Ken Burns

Somerset, NJ


Warmth Amidst the Cold

“Sometimes amidst the hardships and struggles life throws our way, we miraculously find a strength within ourselves that we never knew we had.”

In 2009, I lost my job of 7 years, and I found it impossible to restart my career. My heat and power had been turned off several times, the first time being a cold December night. Unable to pay my mortgage and my house listed for a Sheriff’s Sale, I did all I could to find odd jobs. Unfortunately, without a permanent professional position, those odd jobs just didn’t cut it. It may have been something, but it wasn’t enough to save my home.

Then in 2013, I finally found steady work in a coffee shop. Being that I only earned about 30% of my former income, I worked 2 nights a week in a medical office to offset the loss as best I could but it still didn’t cut it. Fortunately, A coffee shop customer was kind enough to offer me a few works hours every week in his gas station.

On my first day I asked, “What should I wear?” He told me I could wear anything I want, but mentioned that good, sturdy boots would be essential. I cringed inside recalling my only pair of boots, which I had to duct tape around the front to keep the sole from falling off while I shoveled snow the year before. “What would I do? How would I manage?” I must persevere.

I posted about my first shift at the gas station on a social media site, and mentioned the inadequacy of the worn out shoes I wore each morning at the coffee shop. Joanne, a friend of mine, messaged me asking my shoe size. I suspected her son or husband had an unused pair she might give me.

Within the hour, Joanne pulled up to the gas station with a large box. It wasn’t an old pair of shoes she was gifting to me. She purchased a new pair of brand-name, steel-toed boots, and several pairs of thick work socks for me! She also included the receipt, in case any changes were needed.

How do you react to something so touching, so loving and so thoughtful? As for me, tears came streaming down my face and my heart was suddenly filled with gratitude.

quote-openThe boots protected my feet from the bitter cold, but Joanne’s gesture protected something far more important and valuable; she protected my heart from freezing over. quote-close

Being hit with a Kindness Boomerang can change your life, and I welcome each time it happens, because it reminds me that someone notices and someone cares.

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