Paying It Forward: The tale of two cloth diapers, aka how my old post office needs more glitter!

A guest post by Samantha F.

At the bottom of this story is information about a wee contest we (Lil Helper and Samantha F.) are running. But you have to read the story first!

This story begins in November 2012, with my winning my first-ever cloth diaper! In an effort to build my stash ahead of getting pregnant, I started entering diaper giveaway contests. I won a diaper from the awesome Canadian blog Frugal Mom Eh run by the lovely Elizabeth, who told me my prize would arrive in a few weeks. I was SOOOOO excited!!

By mid-December, the diaper hadn’t arrived. I contacted Elizabeth who put me in touch with Mohammed at  who was so extremely nice. He said they had dropped the proverbial ball and that he would be mailing my diaper prize out in a few days with a little something extra to make up for the delay.

Mohammed emailed me a couple of  days later with a picture of the tracking label. I was so excited to get the diaper just in time for Christmas!

Then the fun began.

I was moving homes at the end of the year, so between moving homes and forwarding my mail from the old address to the new one, my poor  cloth diaper got lost.

I emailed right away to update Mohammed. He generously offered to send me another diaper, despite not having the first diaper returned. His offer to replace the lost diaper with a new one was even more astounding because it was due to no fault of his. Nor was any money exchanged between us at any point. All that he said he said was that we at Lil helper conduct ourselves in a manner that we want others to treat us. I was amazed at the generosity and kindness of Lil Helper!

Within a week I happily opened my mailbox to see I had TWO packages from Lil Helper! My lost diaper along with the second cloth diaper!

I emailed a photo of the package to Mohammed and asked him if he wanted me to return it as I felt bad having two diapers from them!

We agreed on a wonderful idea instead: let’s give one of the diapers away as a Pay it Forward act of kindness! What a fabulous idea huh!

And now (drumroll please) THE CONTEST

To enter to win a LilHelper Organic Bamboo Cloth Diaper in WHITE, tell us a story about how you have paid it forward to someone before. Or let us know how someone has done something out of the ordinary for you. We can’t wait to read your submissions!

Leave a reply here (your email will not be displayed) and let us know your story. If you win, we’ll share it here AND Samantha F. will send you the extra  Lil Helper Cloth Diaper.

Contest closes March 25, 2013 (that’s a Monday). Midnight. Alright, that’s Tuesday. But it will still feel like Monday.


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33 thoughts on “Paying It Forward: The tale of two cloth diapers, aka how my old post office needs more glitter!

  1. Alright, so I have a few stories but I keep coming back to my hubby (hope that’s okay).

    He consistently goes above and beyond in ways that amaze me as he shows his love. We got married last year with high hopes of a fun first year of marriage. Instead we’ve had family crisis, school crisis, surgery for me, and a surprise pregnancy which has put my disability into a tailspin. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which affects the connective tissue and the pregnancy hormones coupled with our high stress mean frequent dislocations, subluxtions, and a lot of being told what I can’t or aren’t allowed to do.

    Hubby has made it all easier though. When I couldn’t stand long enough to make dinner he learned how to cook things I could eat without being sick. He learned how to clean and now outdoes me on scrubbing th eshower and vacuuming. Even more important for me, he sits with me and listens on the days when my current health has me frustrated and reminds me that my value is not based on what I contribute but who I am.

    So I nominate my hubby for my story as he continues to amaze me with his selfless love and care for me and those around him.

  2. A little while before Christmas I was shopping with my 2 kids (who are now 23 months and 6 months old). They were in our Britax B-Ready stroller and a lady was really curious about it – so I talked to her for a little while about it. She complimented the kids and said they looked really happy. All I want is for my kids to be happy… So she really made my day! And then – she said she was done shopping and I could have what was left on a toys r us giftcard she had. It was a little under $10. It was such a nice gesture. I don’t know about everyone else… But Christmas time can be really stressful and this gesture made me realize that I really need to slow down and enjoy things. I hardly even notice people when I shop because I am always in such a rush – especially when places are busy. After this happened… I have a little more patience with my kids and people in general.

