This morning I took breakfast out to a friend and her family. They are going through a challenging time and must move out of the home they have loved and lived in for 30 years. Many other friends and many extended family members were coming to clean out all the kitchen cabinets, clear closets, help pack boxes, fill bags for donating, paint bedrooms, do yard work, etc. Hopefully, with this one last push, their home will be ready to sell. Though they have a new place all lined up, leaving this one is very bittersweet.
I knew many would be hungry by mid morning so I arrived with lots of breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, and glazed carrot cake nut bread (some sliced for today and a few loaves to put in the freezer of their new home). I was glad I had prepared a fair amount of food as more folks showed up than they had expected. But everyone had a job and all were busy. With so many of us working together, we helped lighten this family’s load in so many ways. So grateful for this opportunity.
My husband and I went to dinner at a favorite restaurant this evening. At the next table there was a large group composed of many different ages. When i stopped to chat with them and share some Mindy doves and jumping frogs, I learned that it was 5 generations of the same family and they were celebrating the 65th anniversary of the matriarch and patriarch of the family.
I was very touched by the love and joy this family shared. Because there were so many of them, we were unable to pay for their meal -- but we asked the waitress to deliver one of the restaurant's famous cheese cakes to the table with our compliments and congratulations.
This is not a story of kindness itself, but I'm very glad to say that since I joined KindSpring I've been telling my collegues about the acts of kindness, and when I have a morning shift, some of them come to my office to ask about a new idea for a random act of kindness. Sometimes they will tell me what they did and how great they felt making someone else happy. And that makes me happy. Thanks to you all who remind me that a small act can really make a difference.
A couple days ago, my 9-year-old sonshine and I were grocery shopping. At the check out, a mother was trying to understand her bill. She didn't have enough money for her milk and cheese. The grocery store manager removed the items from her cart and carried them away to the refrigerator section. My son and I watched, trying not to intrude. We smiled at her little boy, who was perhaps 2-years-old. His beautiful brown eyes and bright smile--his deepening gaze filled my heart while it simultaneously broke at what was unfolding. There have been times I myself didn't have money to buy groceries my family needed, but today was different. It was payday so there we stood inline with our groceries. I whispered to my son and told him to run and get the manager back with the items. He was confused. He didn't understand me. I was trying to do an act ... Read Full Story >>
While I am in the midst of a year end crisis at work, a friend sends me a note about a potential opportunity she has and she wanted to know if I had time to chat. The first thought that popped into my head was "HECK NO... I am drowning in a major crisis!" I think I might have even put my face right into my palms. Somewhere while I was sitting there taking deep breaths and thinking "now what", a little voice inside me was saying, "do the kind thing and call her." So, I set aside my issue, got a fresh glass of water and called my friend. She was so glad to talk through the opportunity that she was facing. She knew what to do but she just needed someone to listen. What I discovered was that I needed some grounding and this connection with my friend did just ... Read Full Story >>
Today, one of our community members shared a story about hot chocolate… and it prompted an idea in my mind…. Since it so very cold here and the folks I am working with are working so very hard, I sent a note to our executive team and asked them to consider greeting folks in the lobby with a cup of hot chocolate and/or cup of coffee one morning. I told them that I wasn’t sure if the company had the funds for that but if not I was personally willing to chip in and help fund it and was hopeful the team would support me in it. To my surprise, they thought it was a GREAT idea and we will be surprising our employees with a warm cup of goodness one morning next week!!!!! I am grateful for this community and for seeing and hearing shares that spark additional ideas and ... Read Full Story >>
