I had gone to my bank (in Nigeria) to withdraw some money and was given a beautiful, blue, customized watch as a free gift. As I left there, I thought to myself that I didn't need the watch. I was already wearing one! I thought that there were people who needed that watch more than me, people who had never worn one before. My sister came around and I handed her the watch to give any of the boys who go around begging with their physically-disabled parents. My sister's hostel is very close to where they usually stay. A few days later one of the boys, about 14 years old, came around my sister's lecture hall with his blind mother to beg for money as usual. My sister then walked up to him and asked him if he had a watch. He said, "No." And my sister gave the watch to him. She ... Read Full Story >>
I seem to attract elderly women, well actually my husband says I will help anyone who I think is in trouble even a person looking lost in the street with a map. I was heading home after a long day at work. I'd just started part time work after being away on maternity leave for a year, so I was tired and looking forward to getting home to my toddler and my husband. Coming down the stairs into the station, I happened upon an elderly lady at the base of the stairs. She was trying to talk to people who were all heading home. As she was speaking another language, and it was evening rush hour, no one stopped for her. I could see she was near to tears. I approached and said "Can I help you". She turned to me, looking rather frantic, and started speaking. Besides English, all I ... Read Full Story >>
I make it a point, if I see them, to go up and compliment teenage girls or young women. I might tell her how pretty her hair is, or how much I like her dress, or just how pretty she is. I'm usually old enough to be their grandmother so I'm never misunderstood when I do this. I remember how insecure I was when I was their age and how much it would have meant to me to have an older woman tell me something like that and know it was said with no ulterior motive. And I see this same insecurity in young girls today. It's so hard for us to believe that we're pretty for any number of reasons. I was looking through an old photo album with my husband and he said how pretty I was back then and I could see it now, looking back, but I couldn't ... Read Full Story >>
I often take the bus for my daily commutes, and one of the drivers on the route to my house isn't known to be very nice. In fact, not many people like him at all. It doesn't take much for him to turn up his nose, or to ignore members of the community who are stranded when he drives by. That didn't bother me, though. I decided that, no matter what his mood is on a given day, I would continue to greet and smile at him. Unconditionally. Now, after awhile of doing this, I've noticed that his overall demeanor towards me has changed. He not only smiles at me, but he cracks jokes, too! One time, I fell asleep on his bus, and when I woke, I said, jokingly, "Why didn't you wake me? You know where I live!" We both laughed hard, and since then it has been an on-going joke ... Read Full Story >>
The story is about my four year old son. I had saved some of his baby clothes because of the memories and emotions attached to them. They were still in very good condition.
Yesterday I decided to give these precious possession away for some needy child. But, as soon as I started the task, my son objected. Even he was attached to them!
It occurred to me that this was a wonderful opportunity to plant the seeds of generosity in his little mind. It took a lot of explaining but, finally, he was convinced.
Normally I would simply have filled a plastic bag with clothes and dumped it in the donation box. But this time my son and I were a team! We washed all the clothes, folded them together and put them in a nice bag. It felt different - better different!
The next day he asked me, "When are we going to give your clothes to a friend?"
I think he really has the right idea now, and he's excited to be a part of it!
I belong to a knit and crochet group at my church and I'm always surprised at what people can do with a skein of yarn.
Recently we have added a few new members and I had noticed that one of the ladies, who does such beautiful work, always carried her yarn projects in a small paper shopping bag.
When I got home, I went through my closet and found a brand new bag that would be perfect to store projects in, with lots of pockets for needles. I filled it with yarn from my stash and crochet project cards, then placed everything inside along with a Smile card.
I waited for her to arrive at the next meeting and, sure enough, she arrived carrying her paper shopping bag. I went over quietly and handed her the new bag saying that I found it in my closet and thought of her. She was so happy and kept saying, "But it's not my birthday!"
I was glad I was able to see her reaction since normally when I tag someone I don't get to see the look on their face. It was a good moment for both of us!
