Friends of Kevin Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter to learn all of my best networking tips

Join Now

Kevin Willett's blog

Networking Success Story: Brian Gardner of Gardner Graphics

When I first started my own printing company two years ago, I really had no idea how I was going to find new clients.  That is when I was introduced to Kevin Willett, and his networking group Friends of Kevin.  I can honestly say, like some people, I thought what can a group like this do for a profession like mine?  After being a part of this group for two years, my sales in 2012 have doubled from 2011, I guess we can say the question answered itself.  I recommend any business owner from any type of profession to join Friends of Kevin. Believe in him, believe in yourself, and you will see great results for your business. 

Northern Business Machines Managed Print Services

print button

A common concern among organizations looking to cut costs is that reducing expenses also will reduce their office’s efficiency and productivity. 

 

NBM’s Managed Print Services strategy allows you to lower the cost of your printer expenses without negatively impacting your productivity.  We do this by optimizing your office printing environment.  Our typical customer sees a reduction of 20-30% in printer  expenses.

 

The first step in our strategy is a free on-site evaluation of your current equipment.  Chances are you already have more equipment than you need.  We ensure that the existing printers are properly distributed and deployed throughout your organization.

 

We then develop a cost per copy maintenance program for your entire fleet, which includes toner, labor, and parts.   You will receive a single invoice that gives you the ability to truly manage your printer costs. 

 

We handle service issues, maintenance, and help desk calls, all handled by certified HP-technicians.  We can handle any size organization on a local or national basis.

 We will revisit our solution every 90 days to ensure that it meets the current needs of your business.

 

We revisit our solution every four months to ensure that our solution is meeting the current needs of your business.

 

We would be happy to do the same for you.  Please contact us today to get started.

  

Emily Almas

Marketing Support Representative

Northern Business Machines

p: 781-272-2034 ext. 117

f:  781-273-9087

e: [email protected]

w: http://www.nbminc.com

Ramsden Painting Ceiling Special

 

 

 

Ramsden Painting logo Ramsden Painting

 

 

 

Helping Hands Monkey 

The Ramsden Painting crew was honored to assist with our donated labor with other painters from the PDCA in painting the Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the disabled.  They train capuchin monkeys to provide daily in-home assistance with people living with spinal cord injuries and other mobility impairments.
To find out more visit them at http://www.monkeyhelpers.org/

 

 



Time to update?  Above is a recent smaller project in which we updated the stained trim in a home from stain to a semi-gloss white.  A fresh coat on the walls and we have a new back entryway/mudroom and a freshened bathroom..

Call or email today 978-501-0266  [email protected]

 

water dam  

 

Ice and water damage

 

Free estimates on all work.

  

Do you have ice dams?  An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.  Call us today have your ice dams removed  978-501-0266

 

 

January Special:

average ceiling repaint up to      12 x 12 room

$99.00 includes paint.

Ben Moore Muresco ceiling paint. 

- water stains and repairs are extra. 

-  2 ceiling minimum per visit

- average height, cathedral extra.

 

 

 

Call anytime for a free estimate! 978-501-0266

 

 

 

 


Ramsden Painting
978-501-0266

  Check out some of our other work at

Ramsden Paintings facebook page

Like us on Facebook           

 

Newsletter from The Wish Project

PIC

 

WISH LIST 

***Please note: We are unable distribute used intimates (underwear, bras, or socks)***

 

  

Safety covers or clips for stove


Double stroller

  

Wash cloths

 

Hand towels


Dressers

 

TV stands or any small side tables


Bed frames any size

  

  

 

Baby New Year Project

 

Collect diapers in all sizes and help our littlest clients get off to a healthy start!

 

 

CAN YOU HELP?

 

The ways you can help are virtually limitless.  Click on a link below to learn more!

 

  

Volunteering Info 

 

Service Projects 

 

Donation Ideas 

  

 

COUPONS!

 

We want your coupons!

For toiletries, food, diapers and cleaning supplies.

Feel free to mail them.  

 

 

Unusual Donation of the Week - any guesses?

 

 

 

BEDS-4-KIDS INFO

 

child needs bed pic

 

While most of us take something as simple as a bed for granted, you'd be surprised how many don't have that luxury. While we welcome clean, used mattresses, there are many ways to provide a brand new bed.  A gallon jug of pennies is about $100, which buys a brand new bed for a child. A sleep-a-thon is another fun way, or simply click on the "Donate Now" button below.

