Today's NICE Testimonial comes from Shaelyn Neal of Social Circles Design. This story will warm your heart!
Several years ago, my youngest son was born in the middle of a huge hurricane in Houston, TX. The city was literally shut down and transportation was at a standstill. We found out several hours after his birth that he needed immediate heart surgery to correct a congenitial heart defect. In the blur of the following ten days, as we spent days and nights at Texas Children's Hospital, dealt with my own post-partum recovery and tried to engage our other two small children - we learned how nice strangers can be. We were surrounded by parents of babies even sicker than ours who simply engulfed us with their "niceness" and offered support when certainly they must have needed it for themselves. When emotions run high and it would be so easy to lash out at those around us, there was a bond between us all, the simple act of being human and needing to help each other. I can't tell you the number of people I didn't even know, who had heard of our situation through friends and family, that came up to the hospital to spread their cheer. They brought a full catered lunch from one of the area restaurants, books and devotions, and sometimes a visit. Again, mind you, these were all from strangers.
Seven years later and that impact has never left me. I often think of how people I didn't even know went out of their way to spread some compassion during what was the most terrifying moment of my life. A few months ago, I was contacted by a client who wanted some birth announcements for her baby daughter that was due in a few weeks. The design she chose from my online shop was out of her budget and she asked if I could some how modify it to meet her budget. She told me of how special this baby was, as they had found out she would be dealing with very critical kidney problems once she was born. I flashed back to those days in the hospital with my newborn son and decided that I needed to pass on the "nice".
I made the birth announcements in the original design for free. Hoping that even that small bit of luxury would provide a bit of respite during a certainly scary time. The baby was born on time and last I heard was doing fabulously well. I'm certain, that when the time presents itself, that mommy will pass along the nice too!
How wonderful that she paid it forward! And I'm sure that mommy won't forget the kindness, just as Shaelyn will always carry with her the compassion that she received from her community during a time when she needed it most. It's too often that we hear bad news and think, "oh how sad," and leave it at that. But it's the people that get up and DO SOMETHING that are the real superstars.