I plan to put one in each of my sisters lunches with a special surprise snack and note of love. I will then give them 4 more cards to encouarge them to take part in their own acts of kindness, while I use the remaining cards with random acts when I see a need. I hope encouranging my sisters when they are young will help them and their friends discover a joy of helping others that they will carry on throughout there lives.
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.
When I was 21 yrs old, I was dating a girl whose parent's friends were going through a divorce. They had a 6 year old daughter and unfortunately their separation was just before Christmas and we both knew how upset the little girl was. Her dad was not living in the house and wasn't planning on spending Christmas with them. So my girlfriend and I wrote little notes like, "On the first day of Christmas, my secret Santa gave to me...." and put a gift each night on their porch for the little girl. We started this about 2 weeks before Christmas. Well into the first week, my girlfriend's parents heard that someone was leaving gifts on the porch for this little girl and wondering who it was. Of course....we didn't. :) As we got closer to Christmas it was getting more difficult doing what we were doing without getting ... Read Full Story >>
I love to do the random things like pay for the person behind me in the fast food drive thru.... This week after church we decided to go out to eat with our kids in tow. Our family consists of 6 children, some adopted. We went to a local restaurant. We were seated next to a family of 4 children, and I noticed the young mother had a bandana on her head and appeared to have a hair loss issue, it immediatly touched my heart. I told my husband I want to pay their bill. He looked around, I think he was looking for a lonely person in the corner, then I pointed to the family next to us. When he did a head count I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Our income is stretched as it was and here I am suggesting we pay for another bill. After ... Read Full Story >>
I have a five year old son and two 18 month old twins and especially at Christmas time I wanted them to truely understand what the act of giving was all about. So I made a list of people that were less likely to recieve gifts or love and let my five year old chose who we would give gifts to.
He chose homeless people. We purchased some large inexpensive gift bags and filled them with canned goods, used warm socks, new toothbrushes, bars of soap, candy bars, and many other surprises, but to my surprise my son came in with his piggy bank and said they could have his money. We filled several plastic bags with coins and I slipped in a few dollar bills, and we put all the bags in the trunk of the car.
It was several days before we saw a homeless person pushing a cart down the main blvd. and fortunately my son was with me and we pulled over and gave the bag to a man who started to cry when we wished him Merry Christmas. I have never forgotten the look of gratitude on his face and neither has my son.
We have now done this for three years on my sons request.
When you buy things with money, you feel like its owed to you. But when you receive something as an offering from someone else, the gift is a reminder of something bigger than yourself and you are filled with a humble reverance for all life. Well, this is a story of one of those gifts. In our middle-class living room, we have three shelves of books. We call it the "open source" bookshelf because any of our guests can take any book and contribute any book to it. No one tracks it; it's all based on trust, even though our home hosts many events with hundreds of different people passing through it. These books are typically of the broader inspiration genre -- there's the general Chicken-Soup-For-Everyone books, self-help books like Power of Now, fictional masterpieces like Siddhartha, sacred texts like the Bible, Koran, the Dhammapada, and Gita, many biographies of ... Read Full Story >>
He took it out from around his neck and leaned down a bit, his eyes looking straight into mine. "Would you mind?" he asks. Looking at him through his eye glasses, I smile and say, "Of course not, Lee. It would be an honor." And with that, I was garlanded -- probably for the first time in my life -- with a simple necklace. Lee is the epitome of a happy-go-lucky guy. He used to be a trucker, I think. If there were one word to describe him, it would be happy. Or joyous. And what a pure heart. In one of those fits of unadulterated compassion, he just felt like giving me something. So he takes off his own necklace and offers it to me. It was far from an ordinary necklace. In a small town of Oregon, Lee met a Japanese-American fellow selling small hand-made, glass items. While conversing with ... Read Full Story >>
