Saturday, October 23, 2010


This weeks RAOK was the most emotionally moving one thus far.

I purchased three QuikTrip prepaid gas cards. I decided to randomly pass them out to unassuming people.

My first recipient was a 30ish Hispanic woman who had her 1-2 year old in the car with her. She spoke little English but fortunately my Spanish is still strong enough that we were able to have a short dialogue. When I first gave it to her, she was baffled. She looked at the card, looked at me, looked back down at the card. Then she asked what it's for. I told her she could use it for whatever she wanted...gas, food, whatever she wants. She smiled a huge smile and turned around. A few seconds later, she turned back around. "Do you speak Spanish?", she asked. "Solamente un poquito.", I replied. And so she asked me again, what for? And I said to her "It's a gift, a gift for you".

I went inside to buy my coffee and pay for gas. When I came back, she was still there. Smiling a smile so big I almost didn't know how to receive it. She asked me my name. And even though I'd just gone running and was a pile of sweat and stinkiness, she reached over and pecked my cheek, gave me a hug and said "Gracias" in a the most pure, sincere and grateful way.

I cried.

The second recipient was a police officer dressed in uniform but pumping gas for his personal vehicle. Although we had a much shorter exchange, he was grateful. And I was sure to thank him for his service.

And the last recipient was an old African American woman who I spotted while she crossed the parking lot to prepay her gas. I just thought she looked sweet. So I stuck my hand out the window and asked if I could give her "this". "What is it?" she asked. A gift card. "Take it and have a wonderful day!" And she did. I drove away with her smiling in my rear view mirror.

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