Our neighbors gave us $40 after we powered their refrigerator with our generator during Hurricane Irene. No matter what we did, they would not take it back, saying replacing all their groceries would have cost a lot more.
The $40 they gave us is not a lot of money (in the grand scheme of things) but I feel a little…dirty about the whole thing.
Our neighborhood was without power for 27 hours From Sunday to Monday and we ran our generator for about five of those hours, powering both our fridge and our neighbor’s. Not even that long! We offered them a power chord because our generator is powerful enough to handle a second fridge, and because our generator is so fricking loud we thought sharing the electricity would soften the din.
We never expected to be paid and don’t want their money. The satisfaction of being a good neighbor and helping them out was payment
enough. The lady who lives next door is in her 80s and we thought she would really appreciate having air conditioning, ice, and cold food. Her daughter is always very friendly and thoughtful.
Now what do we do with the money? I’m trying to think of someway to spend it on them or pay it forward. Should we slip the cash into a thank you card? Buy them flowers? Do nothing at all?
When someone gives you cash or a gift of thanks that you really don’t want, what do you do?
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