I've had the opportunity to serve my mother a lot recently, and I wanted to share, in hopes that others can be inspired. A couple days ago, my mom had to undergo surgery to remove a tumor. The tumor was near her parotid gland, which, unfortunately, is right on her face. With all the love I could muster, I stayed with her for the several hours of the surgery, and then continued to stay by her bedside for the next two days, as she recovered in the hospital. She seemed in good spirits, despite the occasional aches and pains from the surgery. I really tried to keep her company. I watched TV with her in her hospital room, we talked lightly about funny memories, and I did everything I could to put a smile on her face. =) After the doctor said it was okay for her to return home, I took her ... Read Full Story >>
We have five fantastic children. As they've grown older, from high school to college and so on, we found ourselves cleaning out our home of furniture only to replace it with something new. We had this one living room set consisting of a sofa, loveseat and chair. It went through a couple of the kids, hauling it up the stairs to their third floor apartments and back down again to the next apartment. Our son was the last to have the set when he finally asked for a place to store it because he was going out of town for a semester. We told him we would hold it for him in our garage. So we picked the furniture up and brought it back to the house. One day, while at work, I heard a couple of people talking in the hallway. A mother and her two children were kicked out of their ... Read Full Story >>
Last night, my eighteen year-old son and I were leaving a store. At the end of the parking lot, there stood a man. He was older many--most likely in his sixties-- clean, but looked very sad. He was holding a sign which read: "Looking for work. Trying to get enough money to buy a bus ticket to Wyoming." I drove by him and something in my heart said: You need to help him. I rarely have cash on me, but today I actually had cash in my wallet. I looped around, stopped my car, and asked my son to get my wallet. I had a $5 and a $10 dollar bill. I said get the $5 and we will go drive by and hand it to the man. My son said, "Mom, I think that man is really down on his luck. Can we give it all to him?" "That's all the cash I have," I ... Read Full Story >>
We usually have a Christmas get together right before the holidays for our friends, family and neighbors. Instead of folks bringing gifts or food for us we usually ask for some item for someone in need. Usually something like hats/gloves/scarves for senior citizens, food donations for a family in hard times, toys/stuffed animals for local charity. It always is fun and everyone has a good time sharing. This past Christmas, on the day of my party I was very sick and ended up in the hospital so sadly I had to cancel the party. Since everyone was disappointed I decided to have it around Valentine's day instead. We asked for adult socks for a non-profit which helps families in need, they said they have lots of children's socks but people forget the teenagers and adults. I also asked for reading glasses for our local library so those who need glasses or forget ... Read Full Story >>
I like to anonymously pay the restaurant tabs for strangers who catch my interest. The last one, for instance, was an elderly lady who came into the restaurant where I was having lunch with my daughter. She was alone and I heard her tell the waitress that it was her birthday and she would like a piece of pie and some coffee. As I left I told the waitress that I wanted to pay that lady's tab and I asked the waitress to wish the her a very happy birthday but not to tell her who it was. I try to do this once a month. When I was a young mother I was at a restaurant with my husband and two little boys and we were surprised to learn that someone had paid our bill because he thought we "looked like a nice family." I felt such a warm feeling and never forgot ... Read Full Story >>
Today is my usual day to volunteer at the hospital.
What I do is called Compassionate Touch and I really like it because I get to interact with the patients.
Today I had two patients who needed someone to just spend a few extra minutes with them and to listen to their stories. I felt blessed to be able to spend some time with them.
I really like what I do as a volunteer and feel privileged to share these moments together.
I am so glad to have found the KindSpring site. It inspires me to be a better person and to be more aware of how to spread kindness. Thank you!
Recently a good friend and co-worker retired from our place of work.
Within two weeks of her retirement her husband was rushed into the hospital with serious health problems. As I write this he is still in the hospital. So, today, I bought a bouquet of flowers, a beautiful candle and a card. Then I baked some brownies for her.
I wanted this to be a random act of kindness so I introduced myself to their neighbor. She was more than delighted to go along with this. I asked if she would bring the gifts over to my friend when she returned from visiting her husband.