  

RECYCLING

 

TVs, computers, monitors, washers/dryers and old electronics (anything with a cord) taken for a $5 recycling fee.  $20 for larger TVs.  

  

Remember, we welcome cell phones, coupons, printer/toner cartridges, documents/white paper for shredding and eyeglasses in addition to all the clothing, home and baby goods. 

Sleep Tight Charlize!

This beautiful baby girl is just a few days old and she received the last of our newborn kits.  She and Mom are thrilled with the help.  

 

Simple Acts of Kindness Make All the Difference

 

There have been so many fires lately in Lowell, Chelmsford and Lawrence, and assisting victims has kept us busy.  Most of the clients we've helped this week are fire victims and many have small children. Chelmsford has done an amazing job of helping their families. Such simple acts of neighborly kindness and humanity not only inspire those around us, but also make the world a better place!  Thank you, and please know that we are here if you need us!  

  

VOLUNTEER NEWS: 

 

We are off to a very busy start here in the warehouse.  Lots and lots of donations have been coming in and we could use some help.  Hundreds of coats have been donated and we need volunteers to sort and hang them so we can distribute them ASAP.

Tricia Flynn & crew

 


If you would like to help in the warehouse we are organizing and cleaning up, and are eternally grateful to have volunteers.  Please contact Angela at [email protected]ject.org for more information.

Monday Evening Volunteers
We were buried in clothing donations and thanks to Allora,  ElizabethTricia and crew, and Pelham Congregational Church, we

Allora and Elizabeth

really cleaned up, thanks so much!    

 

BIG THANKS! 

 

The following were some of our wonderful company and group sponsors of gifts for Christmas this year.  Thank you so much for your generosity.

 

  • Child Care Center, Inc. of Westford
  • Fred C. Church, Inc.
  • Girl Scout Troop 62073 of Chelmsford
  • Girl Scout Troop 66157 of N. Chelmsford
  • Girl Scout Troop 66771 of Tewksbury
  • Harbor of Hope Church of N. Chelmsford
  • Heilind Electronics
  • Johnson O'Hare Company
  • Lucente Life Technologies
  • Nobis Engineering
  • Plum Choice
  • Rita E. Miller School of Westford
  • RTN-Federal Credit Union
  • Shane's Anti-bullying Program
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church of Westford
  • Surgery Center at Drum Hill
  • The Paper Store of Westford
  • Toxics Use Reduction Institute - UMass Lowell
  • TRC of Lowell
  • Willis Group
  • Wilmington United Methodist Church
  • Winbrook
  • Yankee Alliance
  • Acton Congregational Church
  • ARCADIS
  • Emerald Court of Tewksbury
  • Social Security Administration in Reading
  • SSA, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review of Lawrence
  • Litle & Company employees and management

 

For helping make our Magic of Christmas Project a wonderful success, thank you to:

 

Kathy McCarthy, St. Joseph the Worker Shrine, and those who worship

there for a van load (see pic) of new gifts they donated through their Giving Tree, Hands to Mind Connection for 28 new quilts

 

Thank you to the following wonderful individual sponsors of our families this year:

