On Thursday my car overheated and I went to the petrol station to get help. Instead of selling me the wrong and expensive in store product, the attendant referred me to an auto supply shop where I got the correct product for my car.
I went back to thank him with a bag of treats. Well, I went in today to get petrol and this is what happened - one of the other attendants said he was so pleased he kept looking at everything in the bag, they took a photo and sent it to the gas station owner. The owner emailed it to all the other station owners in the North Island.
One of the owners forwarded it to Head Office and they sent a thank you to the attendant. I told my husband and he said 'its amazing how a small act can be so big' and I agree :-)
At my previous work-place we had a really dreadful boss. It made for a united staff! One of the things one of the teachers used to organize was a 'kind bomb' and if a teacher was unwell and away for a period of time, or who was struggling with difficult times, this teacher would send out a message and keep a box in her room. All the staff members would contribute something - a magazine, chocolates, food items, write cheer up messages of encouragement, bathroom products, and vouchers, items as big or small as people could afford. It was funny that sometimes the teacher who it was meant to be for would find out there was a kind bomb going down, and contribute to not knowing it was for them! Lol. There was a presentation, hugs, tears, and it was a beautiful and easy thing to do. When the teacher who organized it ... Read Full Story >>
We have had bad news this week, my husband was made redundant (laid off/no job anymore) from his job on Tuesday. I am thankful we are better off than most, and will be able to stretch our finances until he finds another job.
Amongst all of my stress, trying to stay strong for both of us...my husband gave me $100 cash and said "go on, go out and buy some coffee cards and Subway cards, lets take them to the hospital for the staff, they work hard" My eyes filled with tears, and I was so proud of my husband. I don't often have to say we can't do things because we need the money ourselves, but that was my first thought. He said "we will be okay, we need to look outwards not inwards" what a very special man.
Today I did a post-it note blitz - on public toilet mirrors, outside a public parent's room, and on the back of park benches in the park. I wrote the notes on the run of the mill yellow post it notes saying "Be the Kindness in the World Today" "A smile is free" "Your smile looks great on you" "I'm glad you are reading this, you are a blessing to our world" It was one of those days that I didn't feel like putting myself out there, and perhaps on those days its important that I do :-)
This is an unfolding story. I once came across bedding all folded up behind the swimming pools where I walk my dog Roux. I wondered at the time who was sleeping there and why, what had happened in their life that this is how they had to live. I then saw a young woman walking away from the area when I was walking. I was surprised and wondered if she was the person sleeping rough. I saw her again the next day, walking towards that area of the park. Roux the ice breaker, ran up to her for a pat, and she smiled and she is young, mid teens? I asked her if she was sleeping there and she looked embarrassed and said "no" and I didn't believe her. It was winter at the time. She had a T-shirt on and a small rucksack and looked cold. I thought of Mindy (A KindSpring Member) Oh well ... Read Full Story >>
I'm part of a social action group of eight inspiring women (men didn't want to join our group!) and we are looking at a response to homeless women in our city. At present men are catered for in a very small way. We met with an 86 yr old woman, who was asked by the Police to accommodate a single homeless woman, and there was nothing suitable for her.
We have Women's Refuge, but they only accept women with children. This 86 yr old woman now runs a home with 6 beds for single women in need. How amazing is that? Her message to us was "One person CAN make a difference"
I was talking to one of my students yesterday who is the eldest with three younger siblings, she was telling me that the younger two girls now have a repurposed bookshelf in their bedroom.
Their Mum set out their books so that they could easily access them. Through a charity funded scheme in our school each child chooses a book to take home 4x a year, so the girls now had 6 books on their shelf.
I grew up in a book driven home. Some of my best friends were not in the playground, but on a page. The thought of not having that pleasure of the company of a book, mourn and celebrate along with the characters, cry or dance at the end... Or reading the last pages slowly because I dont want the book to end...
My best friend said she will have a look through the abundant bookshelves of her children and donate. Im going to do the same, and keep vigilant at charity shops. Im sure those girls will soon have more than 6 books between them :-)
I've been a bit busy behind the scenes. As a lot of you know I started a Facebook page in July, and its steadily growing and up to 333 likes as of this morning! The best part isn't the number of 'followers' but its the comments - I love reading about what people do, their ideas and views and get some feedback on what I'm doing too. You can see the FB page HERE. In April of this year, I was invited by a friend to join her Social Change group. We are 8 women from all walks of life, all ages, different backgrounds and experiences. We had one thing in common - we live in a fantastic country and yet we see homeless people on the streets asking for money. We have a generous welfare system, and a social housing scheme - but its a problem that is getting worse. ... Read Full Story >>
I had a message from my friend. A lady on her Pay It Forward page, is knitting slouch beanies for the whole school I work with (92 kids). These are kids that don't often get extras or even RAOK. I can't wait to see their faces and warm heads in winter!
