By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – Courtney Schermerhorn was early for a meeting in downtown Boston Wednesday and decided to stop at a coffee shop. She never expected what happened next.

“I was doing work on my computer, head down very focused and I look up and there’s a gentleman approaching me and he puts his hand out and there’s an envelope in it and he says happy holidays. So my instinct was to put my hand out at the same time and said ‘Hi I’m Courtney’ and he said ‘Hi my name is Jim happy holidays,’” she explained.

The envelope said “Enjoy.”

“I said ‘Do you want me to open it now?’ and he was like ‘Yeah why don’t you open it’ and it was a really nice letter and inside of the envelope were five $20 bills and I said ‘I can’t accept this’ and he said ‘nope you have to’ and he said ‘All I ask is that you don’t use it for bills you don’t use it for rent but you use it to treat yourself to something nice,’” Schermerhorn said.

She admits it was hard not to get emotional.

“It’s inspiring, at first it was overwhelming and I got choked up and I got teary eyed a little bit because it’s not something you hear about. It’s not something you think people do. It restores your faith in humanity a little bit that people are doing these things and it made me think, when is the last time that I went out of my way to do something nice for somebody else,” she said.

Random act of kindness from ‘Jim’ in Boston (WBZ-TV)

The letter read:

Hello Stranger!

Surprise! You’ve just been gifted with a random act of kindness. You are wonderful smart and kind, you were made to do amazing things don’t let anyone tell you different. Be yourself, be unique, be bold and you will change the world for the better. Always express love and forgive people when they have bad days. And remember to forgive yourself as well.

The world needs more people like you, I hope you enjoy this random act of kindness on me.

Keep smiling and enjoy life to the fullest.


She isn’t the only one either, WBZ’s Lisa Gresci received the letter in May. Jim was her Uber driver and it turns out, many people have had the same experience.

“Making a dent and it’s not just around the holidays there are people that have commented on Instagram posts that they had him as an Uber driver and he left them a random act of kindness six months ago eight months ago… it’s not just him doing holiday giving. This is just who he is as a person I guess and he just seems to have a really nice heart,” Schermerhorn said.

Jim told both Gresci and Schermerhorn he’s been giving out the envelopes with varying bills for over two years now.

“He did and he had other envelopes and I’m sure there are other people out there on that same day that got random acts of kindness from Jim. Jim is the real MVP,” she added.

Schermerhorn knows how much this kind of money means especially during the holidays.

“A hundred dollars this time of year is not chump change so for someone to be that giving, it makes you stop and think and I had a smile on my face the rest of the day and I couldn’t stop telling people about it because people should hear Jim’s story,” she said.

For Jim, it’s all about one thing. “He said, ‘I want to make people smile. I just like making people smile.’ I said well it worked!”

Now, it’s her turn to say something to Jim.

“My message to Jim would be thank you and the world would be a much better place if there were more Jims in it and I hope that he does something for himself once in a while because it sounds like he does a whole lot for everyone else,” she said.

Lisa Gresci

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