We recently bought some furniture from a shop, and they really worked hard to make sure it reached us within 2 days. So I just thought I’d buy a box of chocolates for the salesman, who really did a good job on selling us on it. I walked into the store, and Daniel sees me, and I can tell, there's a little bit of apprehension in the air, as I’m guessing that most customers go back to complain. He says "Hello, Sir! How are you doing?" And I'm holding the chocolates in front of me, and so I tell him, "Good. I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful furniture, and working with us to make it happen. Our whole family loves it, we've even taken pictures and sent them to other family and they love it too. Thanks for going the extra mile for us! These chocolates ... Read Full Story >>
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes, carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did ... Read Full Story >>
What better way to start a journey than to tag the passengers on my flight? What to tag them with was the next question. The kids were easy. I went out to a party supply store and picked up a variety of goodies- bubbles, mini mazes, cards, candy, notebooks and pens. It was perfect, the store had smiley face bouncy balls and smiley face bags. But what of the adults, the day before my trip, I realized the perfect solution was in front of my eyes for weeks. For graduation, I had received a bag of smile stones. If you haven't had the pleasure of finding a smile stone, I hope you come across one. Smooth glass stones in a myriad of colours with smiley faces drawn on in permanent black. Mid-flight a child behind came crying to her family, it was time to begin. I pulled ... Read Full Story >>
A few weeks ago, my mother, brothers and I went to Wal-Mart to get some things for my upcoming trip. It was pretty late, and the store, although huge, was very empty. However, as we approached the checkout lane, I noticed a lady wearing a baseball cap over her bare head. She looked tired, and it was pretty obvious that she was going through chemo.. .that, and my mother approached her and asked her. You see, a few years ago, my mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer. It was really hard for all of us, exspecially since we were in the middle of my parents divorce. But she got through it...but I always remember how stressful that time was. So when I saw that lady, I turned around, back out of the check out line, and headed to the flower section! I found the prettiest bouquet of pink (breast cancer survival ... Read Full Story >>
When my father married my mother in 1943 he gave my mother a 1937 crown coin and told her to keep it in the back of her purse and not spend it. This would mean that she always felt that she was protected and would always have money if she really needed it. When I was married in 1970 my husband who had heard this story, obtained a 1937 crown for me and I have always kept it in my wallet, and I have always had enough for my needs. A friend recently fell on hard times, partly through external circumstances and partly through poor planning. Friends and I have loaned her money, paid her bills, even given her food, tried to teach her budget techniques, and none of it has been a solution, she has just slipped deeper and deeper into financial trouble and depression. Last week she looked pale ... Read Full Story >>
When I was in hospital and just given birth to my first child a lady use to come in and dust and sweep. I would say 'Hello' and she would never answer. I did this repeatedly and no answer. I thought she may have been deaf. I was told that she was mute and had been because she had been in a concentration camp. She had recovered but some children threw 'crackers' at her window letting off very loud 'bangs', and she never spoke from that day on. On the day I was going home and I asked her if she would be my friend. No answer. I left her some magazines and told the staff to give them to her. I had left the hospital with my husband a new born child. Then I realized I had forgotten to ask the doctor something. I went back with my baby ... Read Full Story >>
A dear friend was only weeks away from death from cancer. She said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to see the ocean again and get her toes in the sand. We live in Central Virginia and she was unable to travel so the trip to the coast wasn't going to happen. Some of us decided the solution was pretty simple. We would surprise her and bring the beach to her. The beach included three tons of beautiful white sand dumped in her driveway, two cabanas, beach balls, pails, shovels, beach chairs, a variety of decorations and a fire pit for the bonfire on the beach at night. Of course we had s'mores on the beach. We also rented a sno-cone machine since it had gotten to the point where flavored ice was about all she was able to eat. We ... Read Full Story >>
She stood looking at every tag on the tree for over an hour. Ten years old and a heart of gold, she decided that she would give up one of her Christmas gifts to the boy named Joseph who needed clothes but wanted a skateboard.