My lovely husband had a bad day at work. He came in the door and suggested we go for a walk. He said "come on, grab your post-it notes too" and we walked and talked and post-it blitzed the main road bench seats, bus shelters and a little quiet park where we stopped and talked more about our days. We both made our difficult days into something uplifting for someone else :-)
I stopped in at the supermarket to get a few things and there were two ladies collecting food for a winter food drive for a charity. I bought a few cans of food and two chocolate bars, which I handed to them and thanked them for spending time in their weekends collecting for those in need. They both smiled and thanked me and said it was just what they needed. Before KS I wouldn't have done that, and now I'm brave enough for personal greetings and eye contact :-)
I dropped off two cheer-up gift bags (socks, bottled water, puzzle books, hand cream, lip balm...) and 15 packs that had tissues, toothbrushes, toothpaste, travel size shampoo & conditioners, lip balm, lotion... To my local hospital.
The lovely nurses gave me a hug, and said "I remember you from last time! We gave out the cheer up bags to patients straight away, and we kept a few in the cupboard. We gave those ones out on Mothers Day to patients without visitors" yay, it was nice to have feedback on how a small thing cheered someone up.
I left post it notes in the park on park benches in the sun this morning. This one was my favourite (and may go on the back of the front door tomorrow) "May your heart be kind, your mind fierce and your spirit brave"
My friend who I caught up with last night shared this story with me: My friend lived in an apartment that overlooked a busy street in sn inner city. On Christmas Eve, from her window she saw a woman, alone, upset and in distress. She went out and down to the street and asked if she was okay. My friend could see that all was not well. She invited the woman into her apartment, and the woman asked if she could shower. My friend said she could, gave her a fresh towel, and clean pajamas to wear. The woman showered. About an hour later, she emerged. She said she was alone in the city and had nowhere to stay. My friend said that she could stay on the couch for the night. My friend felt that being late on Christmas Eve, it would be impossible to get social agency assistance, and it ... Read Full Story >>
I'm trying really hard to 'be present' and putting my phone away and ipad away. I'm limiting my time on FB (and had a lovely comment from my son this afternoon, "Mum are you there? if you are not there, where are you?") which shows I spent too much time there, if that's their first stop to find me! My second thing on a different vein is when school goes back, no gossiping, which for me isn't saying it, its listening to it. I've got some strategies (changing the subject, walking out, and saying I'm not comfortable talking about the person when they are not there) I want my workplace to be one of kindness and I'm starting with myself.
I've collected a few bags of dog treats and dog toys when I've seen them on sale. Some I've left at the park with a note for someone with a dog to pick up as a RAOK, and the others I've been storing away to take to the local animal shelter as soon as I've got enough to fill a bag.
I was at the pet shop and bought some more hard rubber balls, the cashier commented that my dog must go through a lot of balls, and I told him my plan to take a bag of toys and treats to the pound. He said I had a good heart and added two more balls to the bag - free! and gave me a suggestion to email the head office and ask for their toy returns. If I can deliver them to the pound myself, then he was sure that could happen.
Here's giving it a go!
Heres a lovely story I read on Reddit tonight -"My dad used to do this kind of thing every year. He'd go to our school and ask the people at the front desk if there were any families who were struggling and wouldn't be able to have a nice Christmas (small-ish town, so the school people knew him and were willing to give him some names and information). There were three of us kids, so he'd pick three families. Then we'd go shopping for them. New toys, new clothes, some little things for the parents, and lots of food for Christmas dinner. We'd sneak over to their houses when they were out and leave all the packages in front of the door. Dad would leave a card with a little bit of cash in it and sign it --Santa"
Husband is off on his work travels. Last night I wrote little love notes (on post-it notes of course) and sneakily popped them in amongst the clothes in his suitcase. Lol, i just had a thought about him taking a meeting with one accidentally stuck on the back of his shirt! Oh well, if that happens they will all know he is loved!
It was a hard day in the classroom (it rained all day and the kids were stuck inside all day), and I was extremely glad the day ended! I stopped off to get Roux some more dog food. I buy it in bulk and the young guy serving me shared his 'bad day story' we had a laugh over both of our days. He carried the heavy bag to my car for me, and I was cheered up that, perhaps my bad day wasn't so bad. It didn't involve escaped birds, rabbits or demanding customers. And that I will buy myself a nice treat on pay day (and a nice treat for someone else too).
