I was a first year college student in a Graphic Design course and I'd like to tell you an interesting story that happened to me a few months ago. You see, I live in a "seedy" (an abundance of illegal activity) apartment building whose residents are a large diversity of minorities, most of which I have never met, (I don't even know my neighbors name), and we all have to use the laundry room on the third floor. The dryers in the laundry room are old and usually require more than one cycle to fully dry even a small load of laundry. One evening I found I had only one loonie left for the dryer (they only accepted $1 coins) and so opted to leave my wet clothes in the dryer all night knowing that my clothes would still be damp in the morning and that they were the only ... Read Full Story >>
I am 36 years old and went in to the Dr. last November with a severe cough. That cough got worse and worse and after a x-rays, a cat scan and biopsy turned out to be 4th stage Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have always been pretty healthy, worked out and had no cancer previously in the family to speak of. I have had so much love and kindness demonstrated to me during this time. I have had to go through 9 rounds of chemo to date with 3 left to go. Doc says I am responding very well to the treatments and should be done in August of 06. I have learned that time is so precious and should be spent wisely! We do not know how much time we have left here so turn off the tv and interact with God, Family and friends. If you were to loose someone close to you today or tomorrow you could face the regrets that you should have spent more TIME with them and showed more love. Through my trial I have changed my daily life to spend time by: Having at least 1 hour of family time daily and playing with my kids, calling people I care for and letting them know I care for them, and helping those in need.
Thanks and please spend your time wisely!
One snowy, slushy, wet day I only had a few minutes to go out and get a coffee before I had to be back at work. I ran out without my coat, in thin shoes and it was freezing. Blocking my path was a huge puddle of icy water. I must of looked pretty forlorn because an elderly gentleman on the other side of the street removed his hat and bowed to me saying, "Madam, were I but 20 years younger I would carry you across." It was a small thing to do for a stranger, but it certainly warmed me up!
Normally I would be posting a story about who I gave my smile card too...however, today, I am the reciever!
I recieved a very large cardboard box from UPS yesterday and an even larger suprise! Inside was a wide variety of items, including stuffed animals and books to pass on to the local safe house for my project! Included was a letter, and (of course) a smile card! I think I sat for a good fifteen minutes in complete and total aww! And the smile on my face...well, it's still there!
The contents of that box really inspired me and made me feel really great! So, right now, I am sending a telepathic hug and a super huge THANK YOU to my "smiley" friend in Canada! You really made my day!
3 years ago I fell off a horse breaking my back and pelvis. I did not know if I would ever walk again and living alone, I had no one to help me when I got home from hospital. I was unemployed and uninsured at the time and could not afford to hire help. But neighbors began bringing me meals, mowing my yard, feeding my animals, running errands for me, bringing in my mail, and much more, and all without me asking and many times without telling me they had done them. As I recovered I tried repeatedly to get disability benefits which takes a very long time to be even considered, and was denied on every appeal. Fearful of losing my home, family members came to my rescue and kept me afloat. I have so many heros in my life to be grateful for and if I can put a smile on each one of their faces, it will be a drop in the bucket of my gratitude for them all.
While going through a time of great sorrow and grief over a loss, I left my apartment and went to the 99 cent store to pick up two things I needed. Although these were not important items, I needed to get out for a while.
Having picked up the two items, I wandered through the store in a state of depression or shock, picking up more and more stuff, filling my arms. I was juggling these items, not willing to walk to the front of the store for a cart, not really thinking I needed one.
I heard a voice in the distance, far removed from my frame of mind, saying, "Lady, Lady." I turned around to see this man holding out a basket to me in both hands. He said, "Lady, Lady, please stop suffering,” and he gave the basket to me for the burdens I was holding on to. All I could say was, "That was so sweet!”
Then the man was gone, and the other shoppers were frozen in time watching what went on. They added, "Yes, that was so sweet.” In an instant, that one act of kindness changed my heart and mind, and he was long gone without even my being able to say thank you. The moment came and went, and it changed my day.
As I approached a red light, I noticed a man holding a sign that read “Looking for a job, please help.” Only having a part-time job myself, I knew that I couldn't help with his job. But I wanted to do something.
I put the car into park and walked back three cars to where he was standing and gave him $10. He just looked at me, and we both started to cry. He said, “You know how long I have been standing here and no one has even looked my way?” I said, “It’s just a sign to let you know God is looking out for you. Keep your head up.”
It felt good to give someone hope who was in need. Sometimes all we need to know is that someone understands.
At the hospital, I was visiting a friend who had lost her baby. I passed a woman in the hallway who was coming from chemotherapy alone. She looked tired. Her shoes were untied.
I asked her if could I tie her shoes for her, and she said yes. So I sat down on the floor and tied them. She said that she felt like a kid again and it was a good feeling to have someone who cared.
I was a traveling nurse (just recently stopped) and one of the most wonderful times in my life was when I was driving north for Christmas....I found a $20 bill and decided to put it to use....I paid for tolls for the people behind me and with that act of kindness--many smiles were brought to others faces as well as mine...some people caught up with me and waved thank you, some had cars full of kids and presents and the waves made my day...so random acts of kindness are wonderful and brought smiles to many people that day...the most fun was trying to get the toll takers to do it...they looked at me as if I had lost my mind when I said--I would like to pay the toll for the 3 people behind me...but some of them really got into it...it is a special memory and one I hold in my heart every day.....
Once, many years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and was scheduled for a mastectomy. That morning I attended a college class in which the husband of a good friend was also a student. Most mornings we said hello to one another and that was about it - he would sit with his guy friends, and I usually sat alone. When he entered class that morning, he came and sat next to me. He never mentioned my mom, never talked about the situation at all...he just sat next to me and chatted a bit. That was the day I learned that sometimes the kindest act is just to BE there...and I always remember this as one of the most touching acts of kindness I've ever received.
Everyone in the office noticed the fun going on across the street a few days ago. The temperature had topped 90 before noon and on the lawn of a residence motel a large group of kids had made their own "slip-n-slide" out of a large blue plastic tarp, a garden hose and the built-in sprinkler system.
In a city as transient as Reno, and as geared to adult amusement as our city is, it felt good to see kids doing something as wholesome as playing in the sprinklers. I was still watching when the boss' wife pulled up and walked across the street with a box of popsicles she had bought for the kids. She just wanted to add to their fun. She gave the box to an older girl who passed them out to the whole group. It reminded me of the unexpected joys of my own childhood summers.
My mission is to step way out of my comfort zone in serving the needy and not the greedy. I do hot dogs for 5 cents in front of my used tire co. just to meet people, hear stories and pass out free bibles, I hand them a one page story explaining "Why" hot dogs while they wait.
I am in the process of building a "Mission Possible" team to go into the many fields of the needy.
I am a Police Officer. I went to a woman's home to take a report of damage to her fence. She thought neighborhood kids had torn it down. I found out her husband built the fence 30 years ago, and all the paint in the world couldn't stop it from rotting. She had paid a fence company a deposit, but could not afford the balance, over $140. She is 89 years old, and on a fixed income.
I went to the fence company the next day and paid the balance. They readily took the payment, but told me I was nuts. I told them her husband built the fence, he had died, and the fence meant a lot to her. After hearing her story, they did a great job putting it up.
Telemarketers. As much as I dislike more than almost anyone I know being disturbed by telemarketers I have always told myself that most of these people are simply trying to make a living with a tough and thankless job. I try to tell them quickly but kindly, in a cheerful friendly way, that I am not in the market, that I want to save their time because I know they're trying to make a living and I wish them "good luck". This I find, is better than pretending to be interested, raising their hopes unnecessarily and wasting their and your time and patience.
If you know someone so hard up they have to make ends meet by telemarketing, give them some flowers. Anyone who has to wallow through that much rejection every day needs some random kindness!
After reading so many acts of kindness on this site, I remember all the things I use to do for others in the streets, malls and other places.
The one that gave me the most joy is a kid that I bought an ice cream for. He was standing at the ice cream truck looking at the guy saying "Can I have an ice cream? I came first in my class." The vendor says "You can ice-cream but do you have the money to buy it?" After the vendor finish selling to other customers, he drove off leaving the kid standing there.
I jump in my car chase him down and brought a big one and gave it to him and said keep being in top of the class and you will surely reach your goal in life.
But as for me now I cannot even pay my mortgage this month. I'm sure someone will help.
Thank you for your gift of smile cards. I used them as a very effective tool to teach my children the importance of outreach to those less fortunate. I held a family meeting. As a prelude to my lesson, I read to them Matthew 25:37-40. I volunteer at a hospital, assisting cancer patients. We decorated roses with curled ribbon and attached a smile card to each rose. We snuck into the hospital waiting room early in the morning before treatments began, and left fragrant smiles for the cancer patients.
I helped at my 8 year old daughters school disco last night. While we were there another little girl she knew (also 8) had come to the disco without any spending money (they were allowed 2 pounds each but the little girl didn't know that). The kid was upset and my daughter was upset for her. Without any prompting my daughter came up to me and said Mummy - I'm going to give her half of my money - which she did. I was so proud and then some of the other kids joined in too and bought the girl sweets and drinks. I felt priviledged to be with such a lovely group of 8 year olds - smiles all round.
On my way home from work yesterday, the last half of the route is a beautiful drive through the country. It was a beautiful day and the spirit of kindness overtook me when I saw an old lady in a wheelchair sitting beside the road just absorbing the day. I stopped at the nearest store and bought a bouquet of flowers for her. After I drove back and gave the flowers to her, she looked so touched that it made the little tiny act I did seem like the biggest.
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 >>
I was catching a flight from Calcutta to Madras and had arrived at the airport rather early. Have always thought of airports as rather happy places- everyone at the beginning or the end of a journey- or both- such a sense of adventure in the air- and warmth- because people travel to see people and you know as you look around that that's someone's daughtersonhusbandwifefriendgrandmotheruncle cousinnephewhathaveyou and someone on the other end is going to be So Very Glad to see them. So until I saw the young couple sitting a few seats away from me, and noticed that the woman was crying-I'd never stopped to think that though airports are places of Adventurous Arrival they can also be about Difficult Departure. The young woman was crying, the young man was- not. He looked distinctly connected to her and decidedly uncomforting (and yes that is judgemental of me but so be ... Read Full Story >>