Small Acts of Kindness Really Can be Just Small

Dear Reader:

When it comes to thinking of a small act of kindness to do on any day that comes along…a small act can go a long way. When I read this little short idea…I thought to myself how simple it was but also so profound in bringing a moment of joy to a child.

“Little Gifts” (KindSprings) Alisamom

“Today at the grocery store I gave my daughter two quarters and told her to put it in a random gum machine to make some kid happy. She added two of her own quarters and loaded up the most expensive dispenser machines there!”

Can you only imagine some child’s excitement to spot the gum or toy dispenser already filled with quarters…just waiting to be turned? A small act…but with such excited benefits.

I have to laugh thinking about leaving quarters in a gum machine…because many of you like me…still remember the penny, nickel, and dime machines. It wasn’t until the Super Gumball machines were created that the price “skyrocketed” to a quarter.

I started reading about the history of gum machines and it was really interesting.







Did you know that holy water was once vended? The first known vending operation started way back in Egypt in 215BC. It is thought the Greek mathematician Hero invented a machine to vend holy water in Egyptian Temples. Since then there have been many different variations on the vending machine.

During the early 1880’s the first commercial coin operated vending machines were introduced in Europe to sell postcards and books. Vending machines started to become universal selling everything from stamps, postcards, books, cigars, candy and gum. There was even a coin operated restaurant in Philadelphia, “Horn & Hardart”.

1 cent Gumball machines first became popular in the United States in the early 1900’s. The machines at the time dispensed gumballs or peanuts. At around this same time vending machines were gaining popularity. In 1871 Thomas Adams patented the vending machine in the U.S. to dispense gum. In 1888 he put the vending machines on the New York City train platforms which dispensed his chicle chew stick gum. Newer vending machines have taken an old idea and made it new again by offering everything from ice cream, sandwiches, candy and pop.

So until tomorrow…there will always be a certain excitement about getting a pleasurable item out of a vending machine…a childhood pleasure that continues throughout adulthood. Shouldn’t life be that way too? We never know on any single day what might pop out at us…but it is all part of life…sometimes good, sometimes not as good.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Don’t forget that tonight is Brooks Moore’s “Book Talk” concerning his book Chalk Talk… 30 short stories remembering special moments in teaching. It will be held this evening at Miler Country Club at 7:00 P.M.  80% of the proceeds go to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Since both Brooks and I are cancer survivors…this is a charity near and dear to both our hearts. Please take a few minutes this evening to laugh, chuckle, and maybe wipe away a tear or two.




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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