Day 16 - This by far has been my favorite giving day. Not only was I able to give something to one of my favorite people, my sister, but the way everything worked out was like magic.
I called my sister when I got home because, due to some emails I had received from her earlier in the day, I knew she had a rough day at work. She was on her way to meet a teacher friend for dinner after staying late at school to tutor some students. I asked her where they were going and she said "We're teachers, all we can afford is Pei Wei." Immediately I thought how fun would it be to buy them dinner. I casually asked her which Pei Wei they were going to, then came up with an excuse to get off the phone with her. She was already in the parking lot so I had to act fast. I called Pei Wei and the manager I spoke to was so helpful- she didn't hesitate at all. It was almost like this sort of thing happened to her all the time and she knew exactly what to do. She said that if I trusted her I could give her my credit card info and she would enter it in manually. That sounded like a good plan to me. The only thing was that we had to make sure that I would be buying dinner for the right people. I had no idea what my sister was wearing so I could only describe what she looks like. I've never met my sister's friend so we didn't have a lot to go on. I kept saying something about them being teachers. Then all of a sudden the manager tells me to hold on. About a minute later she comes back on the line and said that she recognized them and had to make sure that the cashier didn't charge them. At this point I had no idea if it was my sister and her friend but I just had to trust and go with it. I gave the manager my credit card and contact info and thanked her for helping me make this happen. Then I texted my sister to tell her to enjoy her dinner, but also to find out if it was indeed her that I had just bought dinner for. And it was! The best part is that my sister and her friend didn't know it was me until that text. They just thought it was some random person on the phone who was doing a kind deed. It caught them completely off guard. My sister's friend was ordering first and when the cashier told her that someone had bought her dinner she started crying. My sister then ordered not expecting someone to also pay for her dinner and was just as surprised when the cashier said that her meal had also been paid for. And it was only when they sat down to eat and saw my text that all the pieces came together. My sister knows that I'm doing this 24 Days of Giving but she never put it together that it was me on the phone, and since the cashier only said "the person on the phone" and not "your sister" they had no way of knowing anyway. It also helped that my sister's friend was wearing a shirt with the name of the school on it.
This spontaneous and random act was a perfect example of how an awesome opportunity to give can just present itself at any moment. There's no way I could have planned this. We just have to be opening to see these moments and to give.
Here's a little snippet of the text. Just thinking back on this moment makes me smile. So much happiness being created right now.