On Wednesday, I got a strange email from a woman in LA claiming to represent Yahoo!. She asked if they could come into one of our stores on Thursday and spend $6,000 paying for people’s purchases, up to $150 per person. We were pretty sure it was some sort of weird hoax, but I called them anyway.
The woman assured me she was legit, though she understood our concern. She said, “I almost wrote ‘this isn’t a hoax’ in the email, but I thought that made it sound even more sketchy.”
And actually, it wasn’t sketchy at all. Yahoo! has been developing a kindness project, and sending teams out into local businesses to create ripples of kindness. By doing something nice for someone, the hope is that person will turn around and pay it forward.
Five people in bright purple Yahoo! shirts bearing the slogan “How Good Grows” descended on our Brookline store yesterday and planted themselves next to our cash registers. For almost two hours, every person who came to check out was told that their purchase was courtesy of Yahoo!, and all they were asked to do in return was to pay forward a kindness.
The reactions were amazing. Some people cried, others laughed and a lot of people were just dumbfounded. For a couple of hours, the store was filled with euphoria. It was an amazing thing to watch.
This is the season of giving, but giving isn’t necessarily the same as kindness. Giving, especially at this time of year, can come from a sense of obligation. Kindness is a state of mind — and it is contagious. So whether or not you took home some free toys yesterday, I hope you’ll watch our video, catch some of the kindness and spread it around. It feels good.