Viral Kindness: Two Tasty Surprises

Apr 16, 2021

Credit courtesy photo

This week on Viral Kindness, Rachel Rutledge talks about two tasty surprises.


It was December, close to Christmas, and I was at the Riverside Café on 13th Street for lunch. It was a bright and sunny day, and I was by myself. I decided to really treat myself, so I ordered a pretty expensive salad, soda, pie, and coffee. My bill came to over twenty dollars. When I eventually asked for the check, the waitress told me it had already been paid by another guest. I couldn’t believe it! I looked around but it was not obvious who had paid for me. So I thought, ‘Chalk that one up to the Christmas spirit.’ That was such a nice surprise, I mean, nothing like that ever happens to me.

Or does it?

Three weeks later, I am in line in the drive-through at the Taco Shop at 21st and Woodlawn. There are a lot of cars in line. It is cold and windy and pitch black. I ordered about twelve bucks worth of food from there, which is quite a bit, but I really felt like Taco Shop that evening. As I get to the window, the staff member hands me my bag and says, ‘The car ahead of you paid for your dinner.’ I was floored! So twice in three weeks did I have random strangers pay for my meals. All right here in the great city of Wichita.

People give to shelters. They give to their places of worship. There’s a lot of formal giving. But there’s people who are out there spreading a little hope and a little happiness with some informal giving. And they don’t get anything out of it other than knowing that they put a smile on somebody’s face.