Random Acts of Kindness Spread Christmas Cheer

Several people in the Lamar area have been quietly ‘paying it forward’ this holiday season, purchasing gift cards or paying all, or a portion of gift layaways for complete strangers.

Diane Pool said she noticed a trend this year at her place of employment, Wal-Mart in Lamar. “Several people have come in and asked if they could pay on someone’s layaway, preferably one that has toys listed,” she said.

Other people have come in to purchase various gift cards which they are donating either to individuals, or to organizations such as Toys for Tots which will distribute gifts throughout the county on December 24. As Wal-Mart community liaison for local civic and social organizations, Pool has seen more activity of this nature this year, and in some larger donations.

“One man came in Thursday to see about donating to our layaways, but that had ended for the holiday season, so he purchased a $300 gift card which he was going to donate. Another person was going to do the same for a neighbor who was recently laid off from work, but instead of a layaway donation, decided to pay their utility bill,” Pool said.

Darlene Lopez, who took over the Toys for Tots campaign from Pam Lirley several years ago, said earlier this week that the requests for gifts is still large, but cash donations have been falling short, so any donation that comes in is a plus. Pool said she’s noted that the amount of donations in her store have come to around $2,000 this year. All want to stay anonymous.

Some residents are able to donate in this way, and some take the time to drop a dollar or loose change into the Salvation Army pots when they go shopping in the area. Others will donate canned goods at drop off points such as the Lamar Library, Mary and Martha’s, the Ministerial Alliance or local Compassion Center to help out.

Unemployment figures in the county show about 400 persons out of work, a figure that doesn’t fluctuate a lot from month to month. As has been noted in previous articles regarding Prowers County, state figures show we have one of the highest poverty rates for children under 13 and 43% of the county residents are on some form of assistance such as TANF, WIC or food stamps. In these cases, random acts of kindness, from neighbor to neighbor or from stranger to stranger are the most appreciated.

By Russ Baldwin 

Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentEnergyYouth


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