Fifty local retail employees who worked on Thanksgiving were each given two dollars worth of encouragement amid the Black Friday shopping frenzy this year.
Kaler Carpenter, along with his wife, Laura, gave out handmade cards with a $2 bill tucked inside to workers.
The couple moved to Oneonta in 2009 to start their nondenominational church, the Redemption Movement, which meets Fridays at 6 p.m. After building renovation and planning, they opened the church last March. Because their church service is held Friday instead of Sunday, the Redemption Movement has developed something it calls “Acts of Kindness Sundays” or AoK.
Each week, Carpenter and other church volunteers meet and perform an act of kindness for someone in the community. Carpenter said that the Redemption Movement is focused on becoming part of the Oneonta community, and therefore wants to help it in any way it can. Its mission, according to Carpenter, is to reach out to the community to show God’s love and meet any needs that become evident along the way.
Carpenter, who worked at Walmart in Oneonta from 2009 to 2012, said he had to work several Black Fridays himself, so he knows firsthand how stressful it can be. After saving up the money, he and his wife took $100 of their church’s outreach budget and distributed it evenly among retail workers, along with a cheerful card.
“Working on Thanksgiving is no fun,” the card read. “We appreciate your hard work. Here is $2, we hope this act of kindness brightens your holiday. God bless, from your friends at The Redemption Movement.”
Carpenter and his wife handed out cards to workers at Stewart’s, Walmart, JCPenney, The Shoe Dept., Olympia Sports and Subway.
“Our primary goal is to show God’s love in a practical way, and cheer someone up,” Kaler said. “We are always looking to reach out and do more to help the community in any way.”