An anonymous act of kindness has sparked a ripple effect of good deeds across Missouri after a woman bought a $17 book from Target last week.
27-year-old Ashley Jost was shopping at the department store in Columbia when she remembered that she had committed to doing a reading challenge with her friends.
The challenge consisted of reading 10 pages of a book every day for 75 days. With this in mind, Jost grabbed a copy of “Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals” by Rachel Hollis.
Upon returning home, Jost sat down on her couch and started reading. Shortly after she sat down, her dog started barking. Jost then threw the book down onto the cushions so she could soothe her pup.
When she returned, she was surprised to find that a $5 bill had appeared on her floor.
Assuming the cash had flown out of the book, Jost began thumbing through the pages in hopes of finding a clue.
She then found a pink sticky note tucked between the chapters. The note read: “To the person who buys this book: I am having a tough day. I thought maybe I could brighten someone else’s with this little surprise. Go buy a coffee, donut, or a face mask. Practice some self-care today.
“Remember that you are loved. You are amazing. You are strong. Love, Lisa.”
I just finished a chapter of a book I bought at Target in Columbia, Mo., this morning.
Afterward, I tossed it on the ottoman and $5 fell out onto the floor. Then I found this note. Wow. People are so cool. pic.twitter.com/U5fOCZjNRy
— Ashley Jost (@ajost) April 28, 2019
Needless to say, Jost was touched by the note.
“I thought it takes someone really special to divert the energy and attention on a bad day to improving someone else’s,” Jost told BBC. “I know if I was having tough day I’d just want to sit in my pajamas eating ice cream!”
Jost wanted to share the sweet gesture with her friends on social media, so she posted a photo of the note and cash to Twitter. The photo garnered thousands of retweets and likes until it was eventually publicized by various news outlets.
Jost now says she is being flooded with responses from people who have been inspired to do their own random act of kindness for a stranger. Even her father told her that he was motivated to pay for the groceries of the person standing behind him at the store.
Jost herself committed to paying the good deed forward by spending $5 on good deeds every day for a week. She has since left her own note and gift card inside of a library book; she gave a gift card to her friend going through a hard time; and she paid for the coffee of the person behind her at the Starbuck’s drive-thru.
Jost says that she hopes the news stories and media attention will eventually reach Lisa, the author of the pink note, so that she knows the full impact of her simple act of kindness.
(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photos by Ashley Jost