Money was tight in our household but her argument was "Mom, I have a lot to be thankful for; maybe he doesn't have that much." That year when she unwrapped her empty gift box, she read the word Joseph in it. My daughter smiled her beautiful smile and we cried.
Ten years later, I lost that daughter in a car accident.
It's been 9 years and each Christmas I stand in front of the tree of angels at the store for an hour, searching for the "Josephs" who will get her gifts.
One year, a 15 year old girl wrote, "My baby brother needs clothes more than I need a photo album and film." So I got her box of scrapbook and photo supplies and I hope they had as much fun with it as I had shopping for her.
I know my Angel girl was watching over me that year. The girl's name was Johanna ... the same as my daughter.
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
As I waited for the bus, a shuttle rickshaw came by. It was headed towards my destination,and since it was pretty much the same price as the bus I jumped in. Inside, I found a mother sitting with her daughter. The little girl was absolutely precious. She was all dressed up in a new outfit, her hair done, new shoes and a purse on her lap. I've been taking lessons from a lot of inspiring sources and knew this was the perfect time to meet some strangers. I began talking to the little girl. They were headed to her aunt's house to celebrate the holidays. She happily pointed out her school on route and told me about her shoes that squeek when she walks. Her enthusiasm and smile were heartwarming. While conversing, I noticed something unusual. The driver wasn't stopping at the bus stops en route to pick up more passengers. In my ... Read Full Story >>
We live in a small flat in Ranip (in India). While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day). During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. ... Read Full Story >>
Many people spend their New Year’s Eve, getting dressed up and dancing their way to midnight. We decided to do things a bit differently. We filled a backpack with clothes, shoes and other goodies and headed out to the railway station. The first person we spotted was a 15-16 year old boy picking up discarded plastic bottles on the platform. We called him over and started up a conversation. We had a discrete look at his hands and noticed he had long fingernail. We explained that it was important to keep short nails (studies have shown that disease occurrence in the poor can be reduced by 30% by keeping short fingernails) and then the two of us began cutting them for him. When we were done, we offered him a chocolate bar, which made him look at us suspiciously. (In India, there is a fear that people cast spells on food and then lure children away). ... Read Full Story >>
Recently, my Mother underwent a surgery to repair a valve in her heart at UCLA Medical Center. During the first couple of days she was in the hospital, my Dad was telling me how wonderful the nurses were in the ICU and how they took such great care of my Mom and made sure she was comfortable at all times. I told him it would be great if we could think of a fun way to show our gratitude -- in the whole process of going through a major surgery, the nurses are often the people who get overlooked the most and aren't thanked enough for the compassion and care they give to each patient. My Dad had a great idea -- he asked me to bring along some cute decorative tins of chocolate from London for all of them. When I arrived at the hospital, I had my first opportunity to tag Kara, ... Read Full Story >>
well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.
The Japanese man points to my airplane seat, right as I head to the bathroom. He didn't speak much English, so I just signal that I'll be back in couple minutes. When I return, we play charades to see if he wants to swap his aisle seat with my window seat. "Yes, yes," he says with a child-like glee. I am more than happy to oblige. My window shutter has been down for couple hours of the flight already and I am hardly planning on making any further use of it. Right before he changes seats, he folds his hands and bows as a gesture of gratitude. It's touching when someone is thankful for something that takes almost no effort on your part. Before he can even get settled in, he slides up the window shutter and curiously looks outside at the clouds. He's happy. I can just tell. And that he's happy, ... Read Full Story >>
Recently my wife and I were in Maui, and we went to enjoy one of its gorgeous sunsets by the beach. While sitting there a nice lady saw us and asked, "Do you have a camera?". I replied, "Yeah", and then she offered to take a picture of us. So we stood up, got into our 'standard' arm around each other pose. Then she asked us to lie down on the ground to make the shot more interesting, and asked how to set the manual flash on my camera. My wife asked her if she was a photographer, and she replied, "Yes, but I don't have any jobs tonight."
