As a single mom, it is often hard for me to provide those little "extras" my children seem to want.
About four weeks my 11 yr old son came home from school to inform that the musical instrument he had made from recycled products was chosen to be sent to the NYS Green Nation Recycling Competition in Albany.
There was a note from his teacher informing that my son was invited to attend the competition but that parents were expected to fund this two day event for their children.
My son was estatic, but what was I to do. I didn't have that kind of money, this trip was going to cost $300!
Well, my son immediately began do odds jobs for family memebers so he could earn some money towards the trip, and I began to work as much OT at work to put a little extra in as well.
We prayed every night that somehow we will raise the money for my son to attend.
Last we got a telephone call from a member of the Deputy Sheriff's Association in our area, and this wonderful group of men and women have come together to sponsor my son so he can attend this event!!!!!
My son is truly blessed.
Last month I started a family kindness journal. Every day each member in the family must write down the good deed that they did that day. It is amazing to see how far my children's deeds have come.
At first they helped the teacher or shared school supplies, but it has progressed to wonderful things I never imagined.
For example there is a boy my son has not gotten along with since the first day of school. My son came home and told me his good deed for the day was to make friends with this boy.
I said, “What possessed you to be friends with someone who has been mean to you all year?”
His response? “I gave it a lot of thought and realized he was lonely and didn't know how to make friends, and that was why he was mean.”
This boy has had quite an attitude adjustment (no longer hitting and calling names) and has been welcomed into my son's group of friends.
Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people.
Lucia is 8 years old and in November '05 she wrote a contract for the whole family to sign. "We will all agree to getting a puppy dog on April 15 2006." She had been asking for a puppy for about a year already! It was inevitable now! We signed, the five of us, but did inform her that she needed to start saving money to be able to buy the puppy and so she did. At least once a week she would sit down to count, penny at a time, how much she had collected. In change she raised about US$80 dollars. April came, we had a few adorable options in mind but on the first week of the month, we received a communication letter from her school about a girl needing multiple organ transplant and this letter made Lucia change her mind. She informed us she was taking her ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter's birthday is May 29. She was 6 by then. As it was Monday, we prefered to celebrate it earlier, i.e. on Saturday 27 May. This was easier for me as I'm free on Saturdays. On Thursday the entire family was busy packing the presents and putting funny pins on them. I promised my litte princess that I would wake her up early in the morning and distribute the presents to her classmates. I woke up at 05:30. After I took a bath, I planned to wake her up ... but.... as I came out from the bathroom, I realized that an earthquake struck. I screamed to wake my husband up and asked him to carry my daughter; and ran out of our house. We were watching our house swaying from outside. It happened for just 3 minutes, but... the piano thumbled down, tiles came down, some cracks appeared ... Read Full Story >>
Being in the high school Band isn't always easy. Hours of practice go into making the show(s) perfect! (Not including if your football team makes it to districts, and so on.) You need a lot of dedication and I realize that because I am in the band. Every day in August from 8am-12pm we have 'band camp' practicing for the upcoming football season. This past week was one of our last regular season football games and it was COLD! During our break, I was standing in line at the concession stand for a hot chocolate when a band member from the other team approched me and told me how nice our band looked, and then began telling me about how cold she was and how she's not used to being this cold during football season because their team never went far into the season. Being next in line, I ordered ... Read Full Story >>
It was late one night when I got an email from the states. It was my friend John who, as usual, had an idea. This one was about the power of connectedness. John was taken with the notion that he could, by sitting at his computer, with only a few small movements of his fingers, could affect change on the other side of the world. “In ten seconds,” he wrote, “I sent an email to my friend in Boston, asking him to go down to the street and give a watermelon to the first person he saw. And he did.” John, of course, wanted to illustrate the power of connectivity with a more compassionate experiment. “Please go find a needy person and give them $20 [1,000 Indian rupees, at the time]. If you can, try to see how it changes their life and let me know.” On our last afternoon in Ahmedabad, ... Read Full Story >>
I am a middle school counselor. Earlier this week, I had a very caring, compassionate student tell me about a project she has undertaken. She said she has started a collection for supplies for the troops to make their holiday's more joyful. I asked her what organization she was doing this through and she was confused by my question. Finally, she said, "No, see my sister who is in 5th grade and I are doing this on our own!" I was amazed that they had thought this up on their own. I asked their mother about it and she said that they had come to her to tell her about it.
