Let’s imagine you find five bucks and a heartfelt note in a book you bought. How would you feel? What would you do with it?

That happened to Ashley Jost this weekend. Her tweet on the surprise garnered about 2,100 likes and 190 retweets by late Monday afternoon.

Jost, deputy chief of staff to the MU chancellor, bought the popular “Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals” by Rachel Hollis on Sunday morning at Target. After finishing a chapter, she tossed the book on an ottoman.

Then $5 fell out from the pages.

Jost found a handwritten note on pink paper from “Lisa” in the last page of the book.

“To the person who buys this book: I am having a tough day. I thought maybe I could brighten someone else’s with this little surprise. Go buy a coffee, a donut or a face mask. Practice some self care today. Remember that you are loved, you are amazing, you are strong. — Lisa”

“Oh, my gosh, it was so special,” Jost said. “I’ve never really seen anything like this.”

She’s been taken aback by the number of likes and retweets on her social post.

“I’m glad that people shared that, because I hope that motivated others to do the same,” she said.

Jost has decided to commit some random act of kindness each day this week in response to the surprise.

“Even just buying someone’s coffee,” Jost said. “I think that type of behavior can really set up the change. I hope it does, really.”

And Jost hopes such a gesture eventually passes back to the mystery Lisa.

“I hope whoever she is and wherever she is, she knows that she brightened the day of more than 1,300 people,” Jost said Monday morning. “She gave back to her community, which is something we all can do. Even if it’s as simple as a smile. That smile goes a long way.”

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

  • Education and Business reporter, spring 2019. Studying magazine journalism. Reach me at thbxp@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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