The spirit of the holiday season was turned into a spirit of giving this week in Omaha. More and more random acts of kindness sprouted up across the city.
While not all acts of kindness are directly related, last week NBC News’ Ann Curry tweeted out an idea, #26. She asked people to take part in committing 26 different acts of kindness, one for each victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Connecticut. "I think the only thing that can comfort you when you face something this tragic is do something good with it,” Curry said.
While uncertain of the motive, earlier this week Sarah and Louis Teal of Omaha found themselves on the receiving end of one of those acts. "He unexpectedly paid for all of our items," said Sarah. "We needed a shovel and we needed to get ready for the storm and he paid for it for us, it was a blessing."
It may not seem significant to some, but a man the couple had never met picked up their tab at Shopko near 84th Street and West Center Road. The bill wasn't large, which contained a shovel and some food items, but it was enough to bless the newlyweds whose budget was already stretched thin.
"We tried to squeeze all of our presents together and we wanted to make sure everyone was covered," said Louis. "When we were in Shopko we were like oh my goodness, are we going to be able to get presents for everybody and that man just came unexpectedly."
Up until about 11 a.m. Friday, a clerk at the Kum & Go near 189th and Q told Channel 6 News there was a good Samaritan standing out front of the store, handing out $10 bills to random people.
About the same time, a woman named Mary Simmons stopped off at the Omaha Police Department's Northwest Precinct with a special gift of her own, a meal for over 100 police officers.
"It brought a lot of emotion to the officers, where they were thankful," said Omaha Police Sgt. Kyle Steffen. "It was something they don't see every day, the thankfulness of the citizens that we serve on a regular basis."
Not all the acts of kindness were directly related to Curry's #26 idea. However, regardless of the motive, especially for the Teals it's a blessing that they are hopeful will continue through the season.