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At the Cairn, we are always looking for ways to be able to bless people. The cool thing about a blessing is that it can come in many shapes and sizes. When you make purchases in our coffee shop, you are being a blessing to teens in our community through funding the Rowland Arts Center for Teens, located in our second floor. When you leave a tip, you are blessing people locally and globally through organizations that are rescuing and empowering people.

We strive to be a place where people can gather and "drink deep" in life and relationships. As a result, we see blessings take shape. At the beginning of this month, we started a Pay it Forward board, where anyone can be a simple blessing in the life of another by purchasing a drink or food item for somebody else. Some of the items are for specific people like a college student or a bald man. Others are for anyone in general. One item had the requirement of rapping Ice Ice Baby for a hot chocolate, which happened by the way! It so happened the first day we put the board out was the coldest day in Winchester in the last 20 years. A few people bought some cups of coffee to put on the board, and we saw people coming in out of the cold and being blessed to receive those cups of coffee. We have seen one lady buy her sister's favorite drink and leave it up on the board. When the sister came in the next day, she bought her sister a drink in return, which led to another drink being purchased for a total stranger. The blessings have had a real snowball effect (it's safe to use that analogy in this weather, right?). 

The coolest (sorry, on a bad pun roll) story happened this week. A lady was in here with her young daughter, and the daughter saw the board and wanted to buy a drink to add to the Pay it Forward board. When asked if she would like to buy the drink for a specific person, she simply said a homeless person. Though we do have several in the homeless community here in Winchester, we often don't see them. It just so happened that this morning a homeless gentleman was digging through our dumpster. Because of the heart and generosity of a little girl, a homeless man received a cup of coffee and blueberry muffin on this cold January morning. There was a genuine smile of appreciation when we told him who bought that for him. 

We don't always know the impact we make when we try to be a blessing for others. We can only trust that the blessing will plant a seed and grow into more blessings. It's the kind of thing that makes a heart grow three sizes, whether you're a grinch or not. Find a way to bless someone today. Maybe it's a kind word. Maybe it's doing a chore around the house for your spouse. Maybe it's buying a cup of coffee for a friend. Most importantly, make it from the heart and feel the joy that accompanies it.