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Lesson from a nonagenarian!

Lesson from a nonagenarian!

Little acts of kindness and affection go a long way, indeed. In an unusual gesture, every Saturday, for instance, 94 year old Bob Williams walks into a Dollar General store in Long Grove, Iowa, and buys a box of Hershey's milk chocolate bars. He hands two to the cashiers, a third to the person behind him in line and then sets off around town handing the rest out to anyone he sees. The World War II veteran, retired teacher and high school football coach, 94, has been melting hearts this way around Long Grove, Iowa, for more than 10 years, during which time, he has given out nearly 6,000 chocolate bars. And Hershey's, inspired by his example, is spotlighting him in a new marketing campaign. Williams' random acts of kindness do not just start in the Dollar General checkout line. He keeps his own stash at home in a freezer, which is always stuffed to the top with hundreds of chocolate bars. "It puts a smile on their face," Williams says. "It just makes me feel good." One of Williams' close friends, said the "Candy Man,"is very, very popular around their town. "People love to honk at him when they drive by." Williams has become a grandfatherly figure to people like Darla Fay, who lost her own grandfathers before she got to know them. Fay says the nonagenarian's chocolate bars evoke the same feelings she got as a kid with "the first glimpse of all the gifts Santa left under the tree. Those are the moments in life that you remember." Last year, Williams' neighbours reached out to an editor of the local Quad-City Times, who drove out to interview him and wrote a column. Williams told the editor how he regularly brings 18 chocolate bars to his doctor's office and recited the names of everyone working there. And he described his daily visit to a bench he purchased in memory of his late wife. "She gives me orders for the day," he told the newspaper. Williams retired from the classroom decades ago. But he is continuing to educate others in a different way. "He's teaching all of us how to pay it forward," one woman says. In honour of founder Milton Hershey's 161st birthday last Thursday, the chocolate giant sent its employees out to mirror Williams' example, handing out chocolate bars as part of its #heartwarmingtheworld initiative. Gas station attendants in Rock Hill, South Carolina, handed out chocolate bars this week to those grappling with the effects of Hurricane Florence. If only people, particularly the really powerful leaders who choose to be relatively harsh in their policies, could take a hint and be selfless and understanding in their attitude to others!

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