Amy Rees Anderson

A Simple Way to Change Someone’s Life For the Better

When we think of doing an act of service for someone we often think of it as having to be some major time consuming event that even the thought of doing stresses us out because we already feel that we have so much to handle on our plates that we can’t take on even one more thing.  Today I was reminded of how wrong that viewpoint is and how a simple little act of service can truly change someone’s life for the better without taking more than just a small moment of our time.  Here’s how:

Going into her senior year of high school, my daughter made a goal to do a daily act of service for someone.  Throughout the year she has shared some amazing experiences that have happened to her.  Tonight she came home super excited to share today’s act of service.  She and two of her friends took three big, warm, fuzzy blankets and decided to drive around until they spotted homeless people that were standing out in the cold along the streets.  The girls stopped to say a prayer before they headed out, asking Heavenly Father to help them find someone who was in need of a warm blanket.  They then took the three blankets and drove around town, looking for a homeless person to help that person stay warm from the bitter cold weather outside.  As they came up to a stoplight they found a little old man, who was missing most of his teeth and wearing a cute little beanie standing by the stoplight.  They stopped as the light turned red and leaned out of the car to hand the man the warm blanket.  He was so shocked and excited and he just kept brushing the warm blanket against his cheek to feel how soft it was.  He expressed his thanks as the light turned green and the girls pulled away.   As much as the old man was touched by the act of kindness of these sweet girls, it pales in comparison to the impact the act of kindness had on the girls themselves.  They drove away feeling on top of the world and so grateful to have been led to this person needing the warm blanket.  My daughter’s words as she expressed the experience were, “Mom, it made us want to go out and do even more!”  Then she shared the next act of service idea they came up with:

The girls are planning to put together personal hygiene and food kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, a hair brush, a water bottle, a blanket, and a McDonald’s or Subway gift card good for a meal.  They plan to put several of these kits together and keep them in their cars so that each day as they drive and come across a homeless person on the side of the road they can roll down their window and hand out a kit to the person.  What an awesome idea!  I am going to have the girls do several kits for me and my husband to keep in our cars as well.

What an inexpensive, yet incredibly meaningful way to help others in need.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if all of the people reading this blog would commit to making a few kits to keep in their car to give away over the next few weeks to any homeless people they see along the road? And just think of the impact we could have if each of you then challenged all of your friends and family to do the same?  We could make a massive impact on the lives of so many people in need!  But best of all, we would impact our own lives and hearts in the process, making each of us better, more charitable people.  I am so excited to try this!!!

And let me just say to my daughter, who I hope will read this blog, how truly proud I am of her for her commitment in life to serve others.  Many of us think about doing it, but rarely follow through with it.  Watching her be so dedicated to daily service is truly an inspiration to me and hopefully to all of you who get to read about it.  Thank you for being such an example to all of us Ashley!  You are amazing!!



  • Brenda Quarles says:

    What an amazing post! Good job, Ashley! I work for Coca-Cola in Eastern, NC and several years ago, Servant Leadership through stewardship became a major part of our company and managers started carrying healthy kits each day to give to those that are less fortunate and having a word of prayer with them if need be. I also purchase BIBLES to keep in my car to give. The opportunities are not hard to come by; all we have to do is do as the girls did; look just around the corner. Sometimes the persons that need the act of kindness is closer than you think; in your community, in the grocery store, near the bus stop….. There are a lot of hurting people who just need a warm blanket (God’s love from us) to wrap around them!!!
    Bless someone each day! Thanks Amy for sharing Ashley’s experience!!

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