  • Denise Abell
  • Renee Andrews
  • Peter and Diane Baker
  • Rajeev Balakrishna
  • Alexandra Belleville
  • Tammy Bernier
  • Frances Bilotta
  • Lynn Blodgett
  • Amy Boshco
  • Lori Bower
  • Allison Brown
  • Doug and Marie Brown
  • Peter Brox
  • Chris and Roberta Butkovich
  • Bryan and Wendy Cabral
  • Jane Calvin
  • Jamie Canafax
  • Nancy  Carew
  • Amy Cheruin and Family
  • Peter and Libby Conway
  • Carolyn Cummings
  • Laticha Davis
  • Phyllis Dougherty
  • Virginia Early
  • Lyle and Darline Eiben
  • Peter and June Folger
  • Kat Folger
  • Tom and Laura Fusco
  • James Gabriel
  • Suzanne Gibbons and Robert Fesmire
  • Becky Gibson and Gary Bottom
  • Pat Giuffrida
  • Joyce Hamlyn
  • Sally Harris
  • Christina Hausman
  • Sheila  Heen
  • Valorie Hemphill
  • Lori Hicks
  • Tyler and Pamela Hill
  • Diane   Hurley-Leach
  • Joyce   Hussey
  • Harold and Mary Johnson
  • Tracey Johnson
  • Jim and Pam Kazeniac
  • Kathleen Kennedy
  • Angel Krimm
  • Laura Lapierre
  • Nicholas Leonard
  • Carol Long
  • Marc Macedo
  • Michele MacPherson
  • Michael and Norma Manning
  • Carl and Nicole Mason
  • Meaghan McCarthy
  • Stephanie McElligott
  • Colleen McGrath
  • The McKiel Family
  • Jennifer Minai-Azary
  • Janice  Moran
  • Lisa Nason
  • Lisa Newell
  • Joyce Newton
  • Maureen Nigro
  • Kendra Noiles
  • Mark, Sarah, Lexi, Tyler, and Elizabeth Nolan
  • Louise O'Brien
  • Leslie O'Donnell
  • Eileen Offer
  • Melanie Peach
  • Heike Petermann and Yvonne La-Garde
  • Dawn Priest and Ed Delaney
  • Linda Quinn
  • Chaya Ramanujam
  • Nancy  Rayne
  • Lisa Reeney
  • Cindy Roy
  • Olivia Rubeski
  • Gayle Rubeski
  • Susan Santonelli
  • Karen Shurtleff
  • Pat Stratis
  • Susan Sullivan
  • The Svendsen Family
  • Kathy Thursby
  • David and Denise Welker
  • Betsy Wildes Butters
  • Marilyn Williams

 

 

 

 

Our Monthly Sustainers:

All of our monthly online donors such as Ronald and Deborah Schneider, Jenny Shaw, Heike Peterman and the many others that make a monetary donation.   

 

Back On the Rack Consignment Shop at Drum Hill in Chelmsford for helping us to raise money  

selling fancy items our poor families cannot use.   

 

Epilepsy Foundation for partnering with us to take our unneeded clothing to Savers in Nashua. What a win-win!  

 

NECR for partnering with us with the Red Bin project. We now have red clothing collection bins being placed all over MA, NH and RI to help raise funds for Wish.  

About Us

Donate button

Our mission is to provide basic goods to help local poor families move out of homelessness permanently. We do this primarily through recycling useful things to fill wish orders placed by clients.  Find out more on our website www.thewishproject.org or call us at 978-441-9474.

 

Drop off donations:

 

Tue/Wed/Fri and Sat 9am-2pm

 

No appointment needed but call first if it is snowing or near a holiday.

 

Foundry Industrial Park Lowell, MA 01852 

Off of Plain Street in Lowell.

 

Like us on Facebook 

 

 

Promote your business in the Friends of Kevin Newsletter

Promote your business in the Friends of Kevin Newsletter

I am really excited to announce that I am starting the Networking Success for your business newsletter from the Friends of Kevin Networking Group. I will be sharing networking tips, networking success stories, great content from the Friends of Kevin Radio Show and tips on how to improve your business in each issue.

In addition to the great content, the newsletter will provide you with an awesome and affordable way to promote your business. Advertisement space is available for only 50.00 per issue. The Friends of Kevin newsletter is a great way to promote your business to a diverse group of business owners in both Mass and NH. Advertisement space is limited to please contact me today at 978-995-1743 or by email at [email protected]

Networking Success Story: Tami M Dristiliaris

Networking Success Story: Tami M. Dristiliaris

Making time for networking pays off.  I became a successful business owner because of networking. The key to my ten years of success is to be visible in every community possible. By attending each and every Friends of Kevin networking event I am in contact with some of the same and always new business contacts with whom to share my personality. You are your business and when people realize you are easy to speak with and have a high level of expertise in your field, they remember.  

So get out there, know your trade, speak about what you do and let people know you're a person with a service they or their friends need.  And trust me, you will get referrals.  Time is the key so make time in the New Year and get networking.  Remember, there are many people who do the same thing you do, but you do it better!!!  Oh, and don't forget your business cards!  

About the business:

Law Offices of Tami M. Dristiliaris, LLC, provides legal representation in Massachusetts to both individuals and businesses in all aspects of family law, personal injury, estate planning, landlord-tenant, collections, bankruptcy, real estate law and other legal matters.

