I attended a newborn photography workshop in Salem, Oregon last fall with Robin Long Photography which was an amazing few days with a group of amazing women in Robin's beautiful natural light studio. I had the most beautiful surprise the night I pulled into Salem and checked into my hotel. It was evening and I needed dinner, so I just stopped at the Fred Meyer store down the street from my hotel and got the fastest hotel food from the deli - a mac and cheese to heat up in the microwave in the room. Not very healthy but fast and easy.
When I returned to my room, and opened up the mac and cheese packet, I was surprised to find a crisp $100 bill in between the cardboard and the plastic cover. Of course I thought it was fake, but then I looked closer, and then googled it and learned that there's a good person who leaves these bills in food at grocery stores and Walmart stores in South Salem and signs them "Benny." Once I read a few of the stories on the Today Show and Oprah, I realized that they were meant for folks that really need the money so I joined the ranks of paying it forward and forwarded it to a friend that was struggling paying for groceries for her children. Another favorite summary is in this article from the Statesman Journal that they track where the bills have been found and how they have helped folks!
The whole experience just made my day and made me realize what a beautiful community I had just arrived in! It still makes me smile when I think about "Benny" and there are lots of great stories about how "Benny" has changed lives in Salem and around the country. What a difference just one person can make on many many lives! Thank You Benny! Or as Oprah say... "Be Benny!"