  3. My story takes place on May 24th, 2005. It was my husband and I’s second anniversary. Our first child had just been released from the NICU after two and a half months. We were drained physically, emotionally, and financially. We decided to “splurge” since it was our anniversary and go out to eat at the Olive Garden (I think we even shared a meal to save money). Our utter exhaustion must have shown because when it came time to pay, the check had already been taken care of. We never knew who did this for us, nor did they know just how much that simply act meant to us. All I can say is that it was one of our best anniversaries ever. This year for our anniversary (#10!!) we’ve decided to “pay it forward” by buying someone else a meal. I think it’s what our mystery person would want us to do.

  4. Well I just found out today that I will be receiving a free customizable necklace! My mom nominated me for a contest and I was chosen as the winner. So I will be having the necklace made in memory of our son, whom we lost last February. It is always nice to receive something that you didn’t expect!

  5. The announcer on our local radio station was travelling to El Salvador with a group called STIMMA. They were looking to take cloth diapers with them to give to the locals in need. At the time I had been looking for a way to volunteer, but with a toddler and new baby at home it was hard to even get out of the house, never mind find ways to volunteer with kids in tow. I realized that with some of the leftover material and elastic, and a moderate sewing ability I could make diapers to send with STIMMA. I worked on them in the evenings when the kids slept and on the handful of occasions that the boys were down for a nap at the same time. Before they left for El Salvador I was able to make 7 diapers to send with them. It isn’t much, but it was something to contribute. I created a facebook group, Kloth Kids.

  6. This is about some women whose generosity helped me greatly. i had been using dispoaables, and my 17 month old developed a sudden latex allergy, and thus began reacting to his diapers. We had rashes that wouldnt go away, eczema at the waist. Needless to say, I had to switch in a hurry. The catch was, we were both unemployed and couldnt afford to build a stash that quickly. Three women, that I have not met in person, but converse with daily in our Facebook mommy groups, went through their stash, and sent me extras they were not using. Granted they were Alvas, and used, and I had to wait for them to arrive, but it was a huge help to us. I have seen a huge difference and am now glad these ladies helped me out. They asked for nothing, not even shipping costs. we are still struggling financially, but I hope to give another mom in need a chance to cloth diaper, as I was given. Now though, i have the cloth diapering bug and want more LOL. My son is a super soaker so I am still trying to find the perfect night time diaper or insert combination. I have been wanting to.try a Lil Helper diaper, but it is currently not in my budget.

  7. The generosity surrounding a new baby is always overwhelming. We are expecting out first, and my husband’s brother just had his first as well. We have so many friends and family happy to clean out closets and basements of amazing baby stuff, as if WE were doing them the favour! Anything we’ve gotten two of (or just won’t work well for us) we’ve passed on to the in laws. If there is something neither of us need, it will go either the local woman’s shelter or parenting teens program.
    Lil Helper’s generous spirit (and humour) is a big part of the reason we want to use your diapers.

  8. My story is about none other that Mohammad and the ladies over at Thinking Outside the Sandbox (TOTS). For those who do not know, TOTS is a site to help entrepreneurs, specifically aimed at WAHMs. I email the site to ask if they had any information on patenting a product and, while they did not, they graciously asked one of their contributors if he did (that was Mohammed). Usually you do not expect much from info sites when they do not have what you are looking for but Mohammed got back to me not once but twice. TOTS also got back to me to forward Mohammed’s response as they didn’t know he had contacted me directly. I think that was well out of the ordinary in this age where it is so easy to miss emails or disregard questions since there is really no face you have to be accountable to.

  9. I am a young ftm with a limited income. My fiance attends college. So we know how challenging it is to gear up a baby on a limited budget. (Not that babies need things but carseats, strollers and high chairs are very expensive. I was able to find a lot of items secondhand online at lower price and sometimes for free. I noticed this post about a soon to be young mother in need. Her parents did not support her. I thought this was so terrible>I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my mom’s support. Unfortunately, this situation tends to play out a lot.

    So I went about trying to collect various baby items for her. I was able to get infant clothes, a great stroller and nursery decorations. I was really glad to be able to help her out. I hope that it helps it concentrate on finishing school because she doesn’t have to worry about about getting these items for her child. I truly believe in helping others. This is something that I would do 100x over. There is nothing like making someone smile and feel optimistic about the future.

