There are many ways to celebrate a birthday. Parties are among the obvious choices for most. Going on vacation is another popular idea. Engaging in a big celebration is especially commonplace when an individual celebrates a milestone birthday – one that can easily be divided by 5 or 10. Take, for instance, one’s 40th birthday. Generally speaking, this is a cause for a major celebration.
Calgary’s Jaime Lawrence recently celebrated his 40th birthday. However, the way in which he chose to celebrate is one that can be considered out of the ordinary. Or, perhaps, to put it better – it was out of the kindness of his heart. As Ryan White reports for CTV News, earlier this month, Lawrence raised nearly $1,400 with the help of his friends in order to purchase Calgary’s Forest Lawn Co-op gift cards in $50 denominations.
To ring in his 40th birthday last week, he visited the Forest Lawn Co-op and handed out those gift cards to complete strangers. Hillary Johnson was one of those lucky strangers. She ended up meeting Lawrence in the produce section. “I just came to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner and Jaime, this very kind gentleman, gave me a gift card for his birthday which is so odd,” she is quoted as saying in White’s article, “I think it’s so kind.”
Johnson goes on to note that she plans on offering good deeds to others, much the same way Lawrence did. Evidently, the young man (we still feel it’s fair to refer to him as such!) made a lot of new friends on his birthday, ensuring that he was not the only one who was made to feel happy. He admits, however, that the idea to approach complete strangers was one that took some courage. After all, you never know how people will react.
Interestingly, Lawrence met with some people who actually refused his kind gesture. Some others passed their gift cards along. “You’re nervous because you’re sort of approaching total strangers,” he is quoted as saying, “But the deed just pushes you to do it…The surprise that some people just didn’t want it (because) they were in a good place. That one guy that tried to pay it forward and tried to give it to someone else, that’s so amazing!”
Lawrence’s kindness was not lost on the staff of Forest Lawn Co-op. They both live-streamed the gift card giveaway on their Facebook account and also surprised the birthday boy with a birthday cake. He was very gracious. “I didn’t anticipate this, I didn’t anticipate you guys,” Lawrence says in the article, “I was just going to do it and then some of my friends passed it around. Had no one been here I still would have been here doing this. Now I want to give out birthday cake.”
Lawrence’s generous birthday celebration didn’t end at the Co-op, however. White reports that he went on to distribute clothing that he had collected to several charities. The team, here at Canadian POS Corporation, would like to extend our best (albeit belated) birthday wishes to Mr. Lawrence and encourage all Canadians to consider such kind gestures themselves when celebrating their own special occasions.
Of course, one doesn’t have to wait until a birthday arrives to do something kind. But it’s certainly a great way to go about commemorating a special day in your life. With that said, we also encourage Canadian merchants to offer their customers opportunities to participate in such acts of kindness. If you’re not yet offering gift cards in your store, you’re certainly missing out on a big-time profit source!