We provide individualized personal attention and expert legal representation in helping you meet and attain closure to your legal issue while keeping you updated and informed about the progress of your case.  We go above and beyond to ensure you are satisfied and "serve all of our clients with care and compassion."

Newsletter from Matt Schwartz of Schwartz Financial Services

LPL Independent Investor

December 2012

 

Making a Charitable Choice

 

The greatest benefit of charitable giving is the knowledge that you’ve made a positive contribution to others. At the same time, charitable giving can also provide tax breaks so long as you are aware of some rules and keep track of what you’ve donated.

 

Choosing a Charity

The first step is to identify an organization you wish to support. There are thousands of charitable organizations to choose from, supporting such causes as environmental protection, curing illness or improving the lives of children. Start by identifying what is most important to you.

 

Next, you will want to do some research. If you want to claim a tax deduction for your gift, you’ll need to make sure that you are dealing with a registered charity to satisfy IRS rules. Your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) can provide information on charities.

 

Once you have a short list of registered organizations, contact each one and ask for a copy of its annual report. This report explains the charity’s mission, lists its key personnel, and provides a breakdown of how donations are spent. Pay careful attention to marketing and administrative expenses, which can vary widely among organizations. You will probably want the majority of your money to go to those who need it. Keep in mind, however, that high expenses related to awareness campaigns are designed to educate the public and increase donations, so they might not be cause for concern.

 

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance also provides independent evaluations of popular charities. These reports are available online at www.give.org. You can also request written reports by writing to BBB Wise Giving Alliance, 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22203.

 

IRS Rules for Giving

You are free to give as much to charity as you like. However, you will need to follow IRS rules and keep records of your gifts to claim tax deductions. Monetary contributions are the easiest to report. Always pay by check and make the check payable directly to the charity. Ask for a receipt and save it along with your canceled check and your bank account statements.

 

A deduction is no longer allowed for monetary gifts unless accompanied by a bank record or a written receipt from the charity indicating the amount of the contribution, date of the donation and name of the charity. If your contribution exceeds $250, either in cash, certain property or out-of-pocket expenses that are attributable to volunteer work, you will also need to obtain a written description of your gift. This description must contain an acknowledgement from the charity of your contribution, a description of noncash items donated, a statement of whether the charity provided goods or services in exchange for the donation and—if goods or services were provided—a good-faith estimate of their value.

 

The IRS has ruled that the fair market value of goods and services should be deducted from any charitable contributions used to offset taxes. Keep in mind that fair market value may differ from what you pay for the goods or services offered. A good example of this is the popular practice of selling candy bars. As an example, say that you pay $2 for a candy bar to benefit a local school. The fair market value of the candy is actually $1 were you to purchase it at a local store. That $1 is deducted from your contribution, leaving you with a deduction of $1. To simplify your tax reporting, it might be best to turn down any goods or services of more than nominal value that a charity offers in exchange for your gift.

 

Noncash Gifts

To declare charitable gifts of certain noncash items worth more than $500 (such as used clothing or furniture), you must supply cost and acquisition information for the items given. When claiming single noncash gifts worth more than $5,000 (excluding publicly traded stock), you must include an appraisal of the gift’s value with your tax return.

 

Two such gifts to carefully consider are used items and time. Items such as computers and clothing are subject to depreciation over time, so you won’t be able to declare your purchase price as a deduction. Time spent volunteering typically isn’t deductible; however, expenses associated with volunteering, such as transportation and materials, are deductible.

 

Appreciable Gifts Are Best

Items with the potential for appreciation are the best gifts for tax-conscious charitable givers. You can avoid capital gains taxes by donating assets that have appreciated in value. Outside of a charitable trust or foundation, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce taxes through charitable contributions. You can donate appreciated stock, artwork, antiques, collectibles or other noncash items as long as you have owned them for at least one year. You can deduct the full fair market value of the gift from your taxes, and any appreciation will escape taxation.

 

Consider selling appreciable assets you have owned for a year that have lost value, with the proceeds of the sale donated to charity. This allows you to remove the full fair market value of the assets from your taxes while still claiming a capital loss on the depreciation.