  10. My daughter broke her snow shoes and we were in great financial problems so I called a friend that her son is my daughter’s age and asked her if she have some snow boots from last year, she told me she’ll look and an hr. later she showed up at my door with new snow boots for my girl, she said she couldn’t find any so she decided to buy her some. I was so overwhelmed and happy that couldn’t contain tears from falling. I realize then and there that things can and will get better and I don’t have to wait for that to do things for someone else. I didn’t give new shoes but I was able to give a ride to a very old man, cooked meals for some distressed neighbors between other things.

  11. Several months ago I was in a fast food restaurant on a lunch break when a lady came in and ordered several large milk shakes. She proceeded to tell the cashier that she was moving and she was getting the shakes as a snack for those helping her. She when she tried to pay with her debit card, for some reason it didn’t work. She explained to the cashier that she had no cash on her and asked if she could take them and leave some id or something from her wallet and pay later that day.The cashier said no and the woman became flustered. I went over and handed the cashier my debit card and said that I would pay. The lady started to cry and kinda tried to decline my offer saying normally she wasn’t the one who needed help. So I asked her if she had every helped out anyone else out and she said she had. I responded that this was karma and the good deeds she had done were getting paid back, so she accepted my assistance. The cahier looked at me like I was crazy, but it made me feel good to help that stranger.

  12. A couple of years ago I moved from Milwaukee, WI to the NW suburbs of Chicago, IL. I was broke and moving back in with my mom after squatting in an apartment with no power for two weeks (rented from a slum lord unfortunately). I barely had any money. So I stopped at a gas station and notice a girl crying outside. I put five bucks in my tank and talked with her. Her fiancé left her there after a fight. She was from Milwaukee visiting family in Illinois. He left her thirty miles from home in the middle of nowhere! So I offered to drive her home when suddenly the guy comes back and starts yelling at her 🙁 I just told him I was a nice person even though I am a stranger and I will drive her home so they could both cool off. I would want someone to so the same for me. When we got to the city she was so grateful she filled up my gas tank for me. It was such a gift at the time and I seriously couldn’t remember the last time it was full (especially that week of moving). God had us both meet there and we both showed each other random acts of love and kindness. I love this idea. Thanks for the stories everyone! Very encouraging.

  13. First off, I want to say that most of these made me cry happy tears. This is such a wonderful contest and a great reminded to be thankful for the people in your life, an more cognizant of those around us.

    My story is from seven years ago, I was a second year university student, and pregnant with twins. My significant other and I were no longer together and people from my church were urging me to move forward with adoption. I stop my ground and said no, we can do this, despite having very little money, I found us a place to live, and furnished it with the help of family and friends. I ended up having my Angels early and spent a while in nice. The ladies from church visited

  14. (Sorry posted early)
    The ladies from church would visit often and ask if we were okay, I always lied and said yes to avoid anymore adoption prompts. When we finally arrived home I was greeted by formula, diapers, groceries, a clean house, small gifts or me, like bubble bath and new socks, as well as a the best thing I have ever heard in my life. The moment I saw you holding your children I knew you were meant to be a mom, please don’t ever pretend to be okay when you are not, I will always be there to help you. Seven years, four children, a degree, home ownership and the most amazing husband later her kind words and gesture have never left my thoughts.

  15. The place I work at has 80 housing units and unfortunately we had a fire over the summer which displaced almost half those units. People from all over the city stepped up and helped our displaced members everyone was found new accommodation quickly, there were people on site giving support. The debris removal guys set up times for those who didn’t have insurance to see and salvage items from their units when it was brought out. We received huge qualities of toiletries and non perishable food. Once everyone effected had gotten all the food and toiletries they wanted we donated the excess items to some local shelters, humane society and a new Canadian center to help others trying to get back on their feet.

  16. When I was young I had a small lunch (just half a sandwich) and I left it on the lunch table while I went to buy milk. The custodian thought it was someone’s leftovers and threw it away. I cried. She was so kind and purchased me a PB&J that was the best sandwich I’d had in a long time. Now I donate food to school programs that send home sack dinners with disadvantaged students who would otherwise not eat until they returned to school the next day.