I was happy to help her. I told her to put a box in the main office with a sign and a list of supplies (which she had already typed up!). She brought the box in the next day and students have already begun to add to it.
What a beautiful thing these kids are doing. I am so proud of them!
Many years ago my observant 7 year old was in our car on her way to school. This particular day we drove by many displaced/homeless people who were asking for help. She asked why the same people were asking for help everyday and why no one was helping. I really did not have an uncomplicated answer to this question. So I decided to ask her how she thought she could help. This beautiful little girl had so many ideas flowing out of her I couldn't keep up. There were a few good ideas flying past me just as the time did that morning. The next day on the morning trip to school my daughter asked me to stop at each corner where a homeless person stood. I asked why but was quickly informed to wait and see. Stop #1 - I rolled down my widow and asked the gentleman to come ... Read Full Story >>
Today, my friends and I had an early release day at school and got out at about 11:30.
We had decided to try to incorporate random acts of kindness into our lives last Sunday at our meeting for our charity group, Minga.
We brought sidewalk chalk to school and walked for a half hour from school into town writing nice messages on the sidewalk all the way. We came up with quite a few like, "Smile, it's sunny", "Peace", "Have a great day!", Give someone a hug", and "Be happy".
It was so rewarding to see people smile when they saw them and it's thrilling how such a small gesture can really make a difference!
Now, whenever one of us is walking home, we're always going to continue on the tradition!
I'm new to the Smile Cards, but here's my first experience with the cards. I work in a school and after all the kids are gone for the day a sweet young lady Claire comes in to clean the school classrooms and offices. I'm there late once a week and I often chat for a few minutes with her. She always makes me feel so good because she's not full of herself and instead she wants to hear about me or will talk about her children. Our conversations are always great. Last week she wasn't her happy self and told me how her husband had lost his job of 15 years and that she didn't know what they would do without his income. I wanted to cheer her up some how, but couldn't think of anything at that time. Later that week I was in a department store I noticed all the pretty summer clothing ... Read Full Story >>
During the first week of of my second semester sophmore year, the first thing I happen to hear is that there's a new kid at school. From what was being spread around, this student was being portrayed as a big mean bully, someone that was expelled for getting in a fight at a school nearby. In my mind, though, I could only think how awful and how uncomfortable I would feel as a new student with a reputation already set out for me. So the next thing I did was I searched for the new student. I ran all over campus to find and locate him, until I found him, head sulked down and with a weary expression upon his face. Without hesitating, I approached him, introduced myself and asked him if he was new to the campus and if he needed any help getting around. With a relief, he ... Read Full Story >>
My friend & I were at the school games. Her son Andrew has cerebal palsy but he was insistent that he was going in the races. In the flat race he ran well, but came in last.
In a short pace of time the egg & spoon race was on.
What we saw next brought tears to our eyes.
The school principle handed Andrew his the spoon with the egg glued onto it. Needless to say Andrew came in at the Number 1 and our tears were mixed with laughter and so much joy.
An act of kindness makes us all winners.
Do you remember the name of your kindergarden teacher? I do, mine. Her name was Mrs White. And I remember thinking she must be some older relation of Walt Disney's Snow White, because she had the same bright blue eyes, short dark hair, red lips and fair skin. I don't remember much about what we learned in her class, but my mother once told me that we used to write a lot. And I would bring back what I wrote and she would look at it and see there were so many mistakes. But no red corrections. And always a star. Sometimes even a Good! scrawled in that would make my heart soar with happiness. But it worried my mother, so one day when she went in to meet Mrs White for one of those Parent-Teacher meetings, she asked her why she never corrected my mistakes. Why she never red-pencilled ... Read Full Story >>
I was attending a Fundraiser Gala Celebration for a school. Now, I've recently lost weight and felt good about how I looked in my outfit ... which I hadn't felt in years!
Once I got to the event, many people where telling me how wonderful I looked. To be honest, it felt great to hear that because I worked really hard to look and feel better.
Then, all of a sudden, I was thinking how I wished someone had given nice compliments last year when I was heavier. I did look nice then too, I had a nice outfit, pretty hair and carried myself nicely...
So I started looking around the room for people I knew that were maybe not what was considered "thin" and I went up to them and told them how nice they looked and that I loved their outfits ... they were true comments and came from my heart.
Oh, you should have seen their faces light up because I took time to notice them and let them know they are just as pretty as anyone else there! I think it'll make us closer because they know I care.
We should all look for something nice to say to one another to lift one's spirits.
Kindness, as Mother Teresa so beautifully said, is the only language that we all understand. We’ve all heard the saying, “What goes around comes around,” and the following true story is a wonderful reminder of how simple acts of kindness can come back to us when we least expect it. His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter is six years old. I wanted to wash her winter coat and I found in each pocket a pair of gloves.
I thought that one pair of gloves might not be enough to keep her hands warm and asked her why she had two pairs.
She answered: ‘I am doing this already for a while, daddy. You know, some children in school don’t have gloves and when I have an extra pair, I can lend it to them so they won’t get cold hands'.
At the local Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in my city center, one thing's for sure -- I will find a young anxious teen fundraising. It's the hub for school teams and local organizations. At anytime day or night, you can find children of all ages, selling processed nuts, candy, cookies or popcorn. It's not so easy to sell those to ATM clients, and I feel their uneasiness as they look at you with big pleading eyes. Everyone dodges eye contact with the kids and that only makes it worse. Today was no exception. My heart began to skip a beat or two, as I approached the ATM. It was getting dark and the young boy had a box half filled with chocolate covered raisins. I asked him, "How much for each box of raisinettes?" He said, "Two dollars". I said, “I'll tell you what. I will buy the rest of the box, ... Read Full Story >>
I have recently thought about an incredible act of compassion extended to me many years ago.
In fourth grade we were suppose to bring in a dime for a folder to use in class. My parents were divorced and money was in short supply. Watching my mom fend off creditors, I did not have the nerve to ask her for a dime. When I got to school, I really wish I had asked my mother for the dime because everybody else in class had the dime ready on their desk for the teacher. I was embarrassed and felt silly.
Somehow, A girl named Karen, sitting next to me, saw my personal suffering and waited until the last second to put a dime on the corner of my desk. Even though I never said a word, she saw my quiet anguish and only wanted to relieve it. She said nothing and I was too embarrassed to say thank you. It was the most genuine, authentic act of kindness I've ever experienced.
I am a resource officer at a school district. Last year I met one little boy in particular to whom my heart just went out to. He would talk to me every single day, and always seemed to have a smile on his face. He has a problem with stuttering extremely bad when he tries to talk. It's really hard sometimes to understand what he is saying, although he loves to tell you big tales! Well, this morning, I was talking to a couple teachers who were running the school store. He stopped by and said hello to all of us. They told me after he left that he stops every day they are there and asks them if they will be there the next day. But of course, he never has the money to be able to buy anything. I decided I would get him a little something just ... Read Full Story >>
Last Christmas I was given a great gift.As I checked out at a local Walgreen's pharmacy, the teen cashier asked me, "Are you Mrs. Peres?" With a curious smile, I replied, "Yes." Then he asked me, "Do you remember me?" Being the joker I am, I looked at his tag and replied, "You're Josh." This young man's face brightened up with such a smile that I had to tell him the truth -- I did not remember him.
He continued to tell me that when he was about 5 years old he would sit with my daughter on the school bus. With a pause, he added, "You were the only person that waved at me each and everyday."
The minute he said that my heart sank and filled at the same time.
At first, I felt so very sad and wondered if his childhood was not a good one that a simple wave made his day. Then I filled with tears at the thought that that simple wave made him feel good and stayed with him all this time.
I was sooooo happy to be me at that moment and it was truly the best gift I received last year.
One day, a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers ... Read Full Story >>
At my son's school, the traffic is so hectic, they have a traffic director to help the parents get in and out of the school parking area safely.
Last week, I noticed how hot is was outside when I went to pick up my son. The traffic director was sweating!! It just so happened that I had packed an extra bottle of cold water before going to pick up my son.
