This month we introduced a new SocialMoms feature that we’re calling, “Letters To…” We kicked off the project with the theme, “Random Acts of Kindness,” and asked readers to write a letter to a person who had reached out to help at a difficult time. We chose Random Acts of Kindness as our theme because kindness seems to be short supply at the moment. All of us are bombarded daily with news of national and international conflict, and with ugly and polarizing discourse. We wanted to highlight a story of generosity and simple kindness, and we hope it will inspire you. 

We received many letters from our readers, and unfortunately can feature just one. We chose the letter below from reader Arline Saiki, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She and her husband distribute a natural aquarium product; she also serves on the Advisory Board of AEC-I Decide, and helps out with their website and social media. Saiki and her husband have two daughters, and became grandparents last year when both of their daughters had children of their own. 

Saiki’s letter, written to a woman in Catskill, New York whose name she doesn’t even know, beautifully illustrates the Random Act of Kindness theme. We particularly like her message about paying it forward: when a person does something kind for you, the best way to thank him or her is to commit an act of kindness the next time you have a chance.

Because couldn’t the world use more kindness?

Arline Saiki’s letter: 

Dear Lady in Catskill, NY, whom we met at a gas station/convenience store:

My husband and I were on a business trip from our home in upstate NY to Connecticut. We stopped for gas and my husband noticed that one of our tires was flat. We were hoping that the gas station/convenience store would have a can of tire sealer, but no luck. As we were discussing what to do, you happened to drive in and came up and asked us what was wrong. We told you about our dilemma and you told us to wait a minute, jumped back in your car and minutes later came back with a can of tire sealer. Then you absolutely refused to take any money for it! You said it was your pleasure and you were just “paying it forward.” We were so touched and often spoke about you and wished we could do something for you. Please know that you are in our prayers and because of your example have also “paid it forward” in little ways.

Thank you wherever you are and may God bless you as you blessed us.

Arline Saiki

Check out Saiki’s blog, or reach her on Twitter at aec_tweet