Every morning, when I am on my way to work, I see people who are homeless, who are sleeping in doorways and on sidewalks, clearly in need of help. I feel very sad to see this, and most people walk by, pretending they don't exist and don't offer any help at all, not even a word. Recently, it has been extra cold in Vancouver, Canada, where I live and work. So this makes things extra tough for those who are homeless. Most of the time I arrive at work first thing in the morning, around 8 AM. Those who are homeless in the area are usually trying to sleep, shivering, so sometimes I am not sure whether it's a good idea to leave something like food or a useful toiletry bag for them while they are unaware, as it may get stolen or they make not even want it. Today, I spotted someone, who ... Read Full Story >>
I work downtown and every morning, when I walk from the SkyTrain Station (our version of a subway) to the office, I usually see people who are sleeping outside, in business doorways and on sidewalks. It is truly heartbreaking to see so many people who are homeless. Most people will just walk by and few will stop to offer a kind word or any help of any kind. When I talk with others about the homeless situation, most people will tell me that most of them are drug addicts or dealing with mental illness. While some of the homeless are suffering from an addiction or mental illness, many may have become homeless due to an illness or sudden job loss. Today, I brought a bag with a toque (warm knit hat), pair of socks, bottle of water and a mini first aid kid with me. I saw someone sleeping outside of the Tim ... Read Full Story >>
It's not uncommon to see someone who is homeless or down on their luck asking people who are walking by for spare change. I have seen the same woman in need several times. I recently approached her and introduced myself to her and asked her if I could get her anything to eat or from the Dollar Store. She said she was okay, but was trying to save up for dinner. I don't feel comfortable giving money to strangers. I guess it's a societal stereotype that when you give money to someone in need, they will use it for drugs or alcohol or something else that we may not approve of. I didn't give anything to Laura (I asked her name and told her my name.) that time. I felt bad after that encounter with her because I didn't help her that time. Yesterday, I saw her again. I decided to go ... Read Full Story >>
It's a sad reality that there are many homeless people in the city which I call home.
People huddled on the sidewalk, struggling to stay warm, with no shelter or food. As I got off the bus near my workplace this morning I saw someone who was sleeping on the sidewalk.
I went to the convenience store to grab something for my breakfast and I got a warm drink and a sandwich for the stranger in need. I left it by his side. I hope it was a nice surprise for him.
I recently posted a story about my coworker whose bright coloured Post It Notes had been taken by someone from her desk. She had bought them with her own money, and she was not happy to return from a day away from the office to find that the Post Its had disappeared. Someone had taken them. When I learned about what happened, I told her that I had some similar Post It Notes at home that I would bring in and give them to her, as I wasn't using them. When the items had gone missing from her desk, she had sent an email to all our staff to advise that someone had taken her items and that if they were found, they should be returned to her. Today, she told me that the missing items had magically reappeared on her desk, no note from the person who had taken them. She ... Read Full Story >>
Last night was a rainy, cold night. I was going to the ATM machine to take out some cash when I saw a man curled up on a nearby bench, trying to stay warm. I had a new scarf and knit cap with me, so I gave them to him.
I was then going to head home right after this happened, but I decided to go get him a warm sandwich and warm drink. It wasn't planned, but I was so glad I could and did help this person in some small way. We may not be able to help every person in need, but we can usually help one person who needs help.
I went out early today to do some volunteering and after my event was over, I went for lunch at a place I don't go to that often. Usually, I would take the bus home from there, but I decided to walk home instead of taking the bus, to get some exercise.
On my walk home, I saw someone's student ID and transit card had been dropped by the bus stop. I decided to get home and try to track her down online so I could get try to get them back to her as soon as possible. I sent her a Facebook message and I am making arrangements to meet up with her to get them back to her.
I take transit to and from work every weekday. Needless to say, it can be stressful due to full trains and buses, and the riders can test my nerves every day.
Today, I was riding the train on the way home. I wasn't really paying too much attention to the people around me who were standing on the crowded train.
Then, I noticed a young woman standing by me, who looked quite pregnant. I tapped her on the shoulder and offered her my seat. She was grateful and thanked me as she sat down.
It really is true that when you do something kind for someone else, you do feel good about it, and it lifts your mood. I often get impatient with others, which I will try to work on improving.
Let's all work on being more patient and kind. One day at a time.
I spoke with a coworker of mine today, and she told me some sad news. Her beloved dog is not in good health, and to spare the dog any further suffering, she is going to put the dog to sleep.
I knew that it was very painful for her to go through this loss, so I gave her a card with a note to tell her how sorry I was for her to lose her beloved dog and also thanked her for her help at work. I included a gift card for the 711 convenience store, so she could get herself a coffee and a treat.
I hope my words provide some comfort to her at this time of sadness. It is never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet.
They didn't know they were lost.
