Last Wednesday was absolutely beautiful here in DC. I found Nicole relaxing in her military uniform on a park bench.
Nicole is an active duty officer in the United States Army. A product of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) program, Nicole is an Army nurse stationed at a nearby medical center. The soon to be First Lieutenant said that she chose a career in the military to “travel and see the world.” I chuckled a little bit when she said that because I swear I recall a commercial for the army that said exactly that.
Nicole was waiting to meet up with someone that she found on Craigslist who was selling some tickets to the Nationals vs. Brewers baseball game on Saturday. The Wisconsin native not only used the free online marketplace to find baseball tickets, but also found her apartment on Craigslist.
Nicole’s phone rang and the man selling her the tickets, Don, informed her that he had arrived with the tickets. She walked over to meet him and I followed her over hoping to still ask her a few more questions (I’m persistent). Don, who had also served in the military, was unable to go to Saturday’s baseball game because he had tickets to game 2 of the Capitals playoff series with the Montreal Canadiens.
Nicole paid Don and he handed over the tickets and then gave her $20 and said, “The first beers are on me. Enjoy the game!” I thought that was a really nice gesture. I told Don about my kindness project and gave him my card.
He left and Nicole and I spoke for a few more minutes. I was interested in her own giving habits and how those ideas were formed. Like me, she suspected that her values on giving were probably shaped by her parents. Given her current financial situation, she is limited in how much she can donate to organizations, however, sometimes she gives money to people she encounters on the streets of DC. “It’s more of a spontaneous decision,” she tells me as she explains why she gives. Coincidentally while we were talking a woman walked by asking for money and we both refused to give to her.
Nicole plans to use the $10 to buy some food at the ball game. I asked her if there was anything that she needed help with that I could post on the Lend a Hand page. She thought for a minute and said that she needed someone to buy her fish tank. “It’s a 10 gallon fish tank in good shape. I just want to get a bigger one. It comes with the stand, pump, heater, some rocks, and plants.” If you are in the DC Metro Area and are interested in a fish tank, drop me a note and I’ll connect you with Nicole.
We walked toward the metro where we said goodbye to one another and she thanked me. I nodded and thanked her for her military service.