It happened like this: One of my paying clients†casually told me that his son works for DisneyWorld and can let up to three people in for free everyday. It took me one precious†second to see the golden opportunity. He confirmed that I didn't have to be present since I couldn't afford the trip - that the privilege could transfer to someone in the non-profit I work for. Wow! Now my job is getting fun! So I whip off an email to the founder of this mentoring organization that is run by a guy fresh out of college who was a foster child himself at one time. Yes, they will surely make use of that. What a privilege to be in the middle of that delight!
Saturday I was with my 8 year old son and we were in Boston at the Boston Commans. There was a manyelling out "spare change." He was a homeless man.
My son said, "Dad can I give him a dollar and one of your smile cards." I said you sure can Jared. I been teaching my son to be very loving and caring. So when the homeless man took the dollar and the smile card he said to Jared, "this is the best spare change I ever got because you made me smile with this nice card thank you so much. Have a nice day." And then he turned
as he was walking away and said, "keep smiling."
I looked at Jared and he looked at me and we were both smiling together and Jared said dad I feel so good that I made that poor man smile and I told him me too honey and I am very proud of you. Then Jared gave me a big hug and said,
"I love you dad." So the thing I loved the most out of this story is from one smile card we ended up getting three smiles the homeless man, Jared, and me John.
Thank you so much SmileGroups have a wonderful day from your loving and caring Jared and John.
I know this girl who was having a hard time, and had mentioned that she wanted to get a journal to record stuff in. So, knowing that she loved penguins, I bought a notebook and penguin stickers to decorate it. It made her smile, and she got the smile card!
I set out with my infant son and two puppies into a new Northwest Houston neighborhood for our secret agent adventure in smile tagging a stranger.† We secretly discussed which stranger's house we would smile tag and leave a high end chocolate bar.† We spotted a home where people clearly had left their trash on the curb, and needed to come out their door to pick the cans up.† This was the place!
The whole "James Bond" team ran up to the door, positioned the smile tag and chocolate bar at the right angle to be picked up, and breathlessly raced away so as not to be caught during our secret agent adventure.† We were all giggling and laughing as we nonchanantly got back into our undercover outfits as a mom, boy, and two puppies who were on a casual walk through the neighborhood.
In the end, we were the ones that gained from this act of kindness, as we bonded around our secret agent adventure, and shared in the grace and joy of giving to a stranger!† According to my son, this was the best walk/outing ever.
I decided to focus on a co-worker going through a hard time last week.† She's an incredibly amazing person who teaches yoga on the side to "at-risk" youth and always has a calming effect on any room.† She was just diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted to do something for her to show her that we all collectively are here to support her.†
I decided to buy her a healing necklace with a lotus design, symbolic for new beginnings and transformation, and tourmaline stones, known for healing energy.† I sent the gift anonymously so I hope she liked it!† I haven't seen her since the necklace was delivered.†
I drive a 97 Ford Expedition, but I live by myself. I am constantly being told how that truck is too much for me and I should get something smaller but the way it came to me was of sheer Karma, I have to keep it. It's been a year now, and that truck has been helpful in so many ways.
The latest was just yesterday, I was on my way to work and passed 8 hispanic men walking along this long narrow road. The nearest structure was at least another 10 minutes by car so I pulled over and offered them a ride. They spoke no english so I used my (rough) spanish to find out that they work 5 blocks from me which was still 15 minutes away by car. I took them to their job, and went on with my day. Just thought I could share that with this site.
Below are some adult and children's fiction/non-fiction books and video. If you have any additions, please do leave a comment on this story. Adult Nonfiction Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times --By Zoe Weil Instructions for raising children to be compassionate, to respect people and the environment, and to make wise choices during the early, middle, teenage, and young adult years. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas --By David Bornstein By sharing the stories of innovators, activists, and social entrepreneurs, Bornstein presents the four basic practices of successful innovative organizations and six qualities necessary for social entrepreneurship. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life --By the Dalai Lama A treasury of teachings founded upon two ancient Buddhist texts, this work builds a bridge between everyday life and the spiritual pursuits of compassion, happiness, and wisdom. Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference: Helping Your Family Live With ... Read Full Story >>
My mom and I did this one. My niece and nephew were in the car behind us with their mom and dad and we were going through spangles...we bought two red slushies, paid for them, and then had the lady give it to them with a card when they pulled through the drive through. It was something little, but fun!
I volunteer every week at a Senior Center in Palo Alto. And every single time I have been there, I have been deeply touched with their gentleness, kindness & love. I never know who is the doer of the act of kindness - Me or Them!! They have left me speechless. What little they have, they offer without any hesitation!!
The other day, I met a nearly 80 year old lady who lives in the independent living side. When I asked how she spends her time, she tells me, "I volunteer". She goes & spends her time with seniors who are in healthcare. She had such vigor & joy!! I was so moved!!
I finally got my smile tag cards. I decided to add something to the cards- and I have always thought that a giving act is to share something you would want to keep for yourself. In my case, I'm a huge chocolate fan, and my husband brought back†from a trip to Europe two fancy, Belgium chocolate bars.†I decided to give away the chocolate bars to strangers as a random act of kindness. I was on a walk with my baby and puppies, when I saw an 80 year old man struggling to repair something on the ground.† I thought -- this is who I'm going to smile tag.† When he got a call that pulled him away from the repair job, I gleefully ran with the smile tag card and Belgium chocolate bar- and left it by the repair site where he had to lie on the ground. I know- what in ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter has been using the cards also. I have paid for meals for people in drive-thru lines behind me. She is a waitress and gives them to customers when meals are donated to them by other customers. She tells great stories about the truck stop ministry.
