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Found money, trophy photo, free ribbons — small acts mean the world to recipients

Several readers caught people being kind recently and shared their stories with the Daily Journal.

Angie Simmons’ son was coming home from Afghanistan, where he serves as an Army Cavalry Scout, and Simmons wanted to welcome him in style.

She erected a large banner along Missouri 32 near their driveway, but she needed wide yellow ribbons to tie on the trees.

“I went to Butterfield’s Florist in Farmington,” she said. “When I told them what it was for, and that I would need a lot of ribbon, they made the ribbons and gave them to me for free.

“It was really sweet of them.”

Kayla was shopping with her mom in Walmart in late November when she pulled something out of her pocket and didn’t realize a $100 bill fell to the floor. When they went to check out, Kayla realized the bill was gone. She and her mom told the manager what had happened, but no one had turned it in to customer service. They went looking for the money, but figured it was gone. Who could resist keeping a $100 bill they found on the floor?

The woman who found it could.

As Kayla and her mom were trying to figure out how to pay for their goods, a woman walked up to the manager and said she had found money on the floor. It was Kayla’s bill.

“She said she was returning it because it was the right thing to do,” Kayla related.

Kayla hugged the woman, but was so overcome by the return of the act of kindness and honesty, she forgot to get the woman’s name so she could send a proper thank you.

“I will be eternally grateful to that generous lady and what she did for me,” Kayla said. “I hope she is reading this so that I can let her know just how thankful I am. It means very much to me that she was kind enough to return my money.”

Jack was looking forward to seeing the World Series trophy when it came to Farmington, but he was so excited, he forgot to bring a camera. While he was waiting for the trophy to arrive, a man came in and started talking with Jack. They were both big Cardinals fans.

“Did you bring your camera?” the man asked Jack.

Jack admitted that he had forgotten it. So the man said he would get a photo of Jack with the trophy. Sure enough, when the trophy arrived, the man took the photo. He asked for Jack’s address and said he would get the photo to him. When Jack offered to pay him, the man refused. Although the man told Jack his first name, he cannot remember it now.

“I figured it would just be a small photo,” Jack said. “He gave me an 8 by 11.”

Jack said he wishes there were more people like the kind man who took his photo.

“The world would be a better place if there were more people like him,” Jack said.

On Feb. 18, Jennifer Iahn and her family of Leadwood were on the way to an auction in Hopewell when a neighbor called to say one of Iahn’s dogs was out. She returned home to put the poodle back in the house. Everything seemed fine.

Within 45 minutes, her mother-in-law and cousin drove up.

“Your house is on fire!” they told her.

Iahn, who raises Chihuahuas and poodles, rushed home, hoping to save the nine dogs who were in the house. But when she arrived, the dogs were dead, an outdoor dog had been shot by a police officer, and the inside of the house was destroyed.

“We lost everything inside,: Iahn said. “The structure is sound, but will have to be gutted.”

The fire marshal said an electric heater started the fire and that it appeared the problem occurred in a direct wire to the thermostat, Iahn said.

Recent serious health problems cost Iahn her job, and one of the first budget cuts she had to make was home insurance. She ended the policy not long before the fire.

The losses devastated Iahn and her family. Iahn was most worried about her nearly 9-year-old daughter. Natalie lost everything, including her softball trophies and the tiara she won as the city’s first “Little Miss Leadwood” when she was 3. These losses followed others that were equally hard on Natalie. Her grandfather died in front of her, and aunt also had died. Two foster sisters were taken back by their mother on the day the Iahns were to adopt the girls. Now, Natalie’s beloved pets were gone, her favorite memorabilia was destroyed, and she had nowhere to live.

Iahn is thankful they live in Leadwood, “the little town we love so much.” As soon as residents heard the news, they turned out to help.

“Leadwood might be a little town, but it’s filled with big hearts,” she said.

The paramedics worked on the dog shot by police to keep it alive and stabilized. After a $300 surgery, the dog is doing well, Iahn said.

Kevin Goforth and Randy Beckett, who knew Iahn’s husband, Jason, through his work as a Little League coach, set up collection centers for donations and organized a fundraiser at Owl Creek that was held Thursday. Beckett offered his Farmington apartment for the family to stay rent free until they get back on their feet and can move back home.

Natalie’s school sent home new outfits and tennis shoes for her, as well as Barbie dolls and other toys. The First Baptist Church of Leadwood provided clothing and food. Farmington Correctional Center, where Jason used to work before an injury, and where his mother still works bought the family a couch and beds. Someone who read about their plight through Facebook gave the family two poodles, Jennifer Iahn said.

She wonders if the generosity also had to do with karma.

“We were never made out of money but we tried to help anyone else who needs it,” she explained. “It’s nice to see it come around.”

The Daily Journal challenges you to look for kind acts and share them with us for publication. Your stories may be submitted online by going to and clicking on Act of Kindness link. Or, you may report them to Paula Barr at or 573-431-2010 ext. 172.

Caught Being Kind will be published each Friday in the Daily Journal.


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