Today I got locked out of my car far from home and was truly stuck. I stood by my car wondering what In the world to do. My phone was in the car too so I wasn't able to call anyone. At that moment, a man walked by. I asked if I could borrow his phone. I found out his name is Yogi. He was so accomodating and kind, it was like he walked off KindSpring just at that moment to help. He said, "Of course, certainly. Here stand in the shade. Oh there's a bench, why don't we sit down. Yes please text your husband too and I do not mind waiting for him to call back." He was just wonderful! Because of his kindness, my husband was able to get to me on time so that I could get to my doctor appointment on time. I got Yogi's number from my husband's ... Read Full Story >>
I served at Soul Kitchen yesterday (Sunday) and got back more than I gave. They have one fundraiser a year and raise $1000 to fund their entire budget for the year. Since they serve a hot meal every Sunday that averages to less than $20 a week. A real shoe-string budget. Much of the food is donated, but they still need to purchase some of it. There are many other costs that are kind of hidden in the process but are very necessary - name tags for those guests that wish to wear them, take-home food boxes (the non-Styrofoam ones are more expensive, so now the limit is one a week) hand sanitizer, napkins, and more. The fundraiser is a month and two days from now and part of it was likely not to happen because there was no coordinator. I have never done anything like this before, however I am passionate ... Read Full Story >>
Jason and Caden have been "wagon pullers" since the second day of school. They are amazing and so great about taking turns pulling/pushing the wagon. Today I asked Jason if he could be a "trainer" to train one of the twins, Bradley, to pull the wagon, if he didn't cry in the morning. Jason was so cute and said, "How about if he's a pusher, not a puller?" Very great idea, and good observation by Jason! Bradley isn't quite strong enough to pull the wagon. They took the job very seriously, and this moment in the photo brought me happy tears. Jason also looked out for him at the carpet. Jason is one of my December birthdays, and one of the youngest....but very observant, kind, helpful, compassionate! Another student, Henry, took Nolan under his wing. We have our line leader, then our "second in command" who is second. Henry is the ... Read Full Story >>
We exited the seminar after the evening session with a full hotel cart pushed by exhausted legs. One darling man came to the rescue for us. He insisted that we allow him the opportunity to push our full cart through the extent of the hotel, into the entry way, and through the parking garage. He then loaded our vehicle. With a simple smile that lit up his entirely handsome face he was on his way.” Pay it Forward” was his exit line. Best hotel employee who was not one ever 😘 ... Read Full Story >>
On occasion I come across a poem or short story that I have read that deeply touches my heart. I was sent this poem when Peace was a theme that kept recurring throughout my days. Thank you for the beautiful kindspring soul who sent this poem to me when I needed it most. I am hungry for Peace. I want to slather it on thick as a sun drenched smile rising from my heart to yours. I’d make a sandwich of our tribulations and joys, layering it with compassionate slices of a mellowing perspective. The bread would be kneaded with seeds of kindness, baked to a delicate golden crust of understanding, fluffy and warm on the inside with forgiveness. I’d be sure to eat it from my best chipped plate, the one with flowers painted from a forest rain, tinged with the blush of a robin’s breast. And to wash it all down, there would be goblet of stars whirled into a constellation of such possibility, that I’d have to sip slowly so as not ... Read Full Story >>
I was grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant and met a mother and her 27 yr old son who moved to Phoenix from Iowa 2 days ago. I started talking to the guy (Cody) because I noticed he had a pretty big hearing aid. I showed him my bright purple ones! I told him and his mom, Tina all about my hearing dog Tara who was quietly lying at my feet. Tara and I have been a team for almost 8 years. After extensive training (for both of us) she was given to me free of charge by Canine Companions for Independence. Cody may be interested in applying for a Hearing Dog after I talked nonstop for 15 minutes. I invited him, his mom and his dad to join us at a weekend celebration of the Canine Companions Chapter Party here in Phoenix. This is a lesson in seizing ... Read Full Story >>
I had left my car lights on while picking up take out. I went into the restaurant and asked to use the phone to call tow truck for a jump, but instead a woman behind the counter came out and said I will try to help. She did help by using her car and my cable to give me a jump. Today, I went back to the restaurant and gave her a gift certificate for a spa pedicure and a small natural nail therapy oil. I am sure she is a hard worker and will enjoy hands on gift from my natural nail service of a spa pedicure. ... Read Full Story >>
