Guest Post

Paying it Forward: Gordon the Stuffed Pig

Meet Lindsey! She’s a self proclaimed Professional Sunshine Spreader and she lives for Random Acts of Kindness. She wants to change the world into a more compassionate place, from her stories you can just tell that she’s definitely succeeding at it too. She’s guest blogging here today. Enjoy her post and don’t forget to visit her blog, Based On A True Story!

Yesterday, whilst preparing to enter the library for an afternoon of work, I caught a glimpse of a homeless man searching through the dumpsters seemingly quite intent on searching for some special object. I watched as his body language seemed to lift and stiffen in response to finding what he was looking for. He then dove halfway into the dumpster in order to fish something specific out.

When he emerged, his bright blue eyes were shining and his face was beaming with pride. I watched him stare with joy at a fluffy, soft-looking stuffed pig which was meant for a child to play with.

As my mind danced with the possibilities of who that stuffed pig was for, I watched him perform another dumpster dive with equal, focused intent on finding some treasure amongst the piles of unwanted items which others had deemed, “unworthy”.

This time, he emerged triumphantly holding two small rubber wheels with separated, flexible, and bouncy beam thingies (I am aware this is not a word, I just don’t know specifically how to describe what he was holding) which had rubber hooks at the end of each separated beam.

At this point, he noticed that I was watching him. I took the opportunity to ask who the pig was for. He then made his way over to me and sat down beside me as his face lit up, revealing a very bright smile and clear, blue, joy-filled eyes.

He excitedly told me about how he collects things and makes better things from what he finds and then either gives what he makes away or sells his creations for very cheap. He then held the pig up and with great excitement told me that he will be ripping out the area where the stuffed pig holds batteries and either make the pig into a backpack or puppet for a child in need.

My heart smiled so big at this point.

I told him I thought that was a fantastic idea and I could see how special that pig was- so special in fact, that I thought the pig needed a name.

I asked if he had given the very special pig a name yet. He shrugged and said, “No, I hadn’t thought of it… what do you think?”

I thought the pig looked very much like a ‘Gordon’ and my new friend agreed, thus ‘Gordon’ the stuffed pig was born.

At this point, I could feel my eyes sparkling to match the joy which spilled so generously from his eyes.

He then pulled out the small rubber wheel thingies and exclaimed, “With this, I am going to make a baby mobile! How perfect is this for a baby mobile?!?!”

I was pleasantly stunned by his level of creativity as the wheel thingie would be exactly PERFECT for a baby mobile.

He proceeded to tell me with great pride that out in the tent city where he lives, he has a whole separate tent for all the treasures he finds and art he makes.

Again, my heart was warmed and I was so very impressed by his creativity.

I then handed him a little cash and he said, “Are you sure?”

“Of course,” I told him. I continued to explain my status as a self-proclaimed ‘Professional Sunshine Spreader,’ and how I do my best to perform 3 random acts of kindness each day, and how I’ve been couch surfing as of late and it’s so important to me to pay forward all I have been given. I continued, “I haven’t done any random acts of kindness yet today and you are number 1.”

He responded, “I haven’t heard that I’m number 1 in a long time.”

We both smiled and we went about our separate ways.


I’m always completely stunned at how much kindness and love pours from every walk of life I encounter- if only I give myself the opportunity to see it.

What about you? When have you seen heartfelt kindness pour from the most unexpected place?


Want more from Lindsey? Start here:

35 thoughts on “Paying it Forward: Gordon the Stuffed Pig

  1. If only there were many more like Lindsey, such a thoughtful, caring individual. The world would be a better place. Thank you for sharing this and Kudos to this young woman, who gives of herself.

  2. I salute you Miss!
    I have 3 homeless friends, they camp around where I live.
    Last week when I came back from Brasil I saw one of them, she said she had missed me. To which I stupidly replied, you missed me or my food?
    Her answer felt like a slap with the back of her hand “You are more than food”
    I usually cook too much food and I hate to throw food away, so I fix little plates and give them to the homeless around. 2 of them baptized me as the Chicote El Bueno (Chicote is the Spanish version of Ramsey).

    • Hi! Good Morning! I LOVE your comment! Yes, it’s easy to feel like the heart within our kindness can go unnoticed. Being someone who chose a form of homelessness for a year and who continues to couch surf, I know first hand that the people who have given and continue to give to me are treasures who hold a very special place in my heart…. I can say thank you till I’m blue in the face, but I also know both words and gestures will never convey the the radiant and profoundly vulnerable love that lives in me… Which is part of why I simply pay forward what I’m given as I search for a place to call home.

      I’m so glad you share your food. I’m sure it’s very appreciated and I’m glad that person let you know that though your services are appreciated YOU are a treasure. I think that’s it… Though random acts of kindness are always wonderful… It’s more than the act…. It’s ultimately taking the time to actually see the other person as worthy, valuable and simply another human being….

      Thanks for taking the time to share. Your comment touched my heart. 🙂

      Have an amazing day,

  3. This story is so wonderful!! First: Couchsurfing is one of my favorite things in the Whole. Entire. World. I try to give my surfers the fun-filled experiences I was given!

    And you are such a wonderful warm-hearted person! I love your 3 random acts of kindness a day. I definitely need to adopt that and try to do that myself 🙂

  4. How incredibly cool that you see all the wonderful things around you and choose to focus on the positive things! It is so very nice to meet you sweet Lindsey. I also like to “pay it forward” and you have given me new incentive to do more each day!!

    • Thank you so much for your words! I’m glad you have renewed incentive to keep paying it forward!

      I’m smiling about “thingie, doodad and thing-a-magig”… They are so fun to say, that if they’re not real words, they should be!

      Thanks again and I hope you enjoy your day,

  5. Awesome! Lindsey, you (and this simple Everyman) are the exceptions to the basic Human Rule. Each story like this that reaches my eyes/ears gradually erodes my cynicism and restores my Faith in Humanity one person at a time (or in this case, 2 people at a time). Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Paying it Forward to Gordon the Stuffed Pig ¶ BASED ON A TRUE STORY

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