I stumbled across Helpothers.org when I was in a Computer Science class in my last year at high school (2008) while looking for an inspirational quote. Well I found more than just an inspirational quote but many inspiring people from all around the world too! I had no clue then how I would begin a journey of being inspired every day by all of you. I didn’t know I would meet and become friends with people from the USA, UK, India, Netherlands, Australia etc..But in life the things you love the most are surprises which take you on a whirlwind adventure. After successfully grasping the quote I had been looking for, I noticed a green box on the site saying about “if you had US$100 to helpothers what would you do to help people?” There was only a few minutes until class finished. So I hurriedly submitted my idea of how I would ... Read Full Story >>
Last night after reading some inspirational posts on HelpOthers I decided it was getting a little late so I decided to go to bed. As I was lying there I was thinking about the stories I had just read. For some reason my mind flashed back to my first day at College (High School). The head girl was standing up on the stage giving us a speech about your life and your life journey being a vase full of flowers. Now that may seem a strange context but that speech has stayed with me for many years. I would like to share it with you all! It went something along the lines of… Imagine a big vase of flowers being your life. Each person has a vase of flowers but it is their opportunity to fill it in the way they decide. You could fill your vase with a few flowers ... Read Full Story >>
Thank you so much!! I had sent a request for 30 smile cards for all my Christmas acts. In the request I said that if it's not possible for them to send me these cards I totally understand because after all I do live a long way down in New Zealand. I didn't hear anything more and just happily accepted that I won't be receiving any smile cards. Last night I arrived home to find a package with about 278 smile cards inside!! This arrived a few weeks after I placed the request...I couldn't believe it!! That was something I sooo wasn't expecting! I was so overwhelmed, thinking is this a mistake? Here is what I use my smile cards for.... - Whenever I send out cards or presents in New Zealand or around the world I always include a smile card inside. I have sent out quite a few cards out to quite a number ... Read Full Story >>
Last night after work, I took the bus home. Now this bus ride was different then usual. The difference was that people seemed to be helping others at every chance they could! The bus was filled with people as usual and we took the usual route home. There is a blind lady who always gets on the same bus as me. We were just about to leave the bus station when a lady on the bus suddenly noticed that the blind lady wasn't on the bus that day and told the driver. When we looked out the window, we saw her sitting over in the corner all by herself. One lady passenger jumped off the bus and ran to help and guide this blind lady onto the bus. As we were driving along each stop and picking up passengers, a girl in her 20's got on at one stop and asked the bus driver how much the bus ride ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday afternoon, I bought a few things from the supermarket. I decided to buy a chocolate bar for the checkout operator, and gift it with a smile card. The woman at the check-out counter was an older lady, and at first, she seemed very grumpy. After paying, I was nervous to give my gift to her, because for the whole time we interacted, she didn't smile at all. Nevertheless, I picked up the courage and gave it to her, explaining that it was for her. It was the most amazing reaction ever! :) She seemed shocked at first but then a huuuge smile spread across her face, and she was so happy and thankful! She told me that no customers had ever done anything nice for her before. I felt so happy that I was able to make her smile! :) Then I went out to wait for the bus at the bus ... Read Full Story >>
During the holidays my sisters and I were walking through town when we noticed that a lady was struggling so much to try and carry her groceries..far too much to try and carry them by herself. People were passing on by without taking a second look. All at once together my sisters and I all said to ourselves "lets go help out this lady" without giving it a second thought. We carried all her groceries to her car which was parked about 5 minutes walk down the road.
She was so happy and as she thanked us, you could see the happiness across her face. It didn't cost anything nor did it take anything out of our day..only those few minutes but let me tell you...it was the best time during the entire day...helping a stranger in need :)
Smiles all round :)
I returned from a lovely holiday with my family and sang in a number of different concerts around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in New Zealand. It is always such an honour seeing the joy on people's faces. One concert we sang at was at a local rest-home/retirement village. It was nice to see 100 elderly people so happy after we, "The Short Sistars," had sung. It was so wonderful to see so many happy faces, all saying they want us to come back and sing again soon. So next Uni holidays the managers have invited us to come and perform again. When our music fills the air, I love seeing these elderly people, who aren't in the best of health, and the beaming smiles appearing across their faces as if they feel at peace, maybe :) Then spent the second week down in Palmerston North..Visiting my sick Grandma in hospital everyday and looking after ... Read Full Story >>
It is a terribly rainy wet winters day here in Tauranga. While I was walking from the library after getting together my University applications for next year at the end of my lunch break, a man was walking towards me with two HUGE boxes of pamphlets. I thought, "What on earth is that man trying to do? Carry all that stuff?" Then all of a sudden he dropped it all!!!!!! It was a terrible mess with hundreds of brochures all over the path in front of me! "Oh no," I thought. The man sat down and started trying to pick all of the brochures up. I couldn’t believe how many people walked on by without even caring in the least. I thought, "I’m not going to be one of those people who don’t care about this man. I’m going to help him." So, even though it was the end of my lunch break ... Read Full Story >>
Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. Try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend." Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday my sister and I were giving out chocolates with smile cards to people who seemed sad or looked like they weren’t having such a happy day. We saw one elderly man standing by himself looking a bit lonely so we went over to him, gave him a smile card and some chocolates then told him we hope he has a lovely afternoon. He suddenly seemed so happy, seeing his face light up and a smile appear on his tired face really made my day! We had a short chat with him, said our goodbyes and carried on tagging people... Now the story doesn’t stop there… As we were coming out of a shop nearby some time later we saw the same man with his wife by his side talking to the shop owner. They didn't see us, but as we walked past them we heard the woman saying to the shopowner: ... Read Full Story >>
Below is a story about my 2008 Christmas in Tauranga, New Zealand in a local Newspaper (The Bay of Plenty Times) which I would like to share with you all. It was the most amazing experience ever!! I loved seeing the smiles on peoples faces and bringing a little happiness to those in sadness, giving 60 smile cards out as I went. I learnt that it doesn't matter your age or size but you CAN make a difference :) Still today I love going around and helping others and giving smile cards out! It's so much fun seeing other peoples happiness :) ... Read Full Story >>
I’m a receptionist at a law firm during my gap year before going to university and one of my duties is to take finances down to the bank. As I was walking back from doing the banking today - I was in my own little world and I had a smile on my face. A man jumped out in front of me and stopped in my path so I couldn’t go anywhere. I was scared at first and didn’t know what to do. I thought, “Who is this man? What’s the game?” He was a total stranger. Then from behind his back he pulled out a beautiful bunch of orchids. I didn’t know what to say at first. I was a little in shock… It’s usually me giving the flowers, or me helping others, not others helping me. I have never had any stranger do anything like this to me. He said, “Please take ... Read Full Story >>
By Cindy McKinley One breezy summer morning, Katie was walking through the park with her mother. “Hurry up sweetheart,” her mother urged, “Or we’ll be late for the bus.” “Oh Mommy.” Said the little girl, “I sure hope our van is fixed for Grandpa’s birthday party.” Just then they noticed a sad young man sitting alone on a bench. Katie stopped for a moment and smiled brightly at him. The young man had lost his job and was feeling very discouraged. Dozens of people had walked by that morning, but no one seemed to notice him. Then this little girl appeared and touched his heart with the sweetest smile he’d ever seen. He suddenly felt inspired to start looking for a new job. As he hurried down the busy street, the man saw a woman struggling to change a tire. “Let me help you with that,” he offered without hesitation. The ... Read Full Story >>
Had such a wonderful day today, I sang for about 3 hours today, with my sisters "The Short Sistars" bringing smiles to many people in the community during this holiday time as the crowds of people sat and watched :)
It was so much fun to see the joy our music and our smiles brought to so many people. Also we sang quite a few original songs...one called "We're a Family" which talks about the community all joining together in harmony to create one! People working together not as many people all separately...but all together as one.
Wow! To see crowds sitting and listening, moving to the beat with such joy across there faces I love seeing so many happy people! :)
I think we made many people's day and all those people made our day too.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and amazing year 2011!
After hearing about “Mighty” Max Low who is a 12-year-old boy with Leukemia I couldn’t help but get right in behind helping him and his family. Max has been fighting with Leukemia for half his life and his big wish is to receive a million get well cards. It is his dream! The sixth-grader was diagnosed with leukemia in kindergarten. Instead of letting the ailment get him down, in 2004, he and a friend thought of a cool way to pass the time while bedridden - get people to write him get well cards. They set a goal of 1 million cards and while the word initially spread like wildfire the campaign began to peter out at the 24,000 card mark. His story touched my heart and I longed to help him. I thought to myself, I can't just sit here. Let's set this wildfire off again and make his dream come true! Firstly ... Read Full Story >>
In New Zealand, our summer period runs from December through February, and during this summer/Christmas break, we have many, many tourists! Today was the first day of the Cruise Ship Season, and there were busloadsof tourists everywhere, most of whom seemed to be American tourists. During this year’s Cruise Ship season, we have 45 cruise ships from all over the world, which come into Mount Maunganui/Tauranga, New Zealand. During my lunch break, I noticed a few tourists (I could tell from the cruise ship passes hanging around their necks) who were standing there, looking extremely confused. So I walked right up to them and asked if they needed some help. They were rather lost and were looking for the nearest hotel. So I stood there for a few minutes, had a bit of a chat with them, and then showed them towards the hotel, after which they were very thankful. I love the Cruise Ship Season because, as ... Read Full Story >>
Last weekend, my sisters, Rebecca and Louisa, and I sing as "The Short Sistars." We had gone to Hamilton, which is about one and a half hours from my home, for vocal coaching and to record a couple of songs at our cousin's recording studio. On our way Dad stopped at the petrol station and, as all petrol stations are pre-paid now, he went in and paid for our tank of petrol. He took the petrol cap off, we all got distracted and drove off. Ten minutes down the road Dad realized he didn't fill up the entire tank and the petrol cap was probably on the roof of the car when we drove off. So, we needed petrol and had to drive back. When we got to the station, another car was just leaving after filling up from the same pump that we were at. We thought maybe we would ... Read Full Story >>
