Thrift Store Heroes: It’s The Little Things That Make Life Sweet

Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures in life that make the biggest impact on someone’s day. As a mom who wishes she had extra hands about a zillion times a day, I cannot express how much it means when someone holds a door open, offers to take a grocery cart back to the corral, or just gives me a compliment about my sons.

Sue, also known affectionately as “the chocolate lady,” is a shining example of someone making others’ days with a simple gesture like these. A Goodwill customer for approximately six years, Sue receives her joy from handing out Dove® chocolates primarily to customers and employees at the Twinsburg Goodwill store, but sometimes at the Northfield store, too.

Keeping a legacy alive.

Sue has been sharing chocolates – at a rate of three bags a week – for close to five years! While she enjoys doing it because it makes her happy and for the smiles she receives, she’s also keeping her mom’s legacy alive with every piece she distributes. Her mom also gave peppermints, other hard candy and Dove® chocolates to people in restaurants as well as her group of friends. Sue laughed that she always had a stash in her pocket, and even though sometimes it was melted, people always warmly received her kindness. This ‘medicine,’ as her mom called it, made many people’s days brighter — something Sue wanted to keep alive after her mother’s passing in 2010.

Dove chocolates were Sue and her mom’s favorite to give because they have a positive message on the inside of every wrapper. Some of them are fun, while others can make individuals pause and reflect:

– ‘It’s OK to slow down.’
– ‘Remember the simple pleasures in life.’
– ‘Forget the rules and play by your heart.’
– ‘Celebrate family and friends.’




And Sue always makes sure to remind recipients to read it so they don’t miss out on the wisdom inside the wrapper.

With two trips to Goodwill a day – one during the day with her husband, and one later in the evening once her son gets home from work, it’s no surprise Sue is a welcomed sight by store employees. She’s built many close relationships with everyone there. Sue says all the employees are very courteous and willing to help her and her family find anything they need. Sometimes employees are even lucky enough to receive two chocolates from Sue a day, depending on the timing of their shifts, which she jokes, they never turn down.

Spreading kindness can brighten your life, too.

Sue has certainly embodied her mom’s spirit and desire to spread joy to others with small acts of kindness. And to this day, she keeps a Dove® chocolate atop her mom and dad’s gravestones as a reminder of her giving nature. Perhaps the best lesson from Sue’s example can be taken from, where else, none other than the inside of a Dove® chocolate wrapper….

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

Thank you, Sue, for being a ray of light in others’ lives – may it bring you happiness for years to come.

~ Kim Rohr