The kindness of strangers in the forum just made me cry

I’ve just read about an act of kindness, gentleness and caring to from one person to a complete stranger who was in distress, who I just met in the Chat Forum. As it’s a new and raw situation, it’s not appropriate to write about it now; but it’s prompted me to tell about a prior occasion that reflects similar values, that I was unable to write about then (I’m going to change some minor details to protect identities).

A few months ago I received a message from one of the forum posters, to tell me his story. He’s a single father with three children, who’d lost his job. The debts had piled up and there was a clerical delay in getting payment from social services. He was in the Debt-Free Wannabe Forum asking for help and advice. Sadly the problems compounded and it got to a stage where he had genuine worries about feeding his children.

This was compounded by the fact that with a lack of childcare and transport, the practicalities of shopping were difficult but the additional cost of online delivery thwarted that as a solution. One kind soul said she had a voucher for free delivery she would post to him if he sent his address. He did that, but instead of sending the voucher, she simply went online, ordered a week’s shopping to feed the family, paid for it and arranged the delivery.

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P.S. The joy of this for me is that it was unasked for and given without guilt or obligation from someone he’d never met. I would hate the forums to become a place where people start to come and ask for financial help from strangers, but sometimes you need to admire the sheer beauty of humanity.

P.P.S. When I say cry, I mean my eyes went wet and I got a flush of emotion; not some great balling wail – I’ve at least a modicum of masculinity to protect.