I am now plotting how I can do a kindness for that helpful neighbor!
A Minnesota Dairy Queen manager is getting widespread kudos for an act of kindness that required giving one customer the deep freeze treatment after some questionable behavior. Joey Prusak had just finished serving one of his regular customers when the visually impaired man unknowingly dropped a $20 bill from his pocket. A woman in line behind him quickly picked up the money – and then put it in her purse. "She picked it up so quickly that I thought she was going to give it back but she just stood there and waited," Prusak told TODAY.com. "I was extremely confused when she let the man walk by. She just stood there and put it in her purse and I was like, 'Really?' Prusak, 19, said the experience left him feeling "violated." After taking a few seconds to compose himself, he politely asked the woman to give the money back. The woman refused, insisting ... Read Full Story >>
The "share-taxi" normally wouldn't have left until it had four paying passengers in it. The only other passenger was a lady who seemed to be in quite a hurry, so I agreed to pay the remaining fares and got in.
Her mother had suffered a heart attack and this lady was going to collect her and take her to hospital. She started chatting, telling me how her two elder sisters do not care for her mother. She does all she can for her mother while having a husband and two children to look after.
She had just pawned her jewels in order to raise money in a hurry.
She was glad to have someone to talk to until we reached her destination. I wished her well and said a silent prayer.
Many winters ago I was working at a community college when a homeless woman came in wearing only a slip on and a hospital bracelet. She started coughing as she laid back on a sofa in the student lounge. Clearly, she wasn't well. Without thinking too much about it I went to the Student Affairs office where I knew I could find clothes in the "Lost and Found" bin. I gathered her up an entire outfit and made my way back. That's when a co-worker told me I should not help this person, as it would only lead to her wanting more help. I ignored her and carried on, despite the warnings. Two weeks later a lovely elderly man came to my office and asked to speak with me in private. Curious, I gave him my full attention. He proceeded to tell me that he had overheard the conversation with the co-worker ... Read Full Story >>
I have always lived in India, and was recently traveling from Mumbai to Jaipur for work. Arriving at the airport early, I was asked to hang out in the waiting lounge where, without much else to do, I decided to check out the gift shop. As I walked around the store, I saw two American women having a nap on a recliner outside. It looked as if they had been at the airport for hours, and I felt compelled to do something to help ease their wait. I looked around the store for a few moments, and ended up purchasing a medium-sized stuffed toy which looked like the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants (though it was orange instead of the normal yellow). I asked the owner of the shop for a note and a pen and wrote, "When you get up if this makes you smile, it would mean the world to ... Read Full Story >>
I was going through my wallet in the grocery line to pay for the groceries I had selected when I noticed the woman behind me counting coins to pay for the little that she was purchasing. So, I turned to her and said, "I'll pay for it for you." She looked up at me with hurt pride and said, "No thank you!" I felt really humbled and disappointed. As I payed for my own groceries the cashier asked if I had some coins to pay for part of my bill so she would not have to change the larger note I offered. I did not. The woman behind me reached forward with a quarter and said, "You can take it out of this." I was stunned. She could hardly pay for her groceries but she was willing to offer her quarter to pay for mine! I was tempted to say, "No, thank you," but when I ... Read Full Story >>
My mom only had one eye. I hated her... she was such an embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She collected little weeds and such to sell... anything for the money we needed she was such an embarrassment. There was this one day during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school..."Your mom only has one eye?!" and they taunted me. I wished that my mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom, "Mom, why don't you have the other eye?! You're only going to make me a laughingstock. Why don't you just die?" My mom did not respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it ... Read Full Story >>
When I had my knee replacement surgery 3 years ago, I was having a particularly bad night because of a pinched nerve in my lower back. I will never forget the kindness of the nurse that I had that night. He went above and beyond to help relieve my pain and discomfort.
So, to pay it forward, I talked to the nurses at the oncology center where I go with my friend for chemo every week and have made plans to bring in treats or something to brighten the drab, colorless room once a week.
This week I am filling small colