Shopkeeper Tom Algie faced a dilemma over Christmas -- how to give himself and his three staff time off but without letting down his customers. So he came up with a solution to suit everyone: leaving the hardware store open with an honesty box. He left a note telling shoppers who came in on Boxing Day to serve themselves and then leave their payment in the box he had rigged up. Perhaps astonishingly, his plan worked. Trusting shopkeeper Tom Algie wanted a day off and left his DIY store open with a note and honesty box - and returned to find £187 inside When Mr Algie, 47, returned at 4.15pm to close up, he was delighted to find the shop in Settle, North Yorkshire, had taken £187.66 - and two euros. The father of two said: 'I didn't think twice about leaving the shop open. Settle is a lovely quiet ... Read Full Story >>
It was 8.30 am on Sunday morning. I woke up exhausted from a very hectic weekend, but had a smile on my face at the thought of our first London Smile Card Activity! The weather was brilliant, it was going to be a fantastic day! I grabbed my batch of cupcakes which I had made the day before...this was my first attempt at baking, and my husband warned me that taking on this feat of making 50 cupcakes for a public audience was overly ambitious. I bought a box of pre-made cupcake mix in trepidation, but decided the day before that I wasn't going to use it. I was going to do it from scratch, and do it with a heart full of love because that was the only way. After burning the first 3 batches, I started getting the hang of it...process of trial and error seemed to be ... Read Full Story >>
Anymore, it seems like all we ever hear about are the horrible things people do to others. I can't even turn on the news at night (we get Kansas City, Mo. news) without hearing of at least 3 people who were shot and killed plus numerous other acts of violence. Also, with families everywhere pinching pennies everywhere they can, not everyone is feeling as generous as they normally would be. But I found out that even in tough times, people can do simple things that might greatly improve a stranger's day. Not long ago, I was having one of those end of the week, everything fall apart, rotten days. I had a hard day at work, my week didn't go well and problems just kept popping up everywhere. Things broke or quit, unexpected bills came in and I was struggling to keep from loosing my cool from all the stress. Then ... Read Full Story >>
REDWOOD CITY, CA - Imagine this: on Aug 11 shopper Jenni Ware gets 207 dollars of groceries at Trader Joe’s and realizes only at the checkout line that she has lost her wallet. Carolee Hazard, in line behind the distressed woman, graciously offers to cover the tab! Jenni goes home and sends Carolee a check for 300 dollars, and suggests that her benefactress treat herself to a massage with the leftover cash. Carolee turned to her online Facebook community for advice on what they thought she should do with the 93 dollar gift. The idea Carolee choose was to donate the surplus to a local food bank. Carolee not only sent in the money that Jenni had given her to Second Harvest Food Bank, but matched that amount herself. So did a Facebook friend. And another. And another. Kids have pitched in 93 cents. And since the story has been on Facebook’s ... Read Full Story >>
I was at risk of flunking out of the state college. I had to pass this one course or else I would be kicked out. This was the time I realized that all my bumming around was taking a toll on my studies. I realized at this time, albeit a bit late, that studies must come first. My grade for this particular course was a "conditional failure" meaning I had to take an exam which would determine if I passed or failed. The course was being taught by a kind, elderly professor. I gathered my courage and went to his house to ask him if I can take the exam the next week. I told him that I had learned my lesson and would take my studies seriously from then on. What he did surprised me. He took out an exam and asked me to take it right there and then. ... Read Full Story >>
I've been racking my brain trying to think of meaningful homemade gifts to give for Christmas this year. My family has agreed that instead of buying gifts for each other and for extended family and friends, we will be donating our gift budget to a children's charity. However, I would like to make "thank you" gifts for the adults in my life to acknowledge the holidays and thank them for their support this year (since they won't be receiving gifts from us). Then I remembered this story from HelpOthers.org about the food for thought jar.
What a perfect gift idea!!! Jars come cheap or can be found around the house and recycled. I am going to take the food for thought jar a step further here and give them as gifts with the hope that my mother and sister and friends will read the special tidbits inside and feel good every day :) (and of course, each one will have a smile card in it.)
Thank you to Bedbug for her creativity and inventiveness and wonderful idea that I am going to recycle and reuse for my own purposes.
If this were your last day, how would you spend it? "If today was my last day on earth I imagine the world would suddenly come into view as never before. All the things around me, the sights, sounds, feelings, those natural and even unnatural, would have more meaning, preciousness, & vividness than ever before. I would try to live each moment of that day with mindfulness and presence, appreciating the small things that I usually take for granted and feeling grateful to experience them all for one last day. Ideally I would spend the day with loved ones, simply enjoying each others' company. If for some reason it wasn't possible for me to be with loved ones I would make sure I contacted them to let them know how much they have meant to me and how they have blessed my life. There's no reason why this imaginary last ... Read Full Story >>
My friend/new found kindness buddy and I were walking down a familiar street near our university and we stopped by an ATM to withdraw some money. We were in the queue when we noticed a young girl helping a blind girl on her way home, by holding her and not letting her come in contact with any danger. My friend H and I felt we needed to thank her for the immense act of kindness that she was doing. So, we decided to make a balloon animal for her to express our gratitude. We created a balloon giraffe and handed it over to her when she stopped by a pharmacy next to the ATM and told her that we were touched by what she was doing to help someone else who is disabled. A connection emerged so strong out of this interaction that we had that she wanted to join us ... Read Full Story >>
“Josie Metz's father won't be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. But thanks to California photographer Lindsey Villatoro, the 11-year-old was able to experience what it might be like anyway. Her father, Jim, 62, had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he and his wife, Grace, hired Villatoro -- a mother, photographer and founder of Love Song Photography based in Menifee, Calif. Two years ago, Villatoro began offering photography sessions for terminal clients or clients with serious illnesses to document their journeys and was referred to the Metz family. "I try to really showcase the person for who they are and not the illness," she told The Huffington Post during a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. Villatoro went to Jim and Grace's home for a shoot and offered to do one with their young daughter, Josie. After she left, she posted about the family on her website ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday afternoon in St. Louis Mo it was rainy and light snow. While pumping gas, a young man approached me and asked if he could pump my gas for a dollar so he could get something to eat.
At that moment the pump stopped, my tank was full. I asked him to meet me at the Burger King across the street. At this time he informed me that the manager had asked him to stay away, as he was begging.
I went in, talked to the manager, explained that I was going to buy him a meal, and would they let him stay long enough to eat his meal. The manager agreed. I purchased his meal, and thanked the manager by telling her she'd done a good thing and also gave her a smile card and a Hershey Kiss!
Yesterday, I went out and saw a street vendor selling potato donuts. I had bought 8 donuts for the boys at home. Before I left the place, I saw this little boy sleeping on the sidewalk, with his mom sitting next to him. She appeared to be sleeping as well, with her head resting on her knees. Their clothes were tattered and dirty.
As I walked to my car just a few meters away, I couldn't ignore the tightness in my chest, as the thought of what that boy was going through came into my mind. So I went back and gave the woman the bag of donuts. She thanked me and placed the bag next to her and went back to sleep.
I left the place and hoped that maybe when that little boy wakes up, he will smile when he sees a bag of sugar covered donuts, all for him.
It costs nothing to share a smile and help someone in need. Today I woke up grumpy and on the wrong side of the bed (obviously).
I knew that doing something special for someone would snap me out of this mood. I work with a bunch of college students and today, I met a really nice student. She was returning after the death of her father. He lived to see his daughter attend college! I decided to go one step further and show her where she needed to go for her ID and parking pass.
Instead of telling her, I walked with her. I am rehabilitating from a full knee replacement. I really feel that walking with her not only helped her learn her way around college, but helped me in my rehabilitation process. We both smiled, glad that we had made a new friend. Something so simple as a smile goes a long way.
I sent a "We Heart You" card to a young woman who fostered my dog in between her (my dog's) time in the pound in Arkansas and when I met her.
It has been three years since I've adopted Espresso, and I am grateful everyday to all the people and agencies involved the rescue process. But individuals who foster animals (and children) stand out as exceptional.
To love unconditionally and without attachment to save a life ... Jennie is one of those exceptional individuals.
Everyday when I go to school, I thank my bus driver before I get down, and say good morning when I get on in the morning. He seems like he is starting to appreciate it more and more. I am going to try and do this for the rest of the year.
Hopefully his heart will be touched.
I reconnected with two people who came into my life as angels during a very difficult time.
One was my roommate. He was the first person I befriended in a foreign country. He always supported me, mentored me and encouraged me when I needed a friend. Since then our lives had moved on and we had lost touch.
The other was a mentor who helped me get freelance work at a time when even affording one meal was difficult. My brother was unemployed in those days and he lived with me too. It was through this mentor that I earned just about enough to save $50 a month, which, at that time, was a huge amount for me.
I wrote long e-mails to each of them expressing how wonderful they were and saying I was truly grateful for their presence in my life.
As serendipity would have it, it was BOTH their birthdays the day that messages went out!
Sufficiency in my life: As the weather begins to turn cold in the Midwest, I feel gratitude towards the blessings that keep me warm: beef stew in the crockpot, a warm and cozy blanket, cuddles from my children and a sweet kiss from my husband.
As the days grow shorter we tend to spend more time inside, however I appreciate the time to connect and converse with my family. At the dinner table, I've asked my kids during the month of November to share and reflect on kind deeds they accomplished during the day.
My son explained today how he helped another student clean up a mess after this child had spilled his lunch. I could see in his smile and hear in the tone of his voice a sense of accomplishment he felt in helping others.
As I was waiting for the bus, I saw a shuttle rickshaw and decided to hope in. Inside, I found a mother sitting with her daughter. The little girl was absolutely precious -- all dressed up in a new outfit, her hair done, new shoes and a purse on her lap. I began talking to the little girl. They were headed to her aunt's house to celebrate the holiday. She happily pointed out her school on route and told me about her shoes that squeak when she walks. Her enthusiasm and smile were absolutely 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 mind, I began to think if this trip was going to cost more than the bus fare. "Maybe I should have asked how much it was going to be before I jumped in," ... Read Full Story >>
Airports, even familiar airport, are very difficult to negotiate alone, when you have lost a good deal of your eyesight, as I have. Boarding a recent flight out of San Francisco, I sank into my seat with relief and belted myself in. I was seated at the bulk head on the aisle. The window seat was occupied by an elegant older man. There was an empty seat between us. Looking to escape the tension of the past half hour, I put my purse on it and took out a murder mystery and began to read. When lunch was served an hour later, I was deeply engrossed, the book inches from my nose. We were given a salad, a bagel, and a pint container of yogurt. Times have changed. Continuing to read, I tucked into my plate until my seatmate gasped in dismay. Turning my head slightly, I saw that he had ... Read Full Story >>
The maid at the Kingsgate Hotel off Salam Street in Abu Dhabi had outdone even my mother. Every article of clothing had either been placed on a coat hanger or folded neatly, even the socks. The disposable razors and washing gels were lined up like toy soldiers, waiting to do battle. I thanked Agnes profusely, gave her a generous tip and went about my day. Late that evening, when I returned from work, a shiny new alarm clock was on the bedside table. As I had occasionally asked the maid for the time of day, I knew right away what had happened. She had used some of the money I had given her – money she certainly needed for herself or her family back home in the Philippines – and bought the clock. As I hope anyone would have done, I told her she was too kind and returned the ... Read Full Story >>
I recently received a Smile Deck, and decided to do a challenge, by drawing one card randomly every day! Here were my opportunities for smiles this week ... 7 ♣ - Thurs. Sent encouraging notes to family members who are far away A - Fri. Gave hugs to first five people I saw in the morning. They were exercising in the park. I announced my mission – to give hugs – and was enthusiastically accepted by 4, somewhat reluctantly by one. 6 ♣ - Sat. Made a lunch for my husband and included a written note with a joke in it. 9 ♣ - Sun. Put on a vintage “Sun, Wind & Fire” video for my husband & did a little joy dance to this fine disco music. 8 ♣ - Mon. Did a chore for a neighbor .Took out & carefully folded his dried laundry in our apartment laundry area. 9 - Tues. Donated a favorite recipe ... Read Full Story >>