I was waiting at the bus stop for my bus yesterday, and I noticed a man and a woman who looked like they might need help with directions.
I approached them, and asked if they needed any help. She indicated that she thought they were okay and knew which bus they needed, which was 7 bus. She told me the street they were trying to get to. It turns out that they were headed in the wrong direction. I told them to cross the street to catch the right bus on the other corner.
Whew! Glad I took a few moments to help them.
I had the good fortune to recently receive a free double movie pass through a contest. I was not able to find a friend who wanted to join me for the screening tonight, so I was planning to go alone.
My plan was to ask the ticket person at the box office to give the extra ticket to someone who came to buy a ticket for that same screening. Went I went to the theatre, there were two women ahead of me in line. I heard one lady ask for a ticket for the same movie I was seeing. I offered her the extra free ticket. She was happily surprised and accepted. She offered to buy me a treat, like popcorn, but I said No.
I asked her to Pay it Forward and she said she would. I'm so happy that I was able to offer this ticket to her. It made us both feel good.
I was processing our incoming mail at work today, and there was a piece of mail that had the wrong address on it, and it was sent to my office by mistake.
It looked to be a utility payment that someone was mailing to their gas company. I called the company to verify their mailing address, and I will correct the address on the envelope and send it off in the postal mail.
I spoke to the woman at the gas company and asked her to contact the sender (name was on the envelope) to advise customer of the correct address, so this doesn't happen again. She said she would, but she said that it was up to the customer to make sure they used the right address. I told her that I was trying to do a good deed to help the customer, who just happened to use the wrong address and whom I do not know at all.
Think I did the right thing.
Today, as I was walking home after work, I walked by a parking meter that only had a few minutes of time left on it. I decided to put a coin or two in the meter, to add some time to the meter, so that the person did not get a ticket for an expired meter.
As I was doing this, a couple of men walked towards me. It looked like one of them had a oxygen tank. One of the men asked me if I was putting money in his meter. I said, "Yes." He seemed surprised, in a good way.
It was just a fluke that he came out right then, just as I was putting money in the meter. A few seconds later, and he would have missed me. Serendipity!
Many women in our community are struggling financially (some are homeless) and they can not afford the costs of hygiene products like pads and tampons and must often choose between buying food or those items for their monthly period.
Donations of purses, pads, tampons and other toiletries are being collected locally (Vancouver BC) at several locations across the city, and they will be given to shelters and women's organizations who will distribute them to women in need.
Today, I donated some new underwear and a large package of Kotex pads. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford these items, so I wanted to do my part to help women who can't afford them.
Let's help others when we can. It really does makes the world a better place.
Sometimes we make think that a small act of kindness may not mean much to the recipient, so we may hesitate to do anything. Eg. Offering your seat to someone on a crowded bus or train going to or coming home from work. This morning, I offered to give my seat to someone who was standing. She did not take the seat, but I felt good for offering. You can never go wrong when you make an effort to spread good karma in the world.
I grabbed some breakfast on the way in to the office today. It came with a free coffee, so I gave the coffee to my coworker when I got to work.
She has helped me at work when we were short staffed in recent weeks, so it was nice to give her a treat. Remember to express gratitude to others on a daily basis and see how it makes you and the recipient feel.
Went to McDonalds this morning to get some breakfast and saw someone sitting outside the store, leaning with his head in his hands and a ball cap for change in front of him.
Used a 2 for 1 coupon to get him a breakfast sandwich and also a large cold drink.
Gave it to him and he thanked me.
Was walking up the street afterwards, and someone walked by me and said: “That was awesome by the way.”
I had no idea that anyone else was paying attention.
I am going to try to keep an eye out for acts of kindness that others are doing. :)
Stopped by McDonalds this morning to grab something to eat before work.
I had some soon to expire coupons, so I asked a lady who was waiting in line if she would like some. I gave them to her and turns out she and her friend were tourists from Germany.
Summer time is high tourist season in many places, so if you do encounter visitors to your community, offer them a smile, help with directions and a chat, if you have a few spare moments. It will brighten their day and yours.
Let's do a kind deed or two or three.
This morning, before going to work, I went to McDonalds to get something for myself for breakfast. As it turns out, I wasn't there for msyelf, but for Bevan.
On my way in, I saw someone sitting outside the door who appeared to be houseless. When I asked, she said her name is Bevan. Unfortunately, Bevan is one of many in our community living without shelter. I felt moved to serve her in some small way. When I asked if she would like something to eat, she responded with "anything would be fine." I went inside and got her a breakfast meal with a hot coffee.
Today, a coworker of mine sent an email to staff about his banana that had gone missing from the kitchen counter. It seems that he must have put it down on the counter briefly, but when he went back for it, the banana was gone. Someone must have thought it was free for anyone to take. I decided to get him a replacement banana. It was an easy thing to do, and I think that the gesture brightened his day!