Despite going through really challenging times, a mom-of-two who received a donation from a stranger decided to buy the essential items her kids needed and then use the remaining amount to buy food for another family in need, creating a ripple effect of kindness.
In November 2020, when an extremely powerful tropical cyclone, called Goni, hit the Philippines, Rochelle and Rodirick Arcangel Reyes’ house in the Catanduanes Bicol region got destroyed and washed away. The family of four lost everything, including all their appliances and clothes.
Following the devastating destruction, the couple along with their two young kids went to live in an evacuation center for a month. However, with the fear of an increased risk of Covid-19, Rodirick and his relatives began to build a house with leftover scrap from houses that were destroyed in the typhoon. Yet, this was only a temporary solution, and after three months, the family began to live with Rochelle’s parents.
“My husband’s work has been badly affected by Covid-19 and lockdowns up until now we haven’t finished building our house,” Rochelle, 29, a full-time homemaker, told The Epoch Times.
During this dark phase, Rochelle joined a group called “The Kindness Pandemic” on Facebook and shared an incident of how her husband was on the receiving end of kindness when he was delivering a parcel. Inspired by the story, a woman who wanted to bless the family sent $50 to Rochelle as she knew she and her family were struggling.
Rochelle was very happy to have received help from a kind stranger. With the money she got, she bought her two kids food and milk and decided to keep the remaining amount to buy her daughter, who was about to turn 3, a small dream Peppa Pig cake. However, Rochelle immediately changed her mind and instead went to help a needy fisherman’s family who she met at the evacuation center.
“I knew how it felt to be hungry, and I knew they were in the most difficult situation at that time,” Rochelle said, adding that one of their children needed to get a CT scan done.
Sharing her motivation of wanting to help, she said: “I thought because we were blessed, why not be a blessing to others who I knew needed it more.”
Rochelle felt a sense of warmth after handing over some food from the grocery store to the kids, who dug into their bags.
“My eyes swelled in tears seeing the joy in their faces,” Rochelle wrote on the Facebook post. “The blessing that was given to us by that kindhearted person extended into other families much more needy than us.”
Rochelle further added that she thanked God for giving her the opportunity to help another family due to the blessings she received from the woman that day, adding that her daughter would understand why she didn’t get her dream cake for her birthday.
A few days later, Rochelle again posted on The Kindness Pandemic group, sharing another unexpected incident of kindness.
Rochelle, who had ordered a banana loaf from a baker friend, was surprised to receive a small bento Peppa Pig cake as a belated present. For Rochelle’s daughter, it was a wish that was granted, and she was beaming with happiness and singing “Happy Birthday to me.”
Overcome with emotion, Rochelle said, for her daughters, the cake meant a lot, as her kids had gone through so much trauma in the past year, including losing their house, living in an evacuation center, and now, living in a room where they are isolated from everyone else and unable to meet and play with their friends.
On looking back at all the kindness she and her family have received, Rochelle said: “I’m so amazed by the rippled effect of the kindness of all the people involved; this season in our life has been a challenging time.
“I think what keeps me motivated and strong despite difficulties in life is to never lose faith in humanity. There is still good in every situation. We just have to always look at the brighter side, and all of this shall pass, we just have to endure and have faith.”
With the current situation owing to the pandemic, Rochelle believes that there are still good people around the world who are willing to step forward and help without asking for anything in return. She wants to remind everyone that any act of kindness, either small or big, can have a huge impact on someone’s life.
“Choose to do good to others and goodness will come to you in your most unexpected ways,” Rochelle said.