My four grown children were all home visiting this weekend so we decided to go out for brunch. The centre of attention was my toddler granddaughter. She had never had pancakes before so we were excited about her trying them. We always try to make our family meals special so this time we decided to order every kind of pancake they had and asked that they be served on one big family-style platter! We each took turns digging in and also feeding it to the baby, who loved them. There was a lovely environment at the table and lots of smiles. As I was looking around the table, enjoying this wonderful scene, a gentleman at a nearby table caught my eye. He was eating his breakfast alone quietly, in the corner. He frequently looked over and smiled as my granddaughter continued to entertain us all. Suddenly, I had a great idea. I dug ... Read Full Story >>
Once a year my Great Aunt Glenna (both in relation and in just plain greatness) gets all the ladies in the family together for a weekend at a cabin set in the woods. There are no distractions like television or radio. It is a time to commune with nature and to draw close to one another. We always have the MOST wonderful time! At the most recent of these get-togethers, I decided it would be a lot of fun to get a smile card going. I envisioned it would be passed from lady to lady with one kind act after another the whole weekend. The first morning I put a bag of mini M&M's in my Great Aunt Dorris' shoe related to a precious story she told about her grandson. It started a string of questions aimed at uncovering the doer of the ANONYMOUS act of kindness. I was suspect number one but I would never admit to it. It did ... Read Full Story >>
We were having a mini heat wave yesterday and I was in the supermarket, stocking up on juice and ice-cream. Now, I'm not much of a fan of the hot weather and I was enjoying the fact that it was cooler inside than outside, but the lady behind the checkout was suffering. I asked if she was looking forward to getting out in the sun after her shift was finished and she replied that she might not last that long. She was melting! She explained that she shouldn't have been working that day, but she had agreed to cover someone else's shift. Now she wished she hadn't. She felt like she might die! I paid for the shopping and headed for the exit. Half way there I remembered something I had wanted to get for Julie, so I went back in. On the way to where I wanted to go, I passed a rack of ... Read Full Story >>
The green box on HelpOthers.org talks about a $100 contest I submitted an idea that I would love to do. I loved the idea so much that I decided to go ahead and do it, only on a smaller scale. If I am selected as a winner of the $100 contest, I will do it on the large scale. (fingers crossed) Since I work at a Bank getting the supplies for my idea was easy: a plastic checkbook cover and a transaction register (normally for a checking account). Next I wrote a message on the inside cover: "Congratulations! You are currently the bearer of the Smile Transaction Register. This kindness checkbook began its journey with $20. Your only job is to keep it going. Don't keep it long. Look over the entries in the register to get some ideas of how to spread small acts of kindness. You can either make a deposit if the funds ... Read Full Story >>
About a month ago, while in the drive through at Starbucks, I noticed a woman in a car behind me who appeared to be having a bad day. There were two kids in the back who looked to have too much energy at 8am on a Sunday morning. The line moved slowly and at one point while pulling forward, the woman behind me bumped my car. I could tell this worried and concerned her. The entire time that I waited in line for my coffee this woman didn't smile. Looking back at her I could tell she was looking at the side view mirror wondering "Why me? Why today?" When I pulled up and paid for my coffee I requested that the Starbucks barista give the woman behind me a Smile Card and paid for her muffin and latte. Just 30 mins ago I was again waiting in line at the Starbucks. I heard a car door ... Read Full Story >>
It's the middle of the night and I find writing this blog nothing short of imperative. As I've been sitting on the floor in my disheveled room, I began to recall such an important moment in my life. Some might pass it off as "dumb" or "unimportant", but for me, it has held a great magnitude of power over my mind and how I live my life. Something so simple, yet so precious has lingered inside my mind for years now. It was a very cold winter evening when a friend of mine had attempted suicide and was rushed to Westchester Medical Center where she stayed, unconscious for quite a while. FINALLY she awoke. A friend of mine and I decided to visit her, so we picked up some picturesque flowers and were on our way. We reached the hospital and dashed madly across the freezing parking lot through the hospitals automatic doors. After signing in, up ... Read Full Story >>
