Heroes of Small Proportions

He’s a normal guy. A normal guy who cashed his entire paycheck last month for charity. He did it because he was ahead of his bills—for once.

At first, he was going to put the money into savings, but something made him do otherwise. Call it a gut feeling.

He’s a part-time truck driver and a night-shift security guard. He’s a dad with two daughters—he sees them mostly on weekends.

The first person he gave money to was a woman at his daughter’s daycare. The woman’s car had duct tape covering her passenger window.

“Here,” he said to her. “Someone told me to give you this.”

A hundred big ones.

The lady almost lost it. He didn’t expect the reaction—which was unrestrained hugging.

His next victim was an old man in a supermarket parking lot. The man was placing flyers beneath windshield wipers.

Our hero dug into his pocket.

The old man only looked at the money with big eyes. “Are you with the company who hired me?” he asked.

“Yeah,” he answered. “Here. The boss told me to give this to you.”

The farmer’s market, downtown—he wandered the booths of honey jars and fresh breads with his daughters.

A teenage boy and girl were playing guitars. They had CD’s for sale. They had young voices and real talent.

But nobody was buying. People only walked by them.

He dropped a tip in their bucket. Then, he bought their whole box of CD’s. The teenagers were so overcome they forgot how to hold their guitars.

And, for the next few weeks, he searched for people to give money (and CD’s) to. He tipped waitresses too much. He tossed money at men holding cardboard signs. He even tipped his mailman.

Then, it happened. He was at a uniform-supply outlet. He was on the job, making a delivery.

The woman was hard to miss, she had kids with her. She was buying scrubs. Her money was on the counter for the world to see.

The cashier watched the woman count quarters.

He took his cue. He threw his money down. “Here. Someone told me to give this to you,” he told the woman.

She almost fainted. She thanked him. She offered to pay him back. He declined.

She explained that she’d been hired at a veterinary clinic. It would be the highest paying job she’d ever had. But new employees were expected to supply their own uniforms. She couldn’t afford hers.

Something inside him was moved. He gave her all that was in his pocket. Every last buck and penny.

And here’s where it gets good. The store owner came from the back when he heard what was happening. He got in on the giving frenzy. The owner gave the woman her money back, along with several pairs of scrubs and nursing shoes.

The woman was too choked to speak. So her daughter spoke up.

“This is a miracle,” the daughter said. “You made a real miracle for my mom.”

Well, you should know that these folks are not miracle workers. They’re regular Joes with nine-to-five jobs, mortgages, and power bills. They’re people doing the best they can.

“It was just one paycheck,” Todd says. “But I’m telling ya, it felt like more. I felt like I was actually making a difference in this world.”

You were making more than a difference, Todd. You were making magic.

By the way. Here.

Someone told me to write this about you.


  1. grantburris - February 4, 2020 6:58 am

    Magic. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it, Sean. You tell it well. I loved reading about it. What a great storyteller you are. Thanks, Todd, for being the kind of person you are.

  2. Sandi. - February 4, 2020 8:02 am

    I absolutely adore reading such wonderful stories of good deeds by ordinary people who brighten someone else’s day.. Thanks for telling us readers about Todd! May he be abundantly blessed for his generosity and kindness towards total strangers. Even if you cannot afford to give away a paycheck, try paying for the vehicle behind you at a fast food drive-thru and know that will make someone’s day happier. I know, because I was the recipient once, and then paid it forward. Kindness never goes out of style.

  3. Bkr - February 4, 2020 10:19 am

    Cried again. It makes my heart so thankful to be reassured there are good good people out there. I never Doubt it but it is still good to be reassured. Thank you for doing this.

  4. Meredith Smith - February 4, 2020 10:46 am

    Beautiful story. Thank you 😊.

  5. Grace - February 4, 2020 12:19 pm

    Love love love love!

  6. Liz Watkins - February 4, 2020 12:23 pm

    WOW! May they have many more Todds around the world!
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Pay it forward🙏🏻
    God Bless you, Sean!
    Liz Watkins

  7. Anne Arthur - February 4, 2020 12:40 pm

    Heart warming. Thanks for telling this wonderful story and showing us that we all could do like Todd, even if it’s not the whole paycheck. Getting those happy hugs in return is one big, lovely recompense. And, world-changing!