While coming back from an outstation trip we stopped over for a snack.†The child in me made me buy 2 big red balloons when suddenly there were 2 children who were pulling at me for some money. I gave them some money but also gave them a few candies which I had in my pocket. Something came over me and I went behind them and gave them a balloon each. The kind of smile that I got from them made my heart smile.
At times small little things can make big smiles happen.
My car was getting some work done at the shop and my father-in-law offered to go pick it up since it was walking distance for him. I had been meaning to wash it for a while and decided that I would as soon as he brought it home. I started getting the washing supplies ready as soon as he brought it. He asked if I wanted to bring it to the driveway first since the car was parked on the curb of the street. I said, "No. I want to get everything ready first." He gave me a suspicious look and walked inside. Once I was ready, I hurriedly picked up my keys and went outside to bring the car.
As soon as I walked up to it, I noticed the sparkling clean windshield which was filthy and dusty just hours ago. I went closer and realized that he had it professionally cleaned inside and outside. I ran back inside the house with a big smile and noticed there was a smile card under my keys that I hadn't noticed in a hurry. I got tagged! :-) It was such a thoughtful thing for him to do in an otherwise hectic week.
I still can't believe that I got tagged by my father-in-law. Kindness is contagious.
What people appreciate the most is the people. Thatís what we learn at the annual "Walk for Hope" each year. Sure the quotes are great. This year they were even hand made and literally took over three months to create. The activity stations are great too, they give the walkers a chance to pause, interact and reflect. But year after year, people always say that the best part of the walk is interacting with all the people that are there. What a concept, just your mere presence becomes a gift at the walk for hope. Just by choosing to walk, you are giving a gift to another walker. The people that come to the Walk are pretty unique I would agree. They participate in both the moments of silence and the warm-up exercises by the Laker Girls. They wish to make the ... Read Full Story >>
As I walked down the street, I took in my surroundings and was keeping an eye out for opportunities to serve. I spotted a man sitting off to the side of the road. He had soiled himself repeatedly and looked like he hadnít bathed in days. This was someone I wanted to reach out to. It is Dussera (a holiday in India), so fafada and jalebi (sweets) vendors are everywhere. I decided that like everyone, this man too would eat these food items today. I went to a nearby vendor and ordered 20 rupees worth of fafadas and jalebi. I told the man behind the counter who it was for and asked him to put a little extra love into the food and packing. I then took the bundle and made my way towards the man. He was surrounded by a 1 ft perimeter ... Read Full Story >>
I was shopping and next to me in the meat aisle, was a woman in a too-thin winter coat. Her little boy sat in the cart seat, quietly. I noticed his thin legs, older clothes that were too small for him and his shy smile. That cart was painfully empty. A small bottle of milk and a loaf of the cheapest bread was all that I could see. As I mulled over my selection, I watched the woman out of the corner of my eye. She picked up -- and put down -- the same wrapped pot roast three times. Finally, she turned away, without any meat for her cart. Without thinking, I put my hand in my pocket to see if I had any change. To my astonishment, I pulled out a $20 bill I didn't know I had. ... Read Full Story >>
My SMILE cards came in the mail last night. YAY! And I have been so excited to use them!
I read a story about taping a card with the right change on a vending machine and I thought i'd try it out...
I sat at my desk and tried to secretly get my card and money ready, but people kept coming in and I wanted to keep it anonymous so I had to keep hiding my card and money. I felt like i was a spy on a secret mission!!!
I finally got it done and went to the kitchen, which had around 10 people in it. So I had to stay and drink about 4 cups of water until no one was there!!! So funny!!! (at least I am hydrated!).
I stuck the card on with the money and ran out as quickly as I could... my heart beating so so so fast!!! I never thought being secretly kind could produce this kind of adrenaline!!!
I will go and check on it soon... I hope someone has been blessed and feels as good as I do now!!!
Ok, I'm getting started!
1. I crocheted a bag and added 44 (an angel number) smilestones to it for a friend's bday, so that she can commit acts of kindness herself; she will LOVE it. :)
2. I put together envelopes decorated with a simple smiley, containing the poem and a smilestone, and a pal and I crept around the grocery store parking lot placing them on windshields, after which we'd scurry back to the car and watch them be retrieved by the car owners. TOO much geeky fun, I tell you.
3.† Last night I handmade a bunch of colorful smile cards.† The same pal and I laminated them, and took them with us on our mission.† On the way back from the grocery store we hit Mickey D's for sundaes.† We asked to pay for the car behind us (the drive through worker was quite confused, but amenable) and gave him a card to give to the car behind us as well.† Through the windshield we saw the occupants smiling, reading the card the window guy handed them, and really getting a kick out of the experience.† We managed to get our ice cream and take off before they could see us up close.† Woohoo!
At Manav Sadhna, a non-profit organization in India, itís a common site to see people come in asking to see Jayeshbhai (one of the Founders). One day, I was milling around when I saw an elderly man come in using a walking stick. It was obvious that the man was blind and as I went to him to offer my assistance, I found out that he was blind in both eyes. The manís sons did not take care of the man, so he lived with his brotherís sons. Everything was fine at home, but the man did not want to be a financial burden on others. He wanted to support himself through his own sweat and effort. He could do the rope work for wooden bed frames and knew such a business in Palitana would do well. In order to start this business however, ... Read Full Story >>