 

In addition to direct gifts to charity, other options include a charitable remainder or charitable lead trust or setting up a private foundation. However, complex rules govern the creation and maintenance of these vehicles. Thus, tax and legal advisors are necessary to determine if a trust or foundation is appropriate for your situation.

 

Charitable donations are an excellent way to reduce your taxes and make a difference in the lives of others. And while it’s natural to consider charitable giving during the holidays or at tax time, it’s also important to remember that the need to help others lasts year round.

 

This article was prepared by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications and is not intended to provide specific investment, tax or legal advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult me, a qualified tax or legal advisor if you have any questions.

 

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications or its sources, neither S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall S&P Capital IQ Financial Communications be liable for any indirect, special, or consequential damages in connection with subscribers’ or others’ use of the content.

 

Tracking #: 1-120755

 

 

Matthew M. Schwartz

Financial Consultant

 

Schwartz Financial Services, Inc.

3 Baldwin Green Common #209

Woburn, MA 01801

 

[email protected]

 

Tel: (781) 932-3289

Fax: (781) 998-3099

 

Website:  SchwartzFinancialServices.net

 

Professional LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/SchwartzMatt

 

Professional Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzFinancial

 

Personal Facebook Profile:  facebook.com/SchwartzMatthewM

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

Can you help me choose the Final Fifty Friends for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?  

I am really excited to announce that we only have fifty memberships available for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group and I need your help choosing the remaining members of the group.

I realize that some of you might not be aware that you can be a member of the group, so I should probably start by listing the major advantages of membership. Before I do that, I would like to tell you why I am limiting membership to 300 Friends. That answer is pretty simple, I don’t believe that the group can be successful if we have twenty people who do the same thing. I spend a lot of time promoting my clients through social media and it becomes silly if every day I am asking you to call a different person for the same service. I think most people will agree with that. So here is a list of the major benefits of membership:

1. Monthly promotion to my over 8,000 social media connections through the use of my blog.

2. Personal introductions to potential clients and partners to help you grow your business.

3. A 15 minute interview on the Friends of Kevin Radio show.

4. Members receive their own page on the Friends of Kevin website.

5. Membership is limited to 300 clients to better help you market your business.

6. Low membership fee of only $200.00 per year.

Many people ask me “Who is a good Client for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group”. That answer is pretty simple. I am looking for two types of clients. If you meet someone and you say to yourself ‘ I have never met someone who does that’ then please introduce them to me. Also if you think your friend is the best at what they do then please introduce them to me.

Often people will ask how should I introduce you? Please introduce me to your friends by email ( [email protected]) but please make sure they want to hear from me. It gets pretty awkward when you call someone and they say Friends of What? Is that a support group? I am looking for people who want to be part of an exclusive networking group focused on helping them grow their business.  

If you have questions please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 978-995-1743

So can you help me choose the final 50 members for the Friends of Kevin Networking Group?

As always thanks for being my friend. 

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Jack Wang - A common mistake with inherited IRA's

How to inherit $40,000 and throw away almost $149,000. Or a common mistake with inherited IRAs.

Years ago, I was referred to a young couple – Bill and Mary - who wanted some help with their money.  They were both 30, had good jobs, and were looking forward to their life together.  In all respects, they looked like a typical young couple.

 

Some months prior, the Bill’s mother had passed away and left him an IRA worth $40,000.  One of the reasons they wanted to sit down with me was to understand their options with this account.

 

When it comes to inherited IRAs, there are specific IRS rules that must be followed.  Simplistically, the key question is how fast you want to take the money out.  As a non-spouse beneficiary, Bill could not combine the inherited IRA with his own.

buildings,buy,buyers,closed,Fotolia,home,houses,loans,mortgages,moving,offers,Photographs,properties,purchases,purchasing,real estate,rent,sales,Signs,sold 

As the young couple was starting out, they wanted to do what many couples in their position want to do – buy a house!

 

Before I had a chance to speak with them, they did what most people would do in this case – they took the money out and put it as a down payment on their new home.

 

Let’s take a look at some numbers here:

 

Withdraw the $40,000 – good!

 

Pay income taxes as well as a 10% penalty as they are both under 59 ½ - $16,120 – boo!

 

Net amount is just under $24,000.

 

As an alternative, Bill could have taken out the money slowly based on IRS life expectancy tables.  The IRS allows beneficiaries to do this – though taxes would be due, there would not be a penalty and the remaining balance would continue to grow.

