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Wave of Random Acts of Kindness Started After Woman Finds Anonymous Note Tucked in Book

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Buying a new book always makes my day a little brighter. For one woman from Columbia, Missouri, a single book purchase not only made her smile — it also had a much deeper impact than she ever expected.

Ashley Jost was grocery shopping at her local Target. The 27-year-old had recently made a pact with her friends to read more.

“We are aiming to read 10 pages of a book a day,” Jost shared with BBC. “I saw this book in the aisle, which I had heard a lot about on social media, so I bought it.”

Jost is speaking of Rachel Hollis’ “Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.”

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The book just so happens to address challenges most women face such as confidence, self-worth and simply believing in oneself.

How perfect was it, then, that Jost found an extra-special something hidden within the book’s pages — something from one woman to another, a reminder that the reader is valued and loved?

“I keep hearing this book is an easy read and kind of inspirational,” Jost told KOMU-TV. “So I thought, ‘Okay, 17 bucks, I’ll just grab this book and it’ll be my first read of this challenge.'”

It wasn’t until Jost arrived home that she discovered a note from a woman who only identified herself as “Lisa.”

Does Lisa's note inspire you to perform your own random act of kindness?

Jost was reading her new book when her dog began to bark. She set down the read to take care of her pup.

When she returned, something was there that she hadn’t noticed before.

“Five dollars fell out, and it took me a second where I was like, ‘Wait, what just happened?'” Jost shared with KOMU-TV.

She then took a closer look at the book and found a pink, handwritten note near the end. “To the person who buys this book,” the note began. “I am having a tough day.”

“I thought maybe I could brighten someone else’s with this little surprise,” it continued. “Go buy a coffee, a donut or a face mask. Practice some self care today. Remember that you are loved, you are amazing, you are strong. — Lisa.”

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Jost shared a photo of the note and $5 bill on Twitter. The tweet has, of course, gone viral and sparked others to pay it forward with acts of kindness of their own. “It sort of caught fire,” Jost told CNN.

While “Lisa” has remained mostly anonymous, CNN did report that the mystery woman happened to see Jost in the media and mailed a card to the campus where she works.

“She said it made her cry in a good way,” Jost told CNN while keeping Lisa’s identity under wraps. Jost has since completed multiple acts of kindness and even made plans to leave her own note in a book for someone else.

It didn’t stop with Jost, either. Her stepdad paid for someone’s groceries. Someone else took to social media to say she’d been inspired to pay it forward as well — and all because of one person who wanted to turn a bad day into something better.

“I hope wherever she is,” Jost told KOMU, “hopefully her day has improved, her chapter of life has improved, and I would definitely tell her thank you.”

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith