Small things make a big difference!
Here's a note I and my HMG 3400 Windrider sent to Harrison's Pierce Pond Camp which is emblematic of thru hike experiences:
I recently stayed at the Harrison Pierce Pond Camp during my thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. You may not remember me, but I certainly remember you.
Of the hundreds, if not thousands of positive experiences along the AT, I will place my stay at HPPC at the top of the list. I really enjoyed every aspect of being there, the shower, the family atmosphere, the surrounding beauty, but most of all it was the kindness you showed me . Being a thru hiker, I'm always hungry and that bowl of soup just after I and my fellow hikers arrived was priceless to me.
After getting to know people I meet they eventually get around to asking me why I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. There's the sheer joy of being in nature, seeing the sun rise as you walk through the woods, seeing summit views that take your breath away.....but the core reason is experiencing the goodness in people. Of the thousands of people, I met along the trail, I saw only the "good and kind spirit" that I believe everyone has. I'm so fortunate to be able to backpack, especially at my age and I haven't met a stranger yet.
Small things, like a kind word or a bowl of soup, are what make the world go round. Those things are what me a wealthy individual.