Recently, Aurelia posted a story on HelpOthers that was about Telephone Book Smiles. I was totally inspired by this! Thanks so much Aurelia for sharing. I decided to do something similar. I looked for good news stories in the local newspaper of people helping others in the community. Last weekend, I made lots of handmade Smile Card poems on lovely coloured card (Smiling is contagious you catch it like the flu.....). I made little packages and placed the poem, smile card and some chocolates inside to send to these wonderful people who are helping others in their community. I so wanted to make these people's day, but in an anonymous way. I wanted to bring a smile to their faces. One story in the newspaper was about an 84 year-old woman still volunteering and helping others in the local community. She had been helping in the community for many years. I was so amazed by this and how someone ... Read Full Story >>
Usually when I drive home I take the fastest and shortest way home...don't we all! Usually the drive takes me about 45 minutes driving from work. Well a week or so ago, I started to drive a different way home because I got bored of the usual way home. This new way contained lots of traffic, with cars moving at a snail’s pace. In the distance (about 300 meters away), I noticed a huge line of cars trying ever so hard to drive and get into the traffic flow on the main road (which I was on). I couldn't believe it – it was so easy to do – to stop and let a few cars into the traffic in front...but no one seemed to do that. Well, that was probably because it was the 5pm rush home from work. When I finally got up to the line of traffic, I stopped ... Read Full Story >>
I have just got back from my university library and I am feeling over the moon! I was so loaded down with a big stressful assignment and all the articles from academic journals, industry reports, research books and trade magazines I had to find. I didn't know where to start. But that all changed when I met the kindest librarian ever! She spent an hour going through everything with me... teaching me how to find the best articles, reports etc...and then she showed me different ways to get to the next steps. She gave me a number of amazing books, articles, journals that I would have never come across if it wasn't for her. I'm so excited to get right into the assignments now! She inspired me so much by her positive attitude, friendly way, her kind and caring nature! She was a person who makes you want to come back again. People like this who set a ... Read Full Story >>
After my story "How I Like to Use My Smile Cards" was featured, I got a message from a lady in New Zealand! The only person ever to get in contact with me from New Zealand in relation to HelpOthers.org and the only person I have heard of using Smile Cards in New Zealand except for my sisters and I :) She has been part of helpothers.org for many years but never has come across anyone in New Zealand either! Thank you HelpOthers for featuring my story because she probably wouldn't have ever come across me and I come across her if it wasn't for that.. I rung her and she sounded sooo excited to hear from me and she said I made her day! Well Grace, you made mine too!! Wow! What an amazing conversation we had!! It was truly lovely talking to someone who does HelpOthers too in New Zealand! I'm going to send her ... Read Full Story >>
I have just got back from a two week university holiday break. Throughout the holidays I had an enjoyable time helping some family friends with their garden and house: weeding, mulching, stacking wood, washing all the windows, vacuuming and cleaning. It was hard work but very enjoyable and so rewarding! Then a friend asked me if I would like a very pretty Tahitian outfit. I did like it but I thought it might be more useful if I paid-it-forward. So I gave it to a university Tahitian club who wear these outfits when performing. When I got back to univeristy on Sunday after the holiday break, as usual, I felt in a creative mood. So I organized a fun treasure hunt through my flat. It brought lots of smiles to lots of faces. Tomorrow I’m volunteering to help the staff at the university Tahitian stall. This is part of an event held to connect different cultures ... Read Full Story >>
My University has finished up for the Easter break, and we have two weeks off. I was thinking of a nice Easter kindness idea before I left.
There are about 20 people living on my floor -- I decided to go out and buy an Easter egg for all of them. I attachhed a nice colorful note to each egg, and placed one outside each person’s room :)
It was so much fun sneaking around and giving out Easter gifts! What a great way to end the first five weeks of university. It feels like I have been there for years and feels as if everyone is one big family :) This is the way the world should be! I like it.
During the holidays I went to stay with one of my sister's friends and I had so much energy that I didn't know what to do with it. Being a student flat I noticed that her backyard had grown high with weeds. So while they both were watching a movie I decided to get hard onto work. I pulled weed after weed out. It was actually a lot of fun. When they called me in for dinner I didn't want to go because I was having too much fun. It's a cool feeling seeing a backyard so full of weeds everywhere disappear one by one. I then raked the backyard and wow a couple of hours later the yard looked completely changed. At that stage I didn't know this, but the next day the other two flatmates saw all that I had done and apparently I motivated/inspired them to get out in there back yard ... Read Full Story >>
I read a post by Bluebell saying she was going to do some extra random acts of kindness during September, her birth-month. I’m in too!
On Saturday I volunteered at a rest home for a few hours. Every Saturday a group of my friends and I go around to the rest home and sit and talk with all the people there. It is amazing at what a difference you can make to someone’s day just by taking the time to sit with someone who is sick and listen to them and talk with them. They love you talking to them and as youth taking a real interest in them.
During September, I'm going to go around to the rest home and spend time with the old people every Saturday.
I also left a bright and happy thank you card and smile card for the cleaner who comes to clean my room every few days at university to show her how much she is appreciated.