Tangible Token of Kindness Spread Goodwill To others

Jack Davis sneaks a smooch from his wife, Eileen Davis, of the Village of St. Charles, Tuesday, in their home. Jack hands out pins to people when they are caught in the act of kindness. The pins have either a red heart or a broken purple heart for Alzheimer’s disease.

Jack Davis isn’t known for his letter-writing skills. And he’s certainly not about to put pen to paper when he wants to express a sentiment.

So he found himself in a conundrum when he wanted to acknowledge people for being extra kind.

“Guys aren’t about to write a thank-you note to somebody,” said the Village of St. Charles resident. “It’s just not going to happen. When you come across somebody who is exceptionally nice, you tell them they’re nice.”

But he wasn’t satisfied with the fleeting nature of verbal praise, either.   So he put his creativity to work three years ago and thought of a way to reward acts of kindness, charity or exceptional unselfishnessness with something tangible.

He designed and had pins made for people to put on their shirts.

The pin has a heart prominently in the middle with “It’s the Little Acts of Love” embossed on top. On the bottom, it reads: “Give Freely.”

They pins are called “Little Acts of Love.”

“It’s the little acts of love that make this world go around,” he said.

Davis said that people love receiving them, and they respond in all sorts of ways, such as with hugs, kisses and, sometimes, tears.

He likes to give them to cashiers and retail establishments when they’re exceptionally pleasant to deal with.

He gives them to waitresses who do an exceptional job.

Since he got the pins made, he’s given out about 400 of them.

At the latest meeting with caregiver-support group Our Moments Cafe, Jack gave them to a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

And the founders of OMC Dick Boyden and Joan Bender, of the Village of Osceola Hills, received them, too.

Boyden said the gift was unexpected.

“It was just his way, you know, of saying ‘You did good,’” Boyden said.

Davis’s wife, Eileen, is undergoing treatments at the hyperbaric chamber in Brownwood and gave the pins to staff there.

“These people are extraordinary,” Jack said. “They take such good care of my wife. It’s mind-numbing.”

When someone gives you a gift, it’s supposed to be yours to do whatever you want with, right?

Not with Little Acts of Love pins.

“It’s not a permanent gift,” Jack said.

He requests that people take the pins off when they meet someone in the act of extraodinary kindness and give them away.

The objective of paying it forward is to remind people that it’s true that giving is better than receiving.  

But Eileenis the beneficiary of all of Jack’s permanent gifts.

Jack is her full-time caregiver, and she has enjoyed his support and love every day since she was 18 years old.

She doesn’t mind sharing him and his kind nature with others. She knows part of his enjoyment in life is to recognize others, especially when they’re being kind.

“(The pins) are fantastic,” Eileen said. “My

husband is fantastic.”

Staff writer Julie Butterfield can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5254, or julie.butterfield@thevillagesmedia.com.