Every Wednesday for 2 years now, a group of us ladies goes to a special thrfit store to look for some bargains. At this store, you could buy anything you could put in a bag for only $1! I bought a few bags and came home to sort it all out on my kitchen floor, as I usually do. As I was looking at a men's leather coat, I started to check it for any flaws. I felt something in a hidden inside pocket, so I pulled it out . It was store purchase receipts, but I did not think much of it until I unraveled it and suddenly saw a $100 bill!!!! OH MY! Well, when my husband and I finished counting it all, it ended up being $500! My husband and I were in shock! Unfortunately, there was no way to find out who the original owner was as these were clothes we bought from a ... Read Full Story >>
It was 7 in the morning. I was on a train to another city when I struck up a conversation with a young professional sitting next to me. I gathered that he came from a farming family and was now doing exceptionally well in the IT industry. He also revealed that he was stressed and disconnected from his roots. He was kind enough to give me a window seat, help a co-passenger when he dropped his coffee, etc. Just small acts which showed what a good person he was. I was pretty involved in reading my book - a biography on the Dalai Lama. Anyone who knows me well knows that the Dala Lama has played a huge role in my life although I haven't met him. In fact he is one of the main sources of inspiration I have and reading a book about him which my Dad had given to me was just ... Read Full Story >>
Mandy was the kind of girl I was blessed to have as a daughter, the kind of friend everyone wanted to have, the kind of spirit that radiated joy and happiness when ever she entered a room. Mandy left this world to go be with her Lord on November 15, 2008 in a tragic car accident. Since then, I have tried to live each day of my life living up to her expectations. I started the Kindness Revolution on Mother's day 2009 and gave out over 100 flowers to random women throughout the weekend along with a card letting them know to pay the kindness forward. I have given away jewelry, paid for coffee and tolls, paid for groceries, cleaned off car windows trying to spread the kindness and to do as she instructed. I know that each time I do a kind act, I get back 100 times more than I gave. The feeling ... Read Full Story >>
This is a story that happened 15 years ago but it has always stayed with me since then. On the way back from work every evening, more often than not there would be a homeless man standing at the exit of the freeway. He looked to be in his late 40's but was probably a lot younger. He had shoulder length straight black hair a short beard, and he was of average stature. His eyes were what struck me the most about him, they were brown and they had a sparkle. Like an inside light that was beaming out of his eyes. His eyes, I thought, represented the man in general. People say they can tell a lot from a person’s eyes. It was certainly true in his case. He always waved at every car, he was always happy and smiling and sometimes almost dancing. Every day after work I would remember ... Read Full Story >>
Every day I go into the same coffee shop on the way to work. It's part of a large chain here in the UK. I am new to the anonymous act of kindness concept. I came across it recently, and a few weeks ago I worked up the courage to ask the Barista if I could pay for a coffee for someone later that day. He looked at me kind of strangely and said "okay" and then put the money in the till. I walked out feeling doubtful that this would ever happen (and privately thinking he might just add the money to his tips). This chain stamps a card every time you buy a coffee and when you get 9 stamps, the 10th coffee is free. I had just completed my card today and was due a free coffee next time, so I cheered up as I headed out of the ... Read Full Story >>
A couple of weeks back, my friend had a yard sale, and she offered to sell some of our stuff for us. I thought it would be a good opportunity to clean my 7 year old son's room and get rid of some toys that he had long outgrown. We agreed that whatever we sold in toys would be his money. The night before the sale, we loaded up the truck with toys and a little bike that he was now too tall for. He had taken the bike for a final spin before we left home but happily put it on the truck for the sale. This little bike had had at least 2 previous owners that we knew of. It was not in the best shape and it certainly was not shiny new but it was still a bike, and the tires were still good. We put a price of $10 on it but it didn't sell. So, after the ... Read Full Story >>
