Heartwarming examples of random acts of kindness have been breaking out all over Wagga in the lead-up to Christmas.
Gurwood Street Woolworths worker Peta Brown was overcome with emotion when she saw an older gentleman pay $435 for a stranger's groceries after her tough year.
"We all became quite emotional. I had to walk away, and the gentleman had to walk away because he was getting quite emotional too," Ms Brown said.
"There's a lot of good people around. They're just regular people doing a good deed, which is good at any time of year but especially Christmas."
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The next day she saw another shopper donate to some nuns who were doing their shopping, asking them to pay it forward to somebody in need.
West Wagga Parish priest Thomas Casanova said his heart had been moved by many random acts of kindness this Christmas.
One was a farmer who'd had a bumper crop this season, and asked Father Casanova to pass on some of his produce so that he could stay anonymous.
Another was a man who donated several hundred dollars, saying it was his way of repaying the kindness of an old priest who helped him when he was a small child growing up in Ashmont.
Father Casanova said for several Christmases in a row he had received a mysterious letter containing $500 from somebody asking him to pay it forward to a family in need.
"It's a pleasant task for a priest to pass on that charity and say 'this is not from me, I'm just the messenger," Father Casanova said.
"I've noticed people giving donations and wanting it to be anonymous, but of course God always sees the charity."
He said anonymous giving was very much in the spirit of the original Saint Nicholas, who would sneak around at night in disguise doing charitable deeds.
He said it was also in keeping with Jesus, who advised people to give in such a way that the left hand did not know what the right hand was up to.
Wagga clinical counsellor Maureen Said said making other people happy was actually one of the most effective ways to improve one's own mental health.
She said the social aspect of giving was especially important during lockdown when people were feeling lonely and isolated.
"It certainly allows us to feel better about ourselves, and I think at Christmas time in particular when we're in that spirit of giving it makes us feel better to do acts of kindness," Ms Said said.
"It's been a difficult year and so many people's mental health has suffered, so it's more important that we are kind to each other."