  17. This was before I had my daughter, I was in a very rough spot financially, and had decided it was best if I sold my bike for a bit of cash.
    It was sad, I lived in Victoria bc and used it to ride the galloping goose trails, but I had to.
    Anyways, I found a purchaser who came to get it later on that day.
    A couple weeks later I get an email asking me if I wanted the bike back, in a panic I said I can’t afford to give the money back and asked what was wrong, he said nothing at all was wrong, he did not expect money and he had no use for it anymore. The next morning I wake up to find my bike in my yard with brand new paint job, new tires, grips, pedals and a few other things.
    I cried, and was so happy I wrote him back and couldn’t thank him enough!
    That is my experience, and quite honestly ever since then my faith in humanity was restored and I try my best to pay it forward whenever I can!

  18. Allow me to brag on the readers of my blog for just a moment. Back in February, I promised to donate a diaper cover to the Marysa Jane program for families in need. If I got a thousand entries in my giveaway, that would be 1 cover. If we got two thousand, even better! Two covers would be on their way to those little ones. My awesome readers were so good at getting the word out and sharing the giveaway that we reached over 5,000 entries, the most I’ve ever received on my blog for a single diaper giveaway! Just a few weeks ago, 5 bright and beautiful diaper covers made their way to Marysa Jane. I am so thankful to have fans that were willing to help out, and not just wanting to win (of course, both are nice!!).

  19. One night my husband and I went to dinner at a local restaurant after work. We were completely exhausted after having a long, rough day. We saw a couple that we worked with and exchanged quick hello’s and then sat down to our meal. When we asked the waiter for our check she told us the other couple had paid our bill. It was such a wonderful surprise! We try to do this whenever we can for others that look especially tired or weary. I think it’s particularly nice to help strangers – you never know what their situation is and even just a little gesture can mean so much to someone.

  20. Today, a friend is paying it forward for me! She is an awesome mom who is married to a medical resident. She’s spent most of her married life adapting to her husband’s crazy medical school schedule and is now the mom of three little ones. Many friends and family members have helped her along the way. My husband is out of town all week and my kids are on spring break. She saw t hat I was feeling frazzled and offered to have my kids over to play for the day. I’ve done this for other moms in the past and loved giving other mamas a break. I am so grateful for her generous offer and know my kids will love the change of scenery!

  21. I don’t have much a long story like some of the others, but usually the way I pay it forward is by donating things that were donated to me. Whether it is to Operation Christmas Child, or the Hope House, or even the battered women shelter, I like to help them all!

  22. A while back, I was selling some cloth diaper covers on an online swapping site and I had forgotten to remove my listing after the set was sold. A woman had sent me a payment not knowing that the set was no longer available.

    I had emailed her and told her about the situation. She replied and asked there was any chance that I had anymore because her and her husband had recently lost their jobs and had a baby on the way and had very little to spend on diaper covers. Unfortunately I did not have anymore to sell, but I since I had her mailing address, I decided to buy her a brand new set and had them sent to her.

  23. My life has been greatly blessed by the service and kindness of others. Just this last Christmas someone dropped off a gift card to a new pizza restaurant – my children were so excited! We are adding on to our home and one day we came home to find a roll of carpet padding in our garage – we still don’t know who gave it to us! Meals were brought to our home with the birth of each of my babies! These are just a few ways that others have shown kindness to us. We have taught our children the importance of paying it forward. One year we were a Secret Santa for a family in need. Once we stopped to give an elderly woman a ride – she was walking to the senior center and still had about a mile and a half to go! When our neighbors were reroofing their house my husband and the boys went over to help them. I believe that happiness is found through these small acts of kindness and passing it forward. What we might think is not big deal (i.e. giving someone a ride or giving away a diaper 🙂 ) can really be a blessing. I loved reading everyone’s stories. It just goes to show that there are great people everywhere!

  24. I can think of quite a few instances, but I’d really like to honor my Mom and Dad right now. They’ve opened their home to my family while we pay off the medical bills from my daughters birth. It’s a bit crowded, especially since they were already caring for my grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, but it’s been such a blessing to not have to worry about paying bills, rent or for food each week and just get ourselves back on our feet financially.

