David Trinko: Kind gestures make big difference

First Posted: 11/25/2014

The gesture only cost about $13, but it left a lasting impact on Angela Jacobs.

She stood in line with a package at the post office in Lima, striking up a conversation with the older couple ahead of her. The 80-something-year-old man asked about the picture on a button, of Airman Jimmy Sellers.

She explained she was sending some comic books and snacks off to Jimmy, a 2014 Bath High School graduate taking firefighting classes at Goodfellow Air Force Base, near San Angelo, Texas. He’ll head off to serve in Japan soon, the proud grandmother said. Their chat ended when the couple went to the counter to handle their postage needs.

When Jacobs stepped forward, the clerk informed her the couple ahead of her paid for her postage. She sprinted outside to see the couple get into a car and drive away.

“She blew me a kiss, and he touched the brim of his hat, an Air Force hat,” Jacobs recalled. “I sat in my car for a long time. I had to clear my tears before I could drive.”

They’re called random acts of kindness, or paying it forward. They’re little gestures that mean the world to the people who receive them. They’re always worth so much more than they cost.

Larry Shumaker benefitted from one Monday, along with other residents of Lima Manor who were away from the nursing home and enjoying breakfast at Lulu’s Diner on Spencerville Road in Lima. A stranger decided to pay for the entire group’s breakfasts.

“It was a little surprising,” Shumaker said. “We didn’t know who it was. The waitress really didn’t know who it was. She said it wasn’t a regular. But it sure was nice.”

Brandy Sellers has been on the giving end before, paying it forward. She occasionally buys coffee for the person behind her in line at Biggby Coffee in Lima. Her husband once bought dinner for some strangers at Texas Roadhouse.

“I had read about it in the newspaper, where someone went and paid for breakfast at McDonald’s,” she recalled. “I thought it was an awesome idea. You never know what someone’s going through. It might make their day, where they can pay it forward, and help somebody else out.”

She thought it was a good policy for life, to help out a neighbor, whether they say they need it or not. Little did she know her son, Airman Jimmy Sellers, would benefit from it one day, via her mother.

“I explained to him what happened,” Sellers said. “He thought it was pretty awesome. He’s seen his dad do it before for a vet, and he looks up to his dad a lot. For it to happen to him, he felt pretty proud.”

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