She took some great photos of us, far better than the cheesy ones that we normally take. We thanked her, and she then walked off and asked the next group nearby if they had a camera. What a nice thing to do!
I knew my neighbor and her husband had recently separated and she was struggling. She hadn't shared with me her struggles, but I just knew it couldn't be easy money wise as they had 4 children, one being blind, and they were struggling financially before the separation. She had not been working before they separated as her youngest child was blind and not yet in school. It was summer time and school was about to start. As I was shopping for items for my granddaughters, I began thinking about her children and how she would be able to get them items they needed that year. I went to the store and bought a gift card and sent it anonymously to her address. When I checked my mail a couple of days later, I saw her down the street as she checked hers and opened the envelope. I couldn't tell her reaction because of the distance between our ... Read Full Story >>
I work in media and often get some pretty great perks in my job. I wanted to share one of them with you - probably one of the hardest acts of kindness I have done yet!!! But it was worth it!!! I was at work yesterday and was about to leave when my supervisor walked into my office and handed me an envelope. She had two tickets to the U2 concert that was playing that night in her hand and said they were mine if I wanted them. I LOVE U2, they are my favourite band, and I quickly said yes very excited about the night ahead of me! Then I wondered who to take with me. My boyfriend is a big fan and would have loved to go, but 2 of my sisters are massive fans and I know they had been trying to get tickets (with no luck). So... ... Read Full Story >>
In the store where I work there are many customers who have kids, but hardly any money. This past weekend the employees were given coupons for 20 percent off any Christmas merchandise. We could give them to whoever we wanted.
I gave most of mine out and saved a few.
While I was working I had a lot of fun giving the coupons to parents with kids who saw all the toys we had out but knew that they wouldn't get any of them. The parents really had a ball buying toys for their kids that they wouldn't have been able to buy without these coupons.
It was so nice to see their eyes light up as they began to understand what the coupons were, and how they could help (A lot of the parents either do not speak english, or very little of it).
I am having fun now imagining the happiness of some of those kids as they get toys that they 'knew' they wouldn't get :-)
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 >>
My Mom is visiting from India and I wanted to show her some Christmas shopping spirit! So one of these evenings, I took her to a nearby store. As we got out from the car, I noticed something blue and plastic and shining in semi-darkness. A black & white image of a cheerful, middle-aged lady smiled at me. It was a high-end Costco membership card. I figured she must live pretty close. So when we got home, I picked up the phone book and found the number that matched her name. A friendly male voice answered saying it is indeed his wife's card and she will call me back because she's busy feeding the baby. I was a little puzzled. Sure enough, the lady called me in 10 minutes and profusely thanked me for safe-keeping of her card. She lived down the same road, just a couple of blocks away! And then ... Read Full Story >>
Over the Christmas holidays my young boys were driving everyone in the house bonkers with their fighting, usually it's worst just before bedtime. Yesterday, at separate times of the day, I sat with each of my sons and told him "I love you". A few hours later, I realised those words had been missing from my regular vocalbulary since the holidays started. I felt guilty.
With so much time to do things together, it's inevitable that friction happens. It was kind of like coming up for air, when I said "I love you". My sons are more affectionate and calmer when they are around me now. I know it won't last, but if I keep positive, patient and loving, then life will be a lot more peaceful.
I work in a medical building right next door to a lab whose primary mission is to draw blood from all ages of patients.
Our walls are really thin and I can hear babies and young children crying, wailing the most desperate, betrayed kind of wail. It really gets to me.
So I went to The Dollar Tree store & bought cuddly, soft Teddy Bears in different colors. When I hear the lab office door open, I walk out and hand the teddy bear to the traumatized baby or child and tell them, "We are so PROUD of you! What a brave boy/girl you are!"
Some kids, believe it or not, don't trust another human being coming out of an office so don't want the bear. Some hug it right away. Most stop crying...I'm not sure who appreciates it more - the child or the parent!