I was at Karma Kitchen, a gift economy project, when a volunteer asked if anyone could use some free drink coupons for a particular airline. I enthusiastically accepted, knowing that even though I don't usually drink, I could use those free drink coupons to "tag" someone with a smilecard. I loved the idea of "tagging" someone with a smilecard and a free drink coupon on an airplane! Fast forward a month or two later, when my girlfriend and I were on a flight to Las Vegas as the first stop of a trip to the Grand Canyon. I had several drink coupons and smilecards ready, and it was just a matter of figuring out the "Who" and the "How" of tagging someone on an airplane, while still trying to stay completely anonymous. As luck would have it, we had an awesome, amazing, hilarious flight attendant, who was very, very funny (he really could have been ... Read Full Story >>
This is my first time posting a story on helpothers because I have not had the opportunity to use my smile cards yet, but yesterday on Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to use them twice :) Yesterday morning was thanksgiving and my husband and I were getting ready to head to Atlanta to spend the holidays with family. I was outside packing the car when I noticed a car sitting at the corner of the lane with the flashers on. There was a line of cars behind honking and getting very aggravated but the man at the wheel was just sat there. I called out to my husband and asked him to go see if the man needed help. My husband rushed across across the busy intersection and asked the man if he was okay. The man sitting there had simply ran out of gas, and could not get intouch with anyone to help him and he didn't have a gas can. My husband called me ... Read Full Story >>
I want to say thanks to all of you for your special notes and ideas, after I sent my request for 'gifting acts of kindness ideas' for my nephew's birthday last month. I was excited to hear from some of you with suggestions. Pancho suggested that I give him my attention -- as the greatest gift one human being can give another -- yes! Nipun helped out by sharing his own story, and got me thinking further about how I could do a kindness tag, Idaho style. I gave that kid some super-duper hugs, not to mention every bit of attention I could muster, and a good dose of kindness stories, to boot. There is a long story with great sidenotes that goes with the birthday adventure story, but the short story is as follows: I gave my nephew twenty bucks for his birthday, with the condition that he use it to do something kind for someone ... Read Full Story >>
One day, while I was walking to work, I decided to bring some flowers that I had picked from my garden that morning. I came across a random stranger, and was inspired to give the bunch to him with a smile card. Struck by the sense of joy I felt from giving flowers to another person, and maybe brightening his day, I wanted to do it again. When I got to my office, I had the idea of anonymously leaving flowers around the workplace. Sometimes, the impersonal atmosphere of the building where I work numbs my spirits a little. It's a nice building, with great light, but it just feels a little sterile sometimes. I figured lots of people might feel the same way, so why not put a little beauty there, and throw in an inspirational quote while I'm at it? After all, who doesn't like flowers? So, for the past month, I've been putting flowers ... Read Full Story >>
Four of us walk into a coffee shop -- Jessica, Russell, Michelin and I. We're all super committed to birthing a gift-economy world view. Like all activities rooted in generosity, our conversation also takes on an escalating charge as we speak about the nature of things -- "Goodness just begets more goodness. Lots of people don't trust that, because sometimes it takes time, but sooner or later, goodness does beget more goodness." Right then, the waitress comes over and offers us a bran-muffin as a gift. Completely stunned, we look at her silently begging for an explanation. With a smile that says everything, she adds, "You know, we're closing and the muffin won't survive the night, so instead of wasting it, I thought I'd give it away." The waitress disappeared quickly, but we were bubbling with compassion that was very pregnant for expression. We find the janitor, thank him for his ... Read Full Story >>
I recently had the chance to have a meal with some close friends who don't live in my city. The choice of restaurant was a pretty fancy one known for triple digit bills. We had a wonderful time together at the restaurant and approaching the end of the meal, I excused myself. I silently headed towards the waiter and asked him to charge the meal to my credit card, but to also not tell anyone that I did it. I signed for the meal and and quickly went back to my seat, no one the wiser for my trip. When it came time for the check, the waiter came by and told me and my fellow diners that the meal had already been paid for by an unknown person! They couldn't believe it and demanded to know who did it, but the waiter assured them he didn't know :) The response on ... Read Full Story >>
I went into a local cafe for breakfast one quiet morning with a friend of mine. I grabbed a smile card as I left my car, not knowing quite what I was going to do with it. During the meal, I noticed a woman sat by herself, absorbed in a book, at the table next to us. I walked over to the waitress, asked how much the woman's check was, and handed her the money and a smile card with the instructions to give the woman the card, with the paid check, but to make sure not to tell her who had done this. When the woman left, the waitress came to the table and told me that the woman was shocked and very happy, said she really needed someone to do this for her, and couldn't wait to pass it on. But what really touched me was that the waitress said the owner of the cafe had ... Read Full Story >>
Today it is 39 degrees and supposed to be raining. It would have been the perfect day for me to act upon my Kindness Idea. I was the lucky winner of the December Kindness Idea's Contest on Helpothers.org - where they give you $100 to carry out your kindness idea. My idea was to purchase umbrellas for shelter on a rainy day and small towels to wife your face and hopefully bring a little smile into your day and hand them out to folks who find themselves caught out in the weather unprepared. Once I received the check for $100 I ran right out and purchased umbrellas and towels. I laundered the towels and wrapped them around the umbrellas and banded them with a smile card. I placed them them in plastic bags to protect them from moisture, dirt and grime! Then I waited on the rain!!! Lately we’ve had plenty snow…but no rain. Yesterday the rains came! Where were the ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I found an old man and his wife sitting by a footpath looking exhausted. On asking I learnt that he had just been discharged from hospital and was going home ( I could make out some bandages around his neck, partially covered by the shirt ).
He and his wife had to walk some distance to reach the bus stop and the hot and humid weather was obviously taking its toll on them both.
I made up my mind to help them and I put them in auto rickshaw (a three wheeler taxi) and paid the fare to their house.
As he got into the auto, I saw the look of relief and gratitude on his face. It was worth million dollars! I felt very blessed and felt sorry for those who saw his condition but did not reach out to help. For me it is very hard to ignore people in need, especially when I am in a position to help.
Who knows ..... some day I may be old .... needing help .....
One sure way to feel good is to do good.
Performing acts of kindness seems to have been a theme in my life for a long time. I started when I was a little girl, when I wrote a poem about friendship to a neighborhood lady who always seemed to be in a sour mood and was especially unfriendly to the neighbhorhood children. When I had children of my own, I continued to do acts of kindness in their presence, so that they might learn by example. Sometimes they participated, and sometimes they just observed. Afterwards, each time we would talk about it and it always brightened my day immensely. One day not too long ago, my son and I were in line at the Dollar store buying an assortment of products. In a line next to ours, a woman was waiting to make her purchases. She had a few necessities and one bag of chips. She stepped up to register to make ... Read Full Story >>
I found a website that sells tiny pewter hearts which are not too expensive, so, I bought a batch and I keep a couple in my pocket most of the time.
Whenever I find the opportunity, when I am out in stores, at a yard sale or at work or anywhere really, I will ask the person I am speaking with to give me their hand. I put two of those little hearts in the palm of their hand saying, "Keep one and pass the other one on."
The responses I get are amazing! If I had won the Lottery there would not be bigger smiles or more excitement. Everyone immediately wants to tell me who is getting the other heart; someone with cancer, their child who was grumpy this morning, and so on.
A little sharing really makes people happy!
P.S. In my other pocket I carry dog biscuits so even their canine friends can be happy!