  8. Jan - February 4, 2020 1:07 pm

    Love this! Tears of joy and thanksgiving!

  9. chip - February 4, 2020 1:09 pm

    Our Father calls us to a couple of things, to seek Justice, love kindness and walk humbly with Him… wife wife sums it up perfectly …”just do the next right thing”
    You can call what Todd did magic – I’ve learned to see it called Grace and I’ve also learned you can’t out give God …

  10. turtlekid - February 4, 2020 1:40 pm

    We are all angels when we do HIS will.

  11. Susan McCall - February 4, 2020 1:40 pm

    How I wish our media would report on real, uplifting news like this! What a blessing! Makes me want to go out and do the same!

  12. Diane H. Toney - February 4, 2020 1:49 pm

    Angels without wings or halos. Around us every day in every way. We just aren’t looking.

  13. Shelton A. - February 4, 2020 2:29 pm

    God can use to do seemingly miraculous things…like we are earthly angels. It’s a joy to find that opportunity in your life. Todd, you earned your wings.

  14. Cathi Russell - February 4, 2020 2:47 pm

    Darn it, Sean, you did it again. Todd’s God-directed giving caused the ugly cry before 6am. Thank you!

  15. Betty F. - February 4, 2020 2:51 pm

    When you give it away it multiplies. They tried to teach us that in Sunday school as kids. Seemed so farfetched at the time. Look at the incredible goodness and HOPE he multiplied all over his world.

  16. Tim House - February 4, 2020 2:53 pm

    One of your best yet! Thank you. Faith in others restored… 🙂

  17. Richda McNutt - February 4, 2020 3:01 pm

    Someone told me to post this on FaceBook – thanks for making a difference, Sean.

  18. Joe Patterson - February 4, 2020 3:46 pm

    Thanks again most of us have more than we need great story

  19. Judy - February 4, 2020 4:02 pm

    Todd is beautiful…this story is beautiful…and you are beautiful to share it with us. 🌻

  20. Linda Moon - February 4, 2020 5:00 pm

    Todd, thank you for making magic for these people. Sean, thank you for writing about Todd. I’m very blessed to know and love two normal guys who are similar to Sean and Todd. I’m sending unrestrained virtual hugs to you two guys – Sean and Todd – and I’ll give real hugs to the other two later!

  21. Dawn A Bratcher - February 4, 2020 8:05 pm

    Todd has a generous heart with a lot of love! Thank you, Sir, for blessing so many people…you know, you are showing others how easy & wonderful it is to give assistance. May God bless you richly in many ways!

  22. Martha Young - February 4, 2020 11:10 pm

    Well done, thy good and faithful servant.

  23. Ann - February 4, 2020 11:33 pm

    What a “ world of difference “ this can make….if many could follow suit in some small way….a real feel good story….thank you…it feels good!

  24. Carol - February 5, 2020 1:18 am

    God Bless Him 🙏
    Love ya!

  25. Mara - February 5, 2020 2:45 am

    Brought tears to my eyes. Inspired me to keep a $100 bill in my pocket at all times and ask God to show me the people around me who need it.

  26. Connie Havard Ryland - February 5, 2020 11:50 am


  27. Betty - February 6, 2020 4:47 pm

    We haven’t received a blog in 2 days. Are we the only ones?

  28. Sandi. - February 6, 2020 11:30 pm

    Betty, it might be a glitch with your server, because I am still receiving Sean’s column daily. Go to the Archives menu choice at the top of this page and read them there.

  29. Janie's Jottings - February 9, 2020 12:38 pm

    Love this so much Sean!

  30. Regina Blanchard - March 8, 2021 11:10 pm


  31. D - September 30, 2021 2:34 am

    My daddy was a Todd. He taught his girls to be the same. We taught our kids. One literally took his shoes off on south side of Bham and gave them to someone. None of them are wealthy but the will help anybody who needs it. Sometimes they can’t resist asking if we think their Bop would be proud. That’s what they called their only living grandfather.

  32. Hattie Pricr - September 30, 2021 10:29 am

    Thank You, beautiful written tributes to this hero.
    Heart felt sentiment to make a morning worth just smell the Roses.
    Watch for the small deeds, truly you do so… Blessed.

  33. Dean - September 30, 2021 10:25 pm

    Enjoy reading about great people who give for the joy of giving. Thank You


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