School is right around the corner, and we all know what that means: shopping for school supplies. As a student myself, I will be the first to tell you that these items are EXPENSIVE. It doesn’t matter what age or academic level you are at, stores will find a way to take up all your money before the school year starts. Some people are fortunate to be able to afford these expenses easily, but for others the struggle is real.
Back to school shopping can be stressful for any family, but it is undoubtedly overwhelming for single moms. These women are already on a tight budget, and the beginning of the school year can loom ahead like an enormous obstacle. This was certainly the case for Billie, a single mom who lives with her 7 year old son in Florida.
Billie had been single for her boy’s entire life. She had always found a way to make ends meet, but it required dedication, creativity, and compassion from others. “It’s always been just me and him, so I’ve been a single mom for 7 years,” she explained to BoredPanda. “I have 4 jobs and I am also a full-time student so not much time for dating.”
When asked about the hardships of parenting solo, Billie was very frank. “Of course it’s difficult,” she said. “It is intended to be a two person job. We honestly wouldn’t make it without family, friends, and the kindness of strangers.”
Billie’s boy was about to enter 2nd grade, and he was very excited. Only one thing stood in the way of Billie giving her kid the best year ever: the astounding cost of school supplies. The mom wondered how she would pull through this time, but her prayers were answered when she received a private message from an anonymous stranger.
“This woman messaged me,” Billie recalled. “She found me in a mom group, I’ve posted there for advice a few times. I didn’t know her at all.”
The stranger reached out to Billie and gave her the surprise of a lifetime. She explained that although the two had never met, she had noticed Billie’s name in the list of members for their group. She originally kept scrolling, but there was something about this mom that stood out to her. Some force beyond her comprehension was pulling their paths into alignment, and she couldn’t ignore this gut feeling.
“I’m not a single mom,” the unnamed woman admitted, “but I know it’s hard af. I have too many friends who are. So if you need/want the help, I’m looking to buy the school supplies for 2 single moms who need it. If you send me screenshots of your kid(s) lists, I will have all of it drop shipped to any address you choose.”
She only had three conditions: 1) that she would remain anonymous, 2) that if Billie didn’t want the help she let the woman know ASAP, and 3) that Billie would pay it forward one day if given the chance.
Billie was in total shock. She had never imagined someone doing this for her, and even as she read the words she couldn’t believe what was happening. After a little prompting she gratefully accepted the offer.
“I’m conflicted because I am not good at accepting help,” the single mom revealed. “But I can’t even explain how amazingly this would help.”
And that was that. Billie remained skeptical about the woman, thinking this scenario was too good to be true, until she saw the school supplies for her son arrive. Inside the mail boxes were everything she had asked for and more. This mom was blown away by the kindness she had been shown.
“I opened the boxes today,” she shared. All of my son[‘s] school supplies, and some extras. A new pair of shoes, which is awesome [’cause I’m] super thrifty and hardly ever buy brand new things. He is gonna be super excited!”
When asked why she had done all of this, the woman shared a heartwarming story of her own. When she was young, a man who had donated to the university she had applied to saw her name in a newspaper. He promptly called the university and “told them all of the money he donated was required to go to my education expenses for the next 4 years.. It was $75k. He refused to meet me, didn’t own a telephone and would only communicate via hand written letters.”
Needless to say, this act of kindness changed her whole life. It gave her an opportunity she otherwise wouldn’t have had, so now that she had the chance she was spreading that kindness around.
Billie was so grateful to receive the financial help, but she was even more glad for the valuable lesson it taught her son about kindness. “I owe this woman so much,” she shared. “I hope this story helps other people want to do more kind things, just to do them.”
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