car turned, he caught sight of the stranger’s face – and he recognized her instantly.
As the woman slowed down to turn the corner, Rob reached the car and tapped on the window. The car came to a halt.
Rob couldn’t speak as he desperately tried to catch enough breath to ask the woman why she slipped him the envelope full of cash. The woman smiled and rolled down the window.
“When you talk about your boy, you glow,” the woman that he held the door for in the bank explained. “You’re a blessing to him, I want to bless him too!”
Rob couldn’t believe it. The woman had slipped him the envelope with $50 inside simply because of how proud he was of his son. He was so grateful for the woman’s kind gesture, but he needed her to do one more favor for him before he could let her drive away.
Rob asked the woman to pull over to the side of the road and get out of the car… before he put his arm around her and took a selfie.
The pair said their goodbyes and went about their days. Rob attended Cole’s graduation ceremony and it was everything he had dreamed it would be. Then, later that night as he was uploading photos of the day to Facebook, he found the picture of the woman from earlier that morning – and he knew just what to do with it.
Rob shared the photo on social media with the other images from the ceremony – but this one in particular attracted a lot of attention.
“First of all kid, I can’t believe your boy is 18! Second, I’ve been thinking a lot about the transformational power of love and kindness. Our life is as a vapor…it is here and then it’s gone. Thanks for sharing your blessings,” wrote one commenter. And they weren’t the only one touched by the story.
“The whole point of life right here! And it could not have happened to a more deserving person. Great story Rob Edwards! And so well told.
“When you write a book, look me up. I reckon I got a few titles for you already!” one of Rob’s friends added. And after the outpouring of support, Rob was keen to add to the story.
“I was so touched. I don’t know her name, I’ve never ever seen her before. But I will never forget her love. We need more of this in the world today,” Rob wrote.
“Not the money, but kindness. I hugged a complete stranger today. My son, who I love with all my heart, was shown such love.”
The tradition of random acts of kindness has gained popularity in the US, and even has an entire day dedicated to it. National Random Acts Of Kindness Day is celebrated by groups, individuals, and organizations to encourage acts of kindness in the month of February. The principal is simple: perform a small act of kindness for a stranger.
But surprisingly, Rob isn’t the only one to have received an envelope of cash from a stranger.
Imgur user gingersnap1316 had another heartwarming story to tell about an unexpected act of kindness involving an envelope of cash.
One day, while she was home alone, the doorbell wouldn’t stop ringing. Annoyed, she finally answered the door on the third ring, only to see a stranger standing there. He then asked her a strange question.
“Are you Karen?” she describes the encounter on Imgur. “I told him no, that Karen was my mom and he gave a quick smile and handed me an unmarked envelope and walked away. I get inside and open it up.”
Thinking the encounter was somewhat strange, the Imgur user was flabbergasted to find $1,000 in cash in the envelope, as well as a letter.
“Please accept this gift as an act of random kindness,” the letter read.
“A cherished member of our family devoted much of her time and resources to helping people through ‘Random Acts Of Kindness’. She gave to others in many ways, and always did so anonymously. One way our family has chosen to honor her memory is to continue in the tradition of helping others in the community with acts of random kindness.”
The letter went on, “A ‘Random Act Of Kindness’ does not have to involve the giving of money. It can be as simple as sharing your time with someone, lending an ear, or offering a compliment.
“The most important part is that the act is unsolicited and done so with no expectation of anything in return.” It’s often the smallest gestures that mean the world to someone, even if it’s just a smile.