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On Monday, hundreds of people all across Flagstaff came into unexpected good fortune.

Someone found an orange envelope stuffed with cash clipped to a tree branch in the claws of a glitter-covered bird. Another person showed up at the mechanic to pay for a car repair bill only to find that the bill had been paid by a stranger, who left a small black-and-white oval sticker and a card inviting the recipient to live their Best Life Ever.

Random Kindness

BLE board members Rich Haag, second from left, and Rebecca Slater, third from left, paid for a haircut for Northern Arizona University student Noah Abedon inside Supercuts as stylist Marney Bilodeau looks on.

Across the city, board members and supporters of the BLE, Best Life Ever, organization spread out to commit random acts of kindness through injecting $10,000 into the community. The giving wasn’t need-based and the intent was for it to be truly random.

“BLE Day is in lieu of the race that we have done for the past five years," said Jen Saunders, the president of the BLE board. "We wanted to do something different from the race this year to reach a wider audience. A lot of people still don’t know what BLE is. We decided to do something different and totally random and thought giving away $10,000 would be fun.”

A Day of Giving and Helping

Jen Saunders, president of the BLE board, answers phones with fellow BLE board members and supporters Monday morning during the Fall pledge drive at the KNAU public radio station at Northern Arizona University. BLE was volunteering at the start of BLE Day wher ethe organization injected $10,000 into the community in random acts of kindness.

The dented bumper on a newer Subaru caught BLE board member Rebecca Slater’s eye as she came across the occupied car parked in front of the plasma donation center on South Plaza Way Monday morning.

Making eye contact with the car's occupant, a petite brunette looking out at the parking lot from behind oversized sunglasses, Slater explained that she was handing out random gifts as part of BLE Day.

Live Your Best Life

Hundreds of people across Flagstaff opened little orange envelopes Monday to discover cash, a sticker and a message to live their Best Lives Ever during BLE Day.

Nesia Zurek moved to Flagstaff last month to take a job teaching biology and chemistry at Northern Arizona University.

Holding three crisp $100 bills and a single $20 bill in her shaking hands as tears ran down her cheeks, she shared her story with Slater.

BLE Day

All the fixings for a spaghetti dinner sit in tote bags that were left on random doorsteps Monday morning during BLE Day as random acts of kindness.

“I just moved here from Albuquerque, New Mexico to teach. It’s my first full-time job with benefits in six years. I moved here to take this job despite having no money for the move, so you have no idea how much this helps,” Zurek said. “I got really sick a few years back and I’m in debt. I know this is crazy but this is the story of so many in America. You end up in debt for something that’s not your fault.

“Everyone has dignity and everyone needs help. This is so huge for me and I’ll definitely pay it forward. I’ll use some of the money to pay down medical bills and some I will pass on,” she said. She wrapped Slater in a huge embrace and looked up to the sky as she held on to the hug.

Spreading Cash and Kindness

The BLE organization injected $10,000 into the community Monday in random acts of kindness during BLE Day. Pictured from left to right are Jen Saunders, Josh Armstrong, Rebecca Slater and Rich Haag.

Each September since the organization was founded, a race was held at Buffalo Park as an annual fundraiser to celebrate all things BLE.

“The race might come back, it might not come back, we just don’t know right now," Saunders said. "This year we just wanted to shake things up. The race was reaching the same people and this is an attempt to spread the message a little wider. Today shows people that we do good, fun stuff with their donations.

"We will have an end of the year fundraising request in October, but Monday was all about giving.”

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