As I handed the bottle of water out of the window to the traffic director (along with a smile card of course), the look on her face was absolutely priceless!! I kept looking back in my rear view mirror as I drove away, and as long as I could see her, she was still smiling! : )
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she ... Read Full Story >>
On Fridays, my son's kindergarten class has "prize day" when all the children who have maintained good behavior throughout the week get to choose a prize to keep as a reward. The children have behavior cards, which start out green every morning but are changed from green to yellow, orange and finally to red as their behavior declines. The vast majority of these chidren never change their cards from green. As school is dismissed, I am amazed to see the kids streaming out of the front door smiling ear-to-ear holding some inexpensive trinket like it was a gold medal. On many Fridays, there is one boy, who I'll refer to as "Tommy," who often walks out with an unsmiling face because he has had a difficult day or two that week. From day one "Tommy" would be the first name the children would mention to their parents: "Tommy had a ... Read Full Story >>
Last night after reading some inspirational posts on HelpOthers I decided it was getting a little late so I decided to go to bed. As I was lying there I was thinking about the stories I had just read. For some reason my mind flashed back to my first day at College (High School). The head girl was standing up on the stage giving us a speech about your life and your life journey being a vase full of flowers. Now that may seem a strange context but that speech has stayed with me for many years. I would like to share it with you all! It went something along the lines of… Imagine a big vase of flowers being your life. Each person has a vase of flowers but it is their opportunity to fill it in the way they decide. You could fill your vase with a few flowers ... Read Full Story >>
I heard a great story this morning about a young girl with a very big heart. A friend was telling me a story about her customer's daughter. The daughter goes to an expensive private school where she has a friend, who is on a full scholarship at this school. This friend has very limited means and her mother is an immigrant from China and her father is an alcholic. Although the girl's mother works very hard, they can barely make ends meet. This girl is very bright and gifted at music and that's how she got the scholarship from this school. The stipend also includes an allowance for things like lunch, school uniform and music lessons. The daughter became friends with this girl and would secretly talk to her at lunch (secretly, in order to avoid the other kids teasing her). On her birthday last month, she invited her new friend to her birthday ... Read Full Story >>
I stumbled across Helpothers.org when I was in a Computer Science class in my last year at high school (2008) while looking for an inspirational quote. Well I found more than just an inspirational quote but many inspiring people from all around the world too! I had no clue then how I would begin a journey of being inspired every day by all of you. I didn’t know I would meet and become friends with people from the USA, UK, India, Netherlands, Australia etc..But in life the things you love the most are surprises which take you on a whirlwind adventure. After successfully grasping the quote I had been looking for, I noticed a green box on the site saying about “if you had US$100 to helpothers what would you do to help people?” There was only a few minutes until class finished. So I hurriedly submitted my idea of how I would ... Read Full Story >>
At 2:00am this past Friday morning, I received a text message from a friend, asking if I had any Smile Cards in Spanish. I immediately replied back saying I didn’t have any smile cards in Spanish. However, I also asked her why she wanted them specifically in Spanish and if smile cards in English would be acceptable. To my surprise, she said she had been one of the few selected by her high-school to go on a service trip to Nicaragua. She was going to spend four weeks in the villages teaching English to children & teens between the ages of five and eighteen. She wanted to share the concept of Smile Cards and kindness. By now, I was totally rocked and excited with hearing the news! :) So I decided to stop texting and call her to get more information about her service trip and ask when she was leaving for ... Read Full Story >>
My seven year old son Nicholas came home from school one day and in the context of our usual "How was school?" chat he told me about one of his classmates who had asked him to share his snack with him in a somewhat forceful way. After this chat, as a room mother, I had the chance to better observe the boy concerned. I saw he never had a snack and was often dirty, so I understood a bit more his situation. From that point on I sent extra crackers, etc., everyday and Nicholas made a point of sitting next to the boy at snack time so he could share - telling the boy I always gave him too much. After this we realized he was unable to pay for field trips and the teacher was doing this for him. We secretly got involved with that also, making sure he was in our group for ... Read Full Story >>
I teach a sixth grade religion class, and today I played the Smile Deck game with my students. They each left with two kind acts to complete and were very enthusiastic as I handed them regular Smile Cards to go along with the Smile Deck Cards.
One student was able to complete one of her acts that day itself, when class ended. She held the door for those leaving the building, handing out Smile Cards to those who would take them. It was uncomfortable for her at first (12 years old is an awkward age, at best), but she got the hang of it and started to enjoy her 15 minutes as 'Door Woman'!
I am excited to hear about how the other children's acts of kindness go.
I hope that my take on the ways we can “take care of God's creation” will sink into these kids, and they will carry forward the idea of embracing kindness as a meaningful part of life.
This is just the beginning for me!! Thanks for the forum of inspiration!