Many years ago, I was a struggling single mom starting up a new business. It was the holiday season, and my boyfriend and I had decided that we would splurge for just one evening, and go out to dinner. We went to the Red Lobster and it got me thinking about my college waitressing days and how much I enjoyed working during that time: people shopping, feeling joyful, and tipping big. I was in the holiday spirit and wanted to give the waitress a big tip, though I knew it wasn't going to be a big Christmas for us that year. When we had picked what we wanted, I did a quick calculation in my head to make sure that I had enough money before we placed the order. At the end of the meal, when we asked for the check, the waitress replied "It's already taken care of." I didn't understand? She ... Read Full Story >>
I recently went to a meditation session. At the end of the visit our host told us the following Monday was his birthday. He asked if, as a gift to him, we would do something kind for someone else on that day. I thought that was an awesome birthday idea! The following Monday, I saw my neighbor, a new mother, in the yard with her baby. I went outside to say 'hello'. In the course of the conversation, she told me, not in a complaining way but just as a matter of circumstance, about the sleeplessness and the challenges to get anything done with a baby in tow. I remembered my meditation host's request and said, "Hey! Why don't I watch your baby for an hour. I'll just hang out with him here in the back yard and you go in and take an hour to yourself." She was so surprised she almost cried. "Are you ... Read Full Story >>
As I stood in a busy lunch line at Arby's I was becoming increasingly worried I would be late getting back to the office. A grandmother and her grandson were keeping the only available cashier busy. The woman had difficulty with all the choices and, after finally placing the order, became very flustered trying to find her cash or her credit card. While this was going on, the cashier had the most gentle and benevolent expression on his face, never once making the woman feel under pressure. His mood transformed my own. I caught his eye and quietly indicated I would pay for the order. He understood and took care of it without embarrassing the woman. Then when I eventually placed my order he paid for my lunch! As I stood aside waiting for my order two other customers spoke to me about what had happened and said they would also "pay it forward" as a ... Read Full Story >>
Having experienced the joys of giving small gifts to others through regular random acts of kindness, I have increasingly questioned whether I was truly being generous or whether I was seeking ego-gratification or some sort of karmic credit to justify living an otherwise ordinary life. To test this concept, I asked myself if I would be just as generous if the acts were truly anonymous, and I would receive no credit. In seeking out those opportunities, an even more interesting challenge arose - providing random strangers with the opportunity to gift acts of kindness. The first experience was as a restaurant in Times Square with a pre-fixe lunch that included dessert. I did not want any dessert, so I asked the waiter to find another customer and tell the customer that he was offering a free dessert as a random act of kindness. I specifically made sure he did not mention me ... Read Full Story >>
Check out the video below, from a HelpOthers member ...
If you're so moved to support Hywy's 30th b'day by doing a kind act in your community, please leave a comment below about your intention, and it will be sent directly to her -- and wil make her day/year. :)
Much love to all of you who make this world a better place, one kind act at a time!
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead Join us in celebrating World Kindness Day on Saturday, November 13th by, you guessed it, doing something kind for someone else! :) Want to do something kind, but just can't think of what to do? You're in luck! We've got loads of ideas on our site, where you can find one that moves you personally. We've also included some of our favorites here below, which are quick and easy for everyone to do this Saturday in the spirit of joining the global community to promote kindness. Kindness Ideas Give a friend your favorite inspirational book with a personal note attached. Pay for the person behind you in line. Plant a fruit tree where it will thrive. Leave ... Read Full Story >>
I submited a kindness idea to Helpothers.org $100 kindness contest and I won. Armed with $100 and a mission - WOW! What an amazing week I just had! It started out last weekend - the first goal was to fill 20 “Smile Baggies” to give out. I had so much fun all Saturday picking out the items to buy. I'm a single mom of a teenager, so the opportunity to buy something without worrying about whether it would hurt our monthly budget made me feel like I had won the lottery! I picked out some practical items – a post-it note pad, pen, hand sanitizer wipes, and breath mints. But since it was a “smile baggie”, I also got some fun stuff too – microwave popcorn, hot cocoa, bubble gum, a smile stamp, and a small bottle of bubble bath. I spent Sunday night bagging all the goodies and attached the following letter to each bag: "HI! This ... Read Full Story >>