I live in Tasmania, an island state to the south of mainland Australia; quite close to Hobart our capital city. Just before Easter 2018, I heard a report that our island state was going to experience a harsh winter. This got me thinking about the homeless in our community and the effect a harsh cold winter would have on them. Some years previously I had knitted some beanies and donated them to an organisation called St Vincent de Paul who ran a Van around lower socioeconomic areas supplying hot soup and sandwiches each evening. I was thinking that there is only so much knitting I can do, and that one person wouldn’t be able to make much of a difference. I gave the situation some more thought and touched base with two Neighbourhood Houses I had contact with and put a proposal to them, (Risdon Vale and Rokeby Neighbourhood Houses). That we ... Read Full Story >>
Today, something so amazing happened, that I am so thankful for. I was almost completely out of food, and was going to have to go 5 days without eating. I wasn't too nervous about it, and just accepted that I would be okay regardless. I prayed last night, and asked that if it would be for the best, that someone could help in my time of need. I knew nobody who could help, but trusted in what the great master said "ask and you shall receive". I simply trusted that someone who had understanding would come in my time of need if it was for the better good. Today around noon, there was a knock on my door, and a husband and wife were standing there with a dozen bags of food, and gave me all the food I could ever need for a week! I've never seen these people in my life, ... Read Full Story >>
Starting yesterday, I started sending out simple but pretty thank you cards to my elders, including my parents. I already send cards during holidays and special occasions, but it's nice to do this even for special reason. This had been on my mind to do for a while. I got a book of stamps and made a list to whom I would send notes. I wrote a heartfelt thanks message in each card, highlighting the individual or couple's memorable and most appreciated life giving attributes. Here is my "why": 1. The things upon which we focus grow. 2. Sometimes, we get disconnected from our source and must physically and emotionally reconnect. Connecting as often as possible helps our growth and helps keep us grounded. 3. Our elders are our guides, have been here longer than us, have an abundance of wisdom and are to be revered, respected and loved. 4. I ... Read Full Story >>
Just inside the entrance of a building today there was a youngish woman on a rolling walker in front of me. I was not in a hurry and did not want to startle her so I stayed behind her. She was aware of my presence and ask me to push the button for the elevator. I walked around her in the lobby to the elevator, press the button and the elevator came immediately. She asked me to hold they elevator for as it would take her some time to walk that short distance and to even get on the elevator. I was more than glad to do this, but at the same time panic rose up inside me. The "door open", and "door close" symbols on many elevators often lack the words open and close. My brain has problems deciphering symbols and I often press the wrong button. Thankfully besides the symbol, ... Read Full Story >>
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us! My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!” This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage (frustration, anger, and disappointment, etc.). As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and ... Read Full Story >>
For a week now, I have dreaded to call somebody who is terminally ill. She is an acquaintance who always is very supportive and pleasant. Why then haven't I called her? What do I say? Do I bring up her illness? How do I comfort her? Those are things that made me procrastinate. Today, emboldened by a KindSpring challenge, I finally called. And as soon as I connected with her I realized that listening is probably what she needs most. I should have known. When I went through chemo therapy I was happiest with callers who asked how I was, then let me talk, sometimes more, sometimes less. ... Read Full Story >>
It really is true that when you give, it comes back to you: I recently gifted my favorite sun hat to a friend who had been looking for one like mine for months. I found it online and had it sent to him for his birthday. A few weeks later, I lost my own. I was bummed! That hat had traveled everywhere with me. But then a few days later, a different friend had come back from his trip to the Philippines and what did he give me as a souvenir? A sun hat! I hosted my first meditation circle earlier this week, which involved cooking a dinner for the large group. I had never cooked for a large group of people in my life. I loved shopping for the food, cooking for them, and even learning a few new recipes on my own. Just today, I hiked with a friend and when we ... Read Full Story >>