  25. This past fall I was doing some informational interviews in preparation to transition into a new career. I contacted a woman and asked if I could take her out for lunch to talk more about her company. When we met, the woman spent 2 hours showing me around the office and then at lunch. She gave me a ton of great advice and offered to be a mentor for me. When the bill for lunch arrived, she said she wanted to pay it even though I insisted that I would. It was a total shock, and was incredibly appreciative that she had not only treated me to lunch but really showed an interest in helping me to grow in my career.

  26. I have one from a dear friend of mine.
    I am a single mom from day one, and whilst I was pregnant I was in the process of moving out of an abusive situation to a safe place with my family.
    My co-worker was SO supportive of me and the little one on the way. Not only was there there to support me as a friend (which I definitely needed) she helped me prepare for my sons arrival. She gathered donations from her friends along with herself. I was in total awe and shock at her generosity. She had bags of clothing for my son, a brand new swing, even maternity wear for me! I am eternally grateful for how she has helped me get started with my little one. I plan on paying it forward and donating his things once he is done using them. I now how much her help meant to me, so I hope that I can in turn help some other mom out there feel just as important as I did. Thank you Susie for all of your help!

  27. We are a relatively new family. My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years now and we have a 4 year old, 2 year old and one on the way. We live pay check to pay check making the most of what we have. We seldom get to do extras like going out to eat (especially with the kids) and going to special events. Well in January I begged my husband to let us go to the circus. I went every year as a child and really wanted to share that experience with my children at least once. We found a really good deal on general admission tickets so we were able to go. We had gotten a gift card to Olive Garden for Christmas so our plan was to go there for dinner. Once we got into town we realized we had left the gift card at home so we were just going to grab something cheap and fast but my son had his heart set on spaghetti. Once again my husband gave in and we went to Olive Garden anyway. We bought the cheapest meals possible and got water so that our bill wouldn’t be to outrageous, especially since we had the kids with us. There was an older couple sitting next to us and as they got up to leave they complimented us on our beautiful family and talked of how it reminded them of when their kids were home. As we were finishing up our meal the server came to deliver to go boxes and said that we were all set! The couple had paid for our dinner! I was literally in tears! I just could not believe it. We then loaded in the car and headed to the big event. When we pulled in we realized that we had to pay for parking and had zero cash but it was too late for us to turn around. When we got to the lady we explained that we didn’t have any cash and asked how we could turn around so that we could go get some. She told us not to worry about it and enjoy the show! Once again I was in disbelief! We had such a wonderful time at the circus and had SO much to be thankful for that night. I really hope that we will someday be able to do the same for another family.

  28. So my story (someone showing me an incredible act of kindness) takes place long before my son and cloth diapering came into my life. When I was a teenager, I made a poor decision to go out one night to a party about 30 minutes away from home. I was having a great time, until I realized that the person who drove me to the party was completely intoxicated. I had such a sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized I was stuck so far from my home at a party I shouldn’t have been at in the first place. I went upstairs because I knew there were adults having a get together, told them my story and asked for a phone book so I could call a cab. Before I could call the cab company, a woman whom I had never seen before in my life came up to me and shared a story with me. About six months prior her son had gotten into a car with a drunk driver and passed away. She said she would help prevent any parent from the pain she has dealt with and generously offered to drive me home. I was completely floored by the level of compassion that came from this total stranger, who instead of lecturing me on my not so intelligent choices, taught me an incredible amount by her actions. I have never ever forgotten her – a woman who I respect but do not know her name. I have not had the opportunity to pass such a great act of kindness (and also a lesson in being an adult), but I am ready to reciprocate when it presents itself.

  29. Around the holidays, we were having dinner at IHOP and picked up the tab for an elderly widowed gentleman (whose waiter had been very rude to him). Then it came full circle a few months ago… when at a different IHOP someone secretly picked up our tab!

  30. I won a giveaway for a gift card that I couldnt use anymore so I saw where someone had entered and really wanted to win so I contacted them and passed it on so they could use it. they wanted to know wht i could use in return but i def didnt want anything, just for them to be able to use the gc for their child and enjoy it. i was glad i could make someone elses day and that i didnt feel bad for wasting a great prize

  31. A friend of mine enters giveaways like this all the time and b/c she has an older baby and already has all the big stuff she needs, she GAVE us some of her huge winnings! One was a $300 value and another was about $250…she sure did pay it forward to us and now our little growing family is enjoying the blessing she has been to us! 🙂

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