-Blog post by Mike B., a Kindness Investor from Cromwell, CT
Two days in a row, to waking up with more snow on the ground! I know, I live in New England so I should expect it. I do expect it, but to expect it and to like it are two very different things. I am not complaining though. After going to school in upstate New York (Oswego) and seeing snow fall for eighteen straight days one year, I am definitely not complaining. Besides, pitchers and catchers show up for spring training in a little over a month. I didn’t ask today’s recipient, AJ if he was a baseball fan, but you’ll see, at least his heart was in the right place.
A senior from Newington High School, A.J. works part-time in Goodwill Industries Store and Distribution Center in Newington, Connecticut. He’s been there since the beginning of the summer and he likes his job. He’s 18, a generally quiet guy and likes to be honest with everyone. He’s learning how to be a diesel mechanic at Newington High and will hopefully work in a garage somewhere. He says he loves cars and likes being around them. When he’s working, he works in both the Goodwill Store and the Distribution Center. He doesn’t really prefer one to the other, but he was in the Distribution Center today. There’s what looks like a garage door and a little car port for the people driving up and donating their goods. People drive up, unload their donations and then AJ and others in the center, divide them up into good stuff and trash. I asked him about that, thinking maybe a manager or higher level employee would decide what was trash or not, but no, he made that decision.
There were a lot of very large blue bins which were all stacked up waiting for donations to be put in them and three other bins that were marked trash. Those had mainly pieces of cardboard, some clothes hangers and miscellaneous trash in them. When I asked him how he got into the business, he mentioned his buddy was already working there and thought it was a decent job. He sees all kinds of donations and what he called the “crazy stuff”. What makes it crazy I was wondering and he said he saw a lot of antiques, people cleaning out their houses and donating it instead of just throwing it away. I did see a very large rimmed bright purple hat with some flowering around it which made me think of something out of a 1970’s movie involving pimps and did I mention it was the color of bright purple? That was my definition of crazy stuff. AJ said one item that came in recently was an old-fashioned electric razor, which could have been the one of the first ones ever! I was there really by chance as I was on my way to somewhere else, saw the Goodwill sign which made me think I needed to go through a lot of stuff of my own and decided to just stop in and see the place. I’m glad I did or I wouldn’t have met AJ.
He preferred not to have his picture taken, but when asked what he was going to do with the $10, he mentioned his girlfriend’s birthday was coming up quickly and he wanted to get her a necklace she had seen at Claire’s. The necklace apparently had little elephants on it and she was a fan of elephants. I just saw a movie trailer for Water for Elephants recently (a really good book) and wonder if he’ll take her to see it? I took a couple of pictures of the place and was on my way.