#chocolatetuesday is one of 40activists favorite days.  It’s simple: be generous with chocolate on a Tuesday.

Being generous with chocolate is a lot easier and more fun, I think, than all those other ways of being generous.  Chocolate seems to be a natural way to offer a small, joyful gift to people you don’t know very well.

This is the second year that Faith has practiced #chocolatetuesday as a community act of generosity.  Last year, we labeled a lot of little pieces of chocolate and hung out at the corner of 82nd and Hague, right outside our church.  We chose a Friday, during rush hour, because traffic was particularly bad that year because there was a great deal of road construction going on.

When cars stopped, we moved up and down the rows, showing our “free chocolate” signs.  A lot of windows opened.  We passed in one, two, maybe three mini pieces of chocolate.  Smiles broke out.  A few people tried to give us money.  People asked if we were from the church on the corner.  It was a lot of fun.

This year, we labeled full-size chocolate bars, in the five favorite American flavors.  (Except our shopper couldn’t find full-size M &M’s.  Guess they really are the number one seller.) On a Saturday afternoon, we went over to the parking garage at Community North Hospital, quite near our church.  We met people as they were driving into the parking deck, walking into the hospital, or returning to their cars.  We gave chocolate to nurses coming off shifts, prospective parents completing a tour, visitors going home, people about to visit loved ones, valet employees, and a few patients going home.

Almost everyone accepted a chocolate bar.  They liked having a choice.  (Notes: Plain Hershey’s bars aren’t as beloved as the statistics would lead you to believe.  Snickers are.)  Several asked to take chocolate for a friend, a relative, a child, a co-worker.

People stopped – in their cars or on their walk – and told us a little of their story. How their day was going.  What they were facing next.  Who they had to visit.  How weary they were feeling.  How hungry being pregnant made them.   Smiles, a few tears, and blessings were exchanged.  It was a holy time, there in the parking garage.

One 40activist came up with the perfect to response to the question: “What are you doing this for?”  She simply said: “We are doing this for you.”

We do have some chocolate leftover. (Got to get rid of those plain Hershey bars.)  The receptionists told us that Tuesday is the busiest day.  So, we are heading back to have an actual #chocolatetuesday this year.

People are always glad to get free chocolate.  Apparently, coming and going from the hospital, they are also glad to make a connection with someone who will listen.