In today’s modern world, it seems that we are always on the go – rushing from one task or activity to the next, so pressed for time that we can hardly offer so much as a smile to a passerby, let alone a gift or token of kindness.

But not Bob Williams.

Williams, 93, from Long Grove, Iowa, has found a sweet, simple way to help folks in his community remember to slow down and be kind to one another.

 

A Decade of Chocolate Covered Kindness

Every Saturday morning, the local Dollar General in Williams’ home town offers a special deal – spend $25 and get $5 off. Rather than use this deal to purchase items for himself, the retired teacher and coach purchases $25 worth of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, not to eat, but to pass out to friends and strangers alike.

Part of his sweet tradition includes immediately taking three bars from his purchase and passing out two to the cashiers and one to whomever happens to be in line behind him.

After ten years of spreading candy-coated kindness throughout his town and community, Williams has come to be known as “The Candy Man”, which, after sharing an estimated 6,000 candy bars over the past decade, is a nickname that he has rightfully earned!

Williams has said that he began the simple tradition in an effort to bring people together and connect with those around him in his community.

And, according to locals in his town, his efforts seem to be paying off!

When the story of Williams’ chocolate-inspired acts of kindness made it all the way to Hershey’s, they not only offered to keep his home continuously stocked with candy bars, but they also paid a visit to his town of Long Grove in order to shoot a promotional video on “The Candy Man”.

When Hershey’s asked community members about Williams weekly candy giveaways, they had nothing but lovely things to say about him like, “I don’t think he realizes the effect he has on people,” and “He’s teaching all of us how to pay it forward.”

And while Williams may in fact be teaching his community about kindness and paying it forward, he says that simply being able to bring happiness to the lives of those around him is what really makes it worthwhile, “It just makes me feel good. It’s guaranteed to light up most anyone’s life. You’ll see.”

How would you feel if someone randomly gave you a candy bar? What small ways do you find to pass along kindness and pay it forward? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!

Margot CarmichaelMargot Carmichael has a passion for words. The author of multiple articles, blog posts and e-books, Margot has been writing for years and helping her clients, large and small, to tell compelling stories. When she is not writing, you can find her cooking, hiking with her English Bulldog or working on DIY projects. Read more about her and sample her work on her website.

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