Good acts have a ripple effect

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Like a pebble in a pond, an Act of Kindness ripples outward through the world, influencing lives in ways we could never imagine.

- Unknown

Amazing how far a good act can travel.

On Monday, members of Cub Scout Troop 398 came to the Mustang News to earn a merit badge. What a great group of kids. Six and 7 years old, I’m sure a newspaper office isn’t that exciting. But they asked questions, got their picture taken and were great guests to have. It was a lot of fun, probably more so for the News staff than it was for them.

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But the visit wasn’t the story, and those boys ended up giving – and receiving so much more.

After they finished in the News office, the boys asked for some trash bags. They were going to collect trash in the ratty field adjacent to the center where we are located. As they ran around, laughing and picking up whatever people throw into the field, a Good Samaritan saw what they were doing and stopped.

The man told the boys what a great thing they were doing and then he did something unusual – he gave the Scouts $200 for cleaning up the field. The boys were excited – two $100 bills?! The Scouts decided to evenly distribute the $200, receiving $28 each. Not a ton of money, but when you’re 6 or 7, that’s a pretty good chunk of change.

But that gift, from a man none of them knew, wasn’t the end of the story either – what happened next showed that ripple in the pond effect and just how far kindness can travel.

But first we have to back up just a bit.

It was Hayden Weathers who was the undeniable “star” of the Scouts’ visit. Filled with questions and making funny comments, Hayden clearly has a lot of fun wherever he goes. So it was kind of surprising, in a way, what happened with Hayden’s share of the money given to the boys.

Pack 398′s cubs with Mustang News graphic designer Ashleigh Swingle. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Hayden knows a little girl named Farrah. Farrah is a little girl who is battling cancer, and her family is going through a horrible time. Although Hayden doesn’t understand everything that’s going on, he knows they’re hurting, and he decided his $28 might just help. He decided to give this money, this gift he didn’t expect, to a little girl so things might be a little easier for a while.

Those ripples spread, they showed those of us who were lucky to hear the story just how warm and giving a heart can be, that no matter how old or how small, there are little acts of kindness that spread far beyond where they started.

The man was Chad McDowell. The boy was Hayden Weathers. Hopefully, the ripples they started will grow even more.