 

Assuming a hypothetical 5% return, what would have Bill gained by his retirement age of 67?

 

Over the years, Bill would have taken out almost $54,000 in distributions after tax.

 

PLUS the inherited IRA would still have just under $78,000 left in the account.

 

Plus the taxes and penalties they paid by withdrawing the account - $16,000!

 

Total?  Almost $149,000!

 

(Bill and Mary threw away $125,000!)

 

What if we were conservative and used a hypothetical 1% return?  Well, it would still be about $57,000.  Bill would have received $23k in after tax income.  The account will still have $18k left.  And of course, the $16k Bill and Mary paid in taxes in the beginning.

 

This situation reminds me of an old Sprint commercial.  There were several of this type and they still make me laugh.

 

Bill and Mary used that money as a down payment and I’m sure their home is very nice.  They made their decision, and I certainly wouldn't judge them for doing so.

 

They didn't understand IRS rules regarding this situation and it cost them.  Bill was an engineer and I can’t remember what Mary did professionally.  But neither were tax or IRA experts!  This example is one way people spend money unknowingly, without thinking it is really “spending”.

 

Beneficiary designations and planning isn't just about picking some names.  It also is about what options you want to leave to your beneficiaries.  This was a fairly simplistic scenario, but if siblings were involved, or the other parent (Bill’s father) was still alive, things get more complicated in a hurry.

 

When was the last time you reviewed your beneficiaries?

 

 

Let's visit! Use this link to schedule a time with me:  http://doodle.com/merjfinancial

 

 

T. Jack Wang
M.E.R.J. Financial Group 
voice - 877-226-4157

fax - 877-226-4157
Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/thejackwang

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thejackwang

Blog: http://merjfinancial.blogspot.com/

 

Friends of Kevin Guest Blog post from Steve Gamlin - When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

When It Comes to Giving, Cecile is the Real Deal!

In January 2009, I made a promise to myself: ten percent of EVERY dollar I make as a speaker goes to a non-profit, as quickly as possible. This goes for sales of my books as well. A last-minute event recently garnered a few book sales. The charitable share was ten dollars.

What can you get for ten dollars?

An amazing life experience.

A recent hectic afternoon already included getting my snow tires mounted and casting my vote in the election. Time was tight. As I made my way up Mast Road in Goffstown NH I saw the Hannaford parking lot approaching on my right. A quick game of mental volleyball drew my finger the directional, and I entered the lot.

With a soon-to-be-activated gift card in hand, I found myself standing in the ’14 items or less’ aisle with one person ahead of me. Then I heard a nearby cashier open her lane. From behind me, a sweet little voice told the gentleman behind her: “You go ahead, this young man is paying for my groceries”.

A gallon of milk and small bag of apples then thumped onto the belt.

With a smile, I turned to see an adorable senior smiling at me.

“Okay”, I replied with a smile, reaching for my wallet.

“Oh, no dear, you don’t need to do that, I was just joking” she nervously backpedaled.

“No worries, I do positive things for a living…and you’re the first person that ever said that to me!” With a laugh, I shook her hand. “I’ve got you covered”.

I then made her promise to pay it forward by sharing a smile with someone in need that day.

She agreed.

As we walked toward the exit discussing random acts of kindness, she pointed wistfully out the large glass windows. “A few months ago, I collapsed out there…a nice young woman came to help me and called 911.”

A few steps later, after the automatic door whooshed open, I introduced myself and she clasped my hand, informing me that her name is Cecile.

“Cecile, it has been a pleasure meeting you and making you smile today!”

With steps much lighter than the hurried ‘gotta get to all my errands’ ones of my entrance, I got to my black Honda CR-V. The rear-view mirror revealed a smile a mile wide. As I uncrinkled the receipt in my hand, I discovered this amazing experience had cost me just $7.93.

Cecile, THANK YOU! You showed me that we are ALWAYS in a place to commit and act of kindness for a fellow human being, as long as we keep our eyes and ears open.

I am so glad she was the person behind me that day.

Besides, the guy behind HER had a carriage which tested the limits of the 14 item rule...and I think one of them was a lobster!!!

How can YOU reach out this week and share your goodness and energy?

I bet it won’t cost much…and the rewards will be amazing!