Indianapolis recently hosted thousands of FFA (Future Farmers of America) members for their annual convention. While they were seen throughout the city, what often went unnoticed were the inspiring acts of kindness they demonstrated.
One such heartwarming story involves the Amt family, consisting of John, Randi, and their three children. For the past ten days, they have been residing in a local hotel, but not for leisure. Their home experienced significant flooding due to a toilet malfunction that occurred during their fall break, necessitating their extended hotel stay.
John Amt humorously mentioned, “Living in a hotel can be fun for a little while, but being in a hotel for a long time gets to be a little difficult.”
The difficulty increased as they attempted to put their three children to bed while the hotel’s hallway was bustling with students from Eureka, Kansas, who were in town for the FFA convention. The Amts recounted how the students were being noisy in the hallway, particularly around 10:30 at night.
Randi initially felt frustrated and considered approaching the students to request quieter behavior. However, she decided to wait for a more opportune moment, which presented itself the following night when she knocked on the students’ door.
She explained to the students, “I know you’re in town for the FFA convention, and we want you to have fun while you’re here, but you were a little loud last night, and you woke up my kids. I was just hopeful you could be a little quiet tonight.”
Randi also shared the reason behind her family’s extended hotel stay, describing how their house had flooded and they couldn’t return home. The students, understanding the situation, apologized for their noisiness the previous night and wished the Amt family luck.
Around 20 minutes later, Randi discovered a heartwarming note on her hotel room floor. Inside the note, it read, “We’re sorry about your home. We wanted to give you something maybe that could help you,” accompanied by $40 in cash.
The following morning, when the Amt family encountered the FFA students in the hotel lobby and expressed their gratitude, the students revealed that they had heard a speech at the convention about the importance of paying kindness forward. They had distributed cards to all attendees, encouraging them to find someone in need and perform a good deed.
Inspired by the students’ generosity, the Amts decided to pay it forward. They combined the $40 from the FFA students with additional contributions and initiated a fundraising campaign on a YouCaring site they created. The collected funds will be used to assist the homeless in Indianapolis, either through direct cash donations or by purchasing essential items like hats and mittens.
In Randi’s words, “We realize how blessed we are. We’re fortunate to have shelter, even though we’re staying in a hotel. There are a lot of people that don’t, and winter’s coming up.”
Additionally, the Amts expressed their gratitude for the valuable lesson this experience has taught their three young children, emphasizing that the example set by the FFA students is worth more than any amount of money.
Trint Peine, the advisor of the FFA students from Kansas, expressed his pride in their actions, stating, “My kids went out and used what they learned to make a difference.”
In an era often marked by division and discord, these stories serve as a powerful reminder that simple acts of kindness can create a ripple effect of goodwill and compassion in our communities.