One of my students made me a little book yesterday. There are many cute and funny things. I love how she spelt my name phonetically "miss Hooks" when my last name is "Hawkes" The main thing is that apparently I have a sweet nature, am kind, and the best teacher ever. On the last page of the book we travel to New York "just us" she is a lovely student, very gentle, but this was still a lovely and unexpected surprise. On that note... Off to work I go!
I had a phone call from one of my best friend's husband asking for my help with my friend, his wife. She has had a tough time lately and has issues stemming from an abusive childhood. Now that she is a mother herself, some of the issues are arising again, and she is having a hard time coping. It's hard to know what to do. I'm not a trained counselor or psychologist, but I am a good listener and friend. I went around to their house today, after a text message saying "No, I don't want visitors." I brought with me a big bunch of flowers (to leave on the door step if necessary) and was greeted by a teary friend. I thought of others here who have helped friends struggling with depression, and I asked if I could do anything. I just got a 'no,' so I played with the ... Read Full Story >>
I went to help my elderly neighbor move some furniture as she is getting some kitchen renovations done. We packed up her things and sorted out the pantry. She then asked me if I wanted her solid oak table and a two door free standing cupboard. I said I don't have room for them, but they are lovely. I suggested that if she didn't want them I could advertise them online for her, so I did. She didn't want any payment for the items, just that the people could move them themselves, and organize their own transport. She was worried about being alone with strangers, so I said I'd give the people my phone number, get them to text first, and I'd go over to her house and be there when they took the furniture away. One man collected the cupboard and had a beautiful story about setting up homes for refugees, ... Read Full Story >>
I'm a huge advocate of 'adopt don't buy' when it comes to owning pets. When I had two friends both looking for dogs, I strongly encouraged them to go to the pound (our local pound is a high kill pound) or shelters first. One friend has four young boys and has found a puppy (best fit for their family but they were willing to get an adult dog) and my neighbor is adopting an older dog in need of a lot of TLC due to neglect.
These friends don't know each other, but have ended up adopting from the same shelter and have met each other's dogs! I have been and met both of the dogs as the second opinion for both friends. I'm so happy! My friends have got new family members, and two dog's lives have been saved. And this is from the pound where I regularly donate toys and treats, so I'm super happy!!
I just had a phone call from my best friend. She bought 50 pairs of winter pyjamas and asked me where to drop them off!! We support our local church foodbank so they will find families in need of pjs for their children. She has a good heart.
I arrived at my best friend's house last night (she's got three kids: 2, 4, and 7 years old) and as soon as she opened the door, she said, "Beware the apocalypse has struck." I thought to myself, "My goodness..."
So, I poured two glasses of wine and we started cleaning. It would have been overwhelming for her to do it alone, but together we conquered the mess.
After we cleaned, we started cooking. I had brought ingredients to make her dinner, and cooked it for her then and there. Together, we then made a risotto for her friend who just had a baby. It was a great evening!
My son and I went out for coffee this morning, and had nice coffee and a muffin. My son initiated conversation with a man sitting next to us. I was very surprised, my son is not really very outgoing with people he doesnt know. When the man had left, my son said "he looked lonely" I am proud of my son.
An anonymous knitter left this for me at work. Its to take to my other job which supports families and newborn babies with practical help, and bags of clothing. The knitter wanted to be anonymous. It was really a gift of love and will keep a small person warm.
I took my Mum and brother to our favourite organic cafe for lunch. I chatted to the server as she took our order. My brother wondered aloud if I really did eat out all the time as everywhere we went they seemed to know me. No, they just remember me because I take the time to ask them how their day is going, and thank them with gratitude for doing their jobs. Both my sons have worked in entry-level jobs, so its in the back of my mind "do you know what, this is someone's daughter or son" and treat them as I would like my sons treated :-)
I just got a phone call from a friend that I "ding-dong-ditched." (I other words I left a package on her doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran away before she answered.)
She said, "Thank you!" And I replied, "Hey! It was anonymous!" But I guess she figured it was me.
She said the kids all picked something out of the bag and went off very happily. She added that it was lovely to put her feet up at the end of the day with some treats to munch on.
Last week, a young shop assistant at the pet shop helped me to carry a 15 kg bag of dog food to my car. He also cheered me up after the end of a difficult day at work.
Today, I dropped in and left a thank you card and a Subway voucher for him. I also wrote two more thank you cards, and two more Subway vouchers for two other employees who have been super kind and helpful.