I left the house after grabbing two of the empty bags of Starbucks coffee I had been saving for more than two months. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but I just had a feeling about having them with me.

I went to the closest Starbucks (my office away from home) to meet a new client who I had just met the week before at a networking event at the Air Museum in Oakland. Unfortunately, he didn’t show up, but a young woman who had just moved here from Atlanta asked if she could sit at my table since there weren’t any open chairs. I told her it would be fine until he showed up, but of course, that wasn’t why I was there.

I started talking to Shayla about why she had come to California to attend college and live with her aunt and after about thirty minutes, we had covered topics including her family, school, her dreams, career goals and even ways for her to earn her way through school. It was an amazingly pleasant exchange and delightful to say the least.

By the time I left, I felt I had accomplished what the Universe had set me out in the world to do for the day. So I decided to stop and pick up some Chinese food for lunch. It had just started raining, but only a slight drizzle.

I was coming out of the restaurant when I noticed an older (about 70) cutting through the parking lot. He was wearing a tattered rain coat and had a hat pulled over his ears. I looked down at his scuffed up boots and remembered the Starbucks coffee bags in my purse. I asked him if he would like some coffee and his response was “I’m not interested.”

“No, I’d like to give you a free cup of coffee.” I felt I was pleading with him.

His entire demeanor changed. His shoulders relaxed as I handed him the two empty bags explaining he could turn them in for a free hot cup of coffee. As he grinned and thanked me, his face lost it’s vacant look and took on a real personality.

It takes so little to make a difference in one person’s life.

What difference are you making?