A tired mom was frustrated with noisy high school students, staying at the same hotel as her family. So, she decided to address the situation, but she never expected it to prompt such an unbelievable response. The note that was slipped under the door of her family’s room, however, left her jaw dropped.
Randi Jo Amt, her husband John, and their three kids had been staying in a local hotel in Indianapolis, but it wasn’t for a vacation. Instead, they were forced from their home when a toilet malfunctioned, flooding their residence. Sadly, life had to go on. So, while others staying in the hotel were enjoying a break from certain responsibilities, the Amt family still had to face theirs every morning. This included hour-long round trips to drive their children to things like Boy Scouts and basketball practice.
Typically, when you are enjoying a stay at a hotel, it’s a vacation from reality, meaning you don’t have to think about work or school the following morning or day. Your early morning daily schedule is traded for late nights and fun. That wasn’t the case for the Amts, who were expecting to be in the hotel for more than a month, unfortunately. “Living in a hotel can be fun for a little while, but being in a hotel for a long time gets to be a little difficult,” John Amt admitted.
Putting three kids to bed while hotel room neighbors are creating a disturbance in the hallway can drive anyone to their breaking point. And, that’s exactly what Randi Jo Amt experienced. After already being in the hotel for over a week, a group of student National FFA Organization members (previously the Future Farmers of America) from Eureka, Kansas came to town for their annual convention.
It was 10:30 at night and Randi just wanted to go to sleep. “I was getting a little frustrated and wanted to go out and tell them, ‘Quiet down! We have kids trying to sleep in here!'” she recalled but said she decided to wait for a better moment. That came when, according to her Facebook post about the ordeal, she saw their door cracked the following evening and decided to knock.
“I said, ‘I know you’re in town for the FFA convention and we want you to have fun while you’re here, but you were a little loud last night and you woke up my kids and I was just hoping you could be a little quieter tonight,'” Randi said she told the students. She also shared with them why she and her family were there, to begin with, revealing how their house had flooded and how they couldn’t stay at home.
As she confronted them over the noise, Randi said the kids were apologetic for being loud the night before and even wished her family luck. It’s what happened before she went to bed, though, that left Randi stunned. “I saw a note on the floor and opened it up, and it said, ‘We’re sorry about your home. We wanted to give you something maybe that could help you.’ And there was $40 in the note,” Randi said.
The turn of events convinced Randi that kindness is always the answer. When she saw the FFA students in the lobby the next morning, she thanked them. That’s when they told her about a speech they’d heard at the convention about paying kindness forward.
“They passed all these cards out to all the kids and said, ‘Go find somebody in need and do something for them and give them the card so they can pay it forward,'” John recalled the students telling him and his wife about the speech.
So, that’s what the Amt family decided to do. “They took the $40 from the FFA students, added to that money, and are asking others to do the same on a You Caring Site they created,” NBC 12 WTHR reported. “The money is going to help the homeless in Indianapolis either through a cash donation or the Amts may take some of the money and buy hats and mittens and other items to donate.”
“We realize how blessed we are. We still have a roof over our heads, even if we’re in a hotel. They’re a lot of people that don’t and winter’s coming up,” Randi explained, as her husband John chimed in to express how thankful they are for the lesson this has taught their three young children: “The example they’ve shown for our children is worth more than any amount of money.”
Trint Peine, the advisor of those FFA students from Kansas, is very proud of his students. “My kids went out and used what they learned to make a difference,” he told the news, although he didn’t even know about the note or the money the students had given the family until the Amts found him and thanked him in the hotel lobby.
“In a world where some people sit behind screens and become angry on social media, this young man restored my faith that the next generation can make eye contact and show compassion to the person right in front of him,” Randi said of the one boy who opened the door and stood out to her in particular. Speaking of the other teens involved, she added, “They set an excellent example for my children and their parents should be more than proud.”
These students displayed traits so many adults fail to understand today: Responsibility, accountability, remorse, and, of course, kindness. People make mistakes. It’s what you do about it that really defines what kind of person you are.
These kids could have just shrugged it off. Instead, they went above and beyond to truly show how sorry they were for their actions. As Randi Jo Amt herself said in her Facebook post about the ordeal, this note contained so much more than $40 — it restored hope in the future of America. Job well done, kids.