Beyond the Card: Blue Cross Employees’ Random Acts of Kindness


| 5 min read

Whether it’s paying for the next person in line’s coffee order or holding the door for someone who has their hands full, a random act of kindness can brighten the day of everyone involved. In the true spirit of the season, finding opportunities to connect, give and share joy can start as a small, simple act and translate into a ripple effect. Opportunities to connect with your community are all around. We're pleased to share these small acts of kindness, submitted to us by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees. If you'd like to share a short story of your own in the comments section, we'd love to hear it. Dawn Apley, Detroit: “I witnessed an accident on the way home from work, so I pulled over to help people who had gotten out of one of the cars. A mother collapsed in my arms from the sheer emotion of how bad it could have been. I wrapped her small child in a blanket and stayed with them until paramedics took them away.” Daryl Nahorodny, Detroit: “I was walking with my daughter and we saw an 80-year-old woman cutting her grass. She looked exhausted. I asked her if I could do it for her, and we ended up not only cutting her grass, but my daughter helped her plant flowers and other plants in her yard. It was a great feeling to help her.” Snehal Bhagat, Detroit: “When I was vacationing in India, I was being driven through a crowded street and saw a malnourished, elderly man with both legs amputated. He was begging for food. He was being walked over by many people going about their busy lives, and not one soul made eye contact with him. His clothes were ripped and he had many scars on his hands. I had the driver stop the car. I got out and walked over to the man, looked in his eyes and was overcome by compassion. I opened my wallet and gave him everything I was carrying that day.” Rhonda Brown, Detroit: “I invited a homeless man to lunch at the Detroiter Bar. When I went to pay for our meals, someone else had already paid for both of ours. I thought that was really cool.” Jeremy Buhrmann, Grand Rapids and Andrea Buhrmann, Grand Rapids: Last Christmas, we joined a few coworkers and raised $250. We used the money to buy groceries for strangers. We also buy the person’s drink behind us at Biggby Coffee every time we go.” Randy Dudley, Detroit: “I went to Starbucks one morning during the winter, and a man was in there asleep. I looked him over and noticed that his gym shoes had huge holes in them. He also had on a military jacket. Being a veteran myself, I went to my car and grabbed my work boots out of the trunk. I left them at his feet with a cup of coffee for him to have when he woke up.” Jocelyn Edwards, Detroit: “I was out having breakfast one morning in a local restaurant, and in walked an elderly lady, nicely dressed and alone. I greeted her as she greeted me: with a smile. Then I observed her carefully selecting her meal. As I was preparing to leave, I asked my waitress for my bill and paid for the cute elderly lady’s meal, too. I left feeling happy for the rest of the day.” Kathleen Jackson Smith, Detroit: “I’ve put money into parking meters when they’re about to expire, returned a lost 1½-carat diamond ring and paid bills when people were short of money in a checkout line. Strangers have returned valuable things that I’ve lost and paid my balance when I was caught short at the checkout too. The world is what you make of it — if you put in good stuff, you will get good stuff back.” Eileen McLaughlin, Detroit: “My husband and I go out to breakfast on Sundays. At least once a month, I pick a random table and pay for the customers’ breakfasts when I pay my own bill. My husband doesn’t even know I do this!” Lateef Mitchell, Detroit: “During the summer, I take my daughter to get ice cream a lot. Whenever we are in line and there is a kid or a group of kids who don’t have enough money to get what they really want, I tell them it’s on me.” Derrick Roberson, Detroit: “I was in the cafeteria and a new intern was trying to purchase his lunch with his debit card, but the card reader wasn’t working. He didn’t have any cash with him, so I paid for his lunch and wished him well.” Ruth Walker, Southfield: “I gave a homeless couple money and arranged for them to receive a box of food every Saturday from my church’s food pantry.” If you’re looking for more information on our employees’ involvement in the community, you may also want to read these posts:
Photo credit: Denise P.S. This post is part of a storytelling series we call, “Beyond the Card.” These stories will feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members, employees, and communities who are making meaningful differences throughout our state. We invite you to follow Beyond the Card stories here at and through the hashtag, #BeyondtheCard on our social channels. If you have a story you would like to share, please feel free to contact us at
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association