Stranger's '26 Acts' Gesture Makes Family's Morning

An anonymous person bought breakfast for people Friday at the Sunnyside Cafe in Marlborough, in an act of kindness seemingly inspired by the Newtown tragedy.

OUTSIDE BOSTON, MA -- A local woman was walking back to her table at a cafe Friday morning when she saw the looks on her family's faces.

"When I sat down they were silent and showed me a note on a piece of paper. At first I thought it was a joke, but when I saw the note on another table, I knew it was real," said Julie Purcell, a Marlborough resident.

The handwritten note (pictured with this article), left at Purcell's table at Sunnyside Cafe around 9:15 a.m., indicated that their breakfast was paid for: it was one of several a kind stranger requested servers leave at patrons' tables.

The note read it was one of "26 acts," which is an apparent movement in honor of the victims of the shootings in Sandy Hook, CT.

"I called the waitress over to see who did this beautiful act of kindness, and she replied by saying, 'I can't tell you, I'm not allowed to. I was given a few of these notes and was to choose who received them. I decided to choose you,'" Purcell said.

"Water filled my eyes with all the emotional tragedies that have occurred in the past week," Purcell said. "It is so heartwarming to know that there are good-hearted, kind people out there."

We at Patch are touched by the stranger's random act of kindness, and know there are many other stories like it out there. Have you been the recipient of kindness from a stranger? Does the holiday season prompt you to do more things for others? Tell us in the comments.

Charlene Arsenault December 21, 2012 at 06:12 PM
The random acts of kindness movement is working!
Heather Gould December 21, 2012 at 06:46 PM
My friend had her Kmart layaway paid off.
KelleyAnne Bujold December 21, 2012 at 06:52 PM
People have been trying to do this for years... Its sad why but its great to know its finally catching on..
Danielle Horn December 21, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I missed this when I first saw the note - but yes, the "26 acts" is seemingly part of the campaign to honor the victims in Newtown, CT.
Meg Anderson December 21, 2012 at 08:26 PM
a man in dunkin donuts this morning (I think Southboro) paid for all the people's orders who were in line at DD's this morning. My husband was one of the lucky recipients! He thanked the man and said Merry CHristmas! Now it is our turn to pay it forward. I love nice stories for a change.
Charlie Schnapps December 21, 2012 at 09:07 PM
This is great. I find this far more heartwarming than the hollow gesture of wearing some sort of clothing in support of a cause. It's not hard to take a stand with words against horrendous acts and horrible diseases. It's not so often you see someone actually making a difference by doing what this anonymous stranger did today. Bravo, sir! (Or ma'am.)
Peg December 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM
A story about this was on the CBS Evening News last night. It was about a boy in Michigan, Jayden Lamb, who died of cancer and his mother and father one day bought the person behind them in line their coffee at a take-out just as a thank you from the community for being so supportive. The giving took off. Go onto the Evening News web site and see for yourselves. It was a very touching story, have kleenex nearby. It appears this mystery Santa saw this story and applide it to Newtown. I anonymously paid for the local homeless guy a coffee and donut this morning as I saw him coming in the door. It makes you feel great to know your are helping someone out, or even just making them smile, in some small way. What a better world this would be if we could keep this going every day of the year.
Garland Mac December 27, 2012 at 04:39 PM
There is a grocery store that I shop at located near a retirement home for the elderly. Most of them are on a very low fixed income. I drop envelopes in their shopping baskets with a $20 bill inside when they are not looking. The glow on their faces is worth more than you could possibly imagine. I wish I could do more for these needy seniors that are not as fortunate as I am but it makes me feel good also for the bit I do.
Its Allgood December 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I am turning 50 in Feb and one of my goals is to do two if not more random acts of kindness each month!! I love love love helping others
PghStlrFan December 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
You are an amazing person. I like how you search out those in need.
PghStlrFan December 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I was at the drive through at Jack-in-the-Box last year and when I drove up to pay I was told that my meal was paid for by the driver in front of me. I was very puzzled as I'm not poor and drive a decent car. Why me? But then I realized the message was about passing on acts of kindness, not just about the needed. Pay it forward. Now I do the same. Sometime I look for someone that may not have much, other times I pick the nicer cars to send along the message. It's such a great feeling.
Starla December 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM
My husband and I did this last year Christmas. We were on a road trip to visit his parents and we stopped at some local diner for breakfast, (we drove through the night). I spotted four service men seated nearby and apparently they didn't have enough money. Just barely enough for coffee and maybe some toast. I mentioned this to my husband and he called over our waitress. He instructed her to order up a soldier sized breakfast for each of them and to put the cost on his check. Most importantly, instructed the waitress not to let on who did this. With a healthy tip, she went on about her mission. We had a great time watching them enjoying their surprise meal. It was one of the best Christmas presents hubby ever gave me.
Phyllis Cusumano December 27, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I look forward to my chance to do a good deed this holiday season and throughout this coming new year that God is giving to me. I am truly blessed and want to forward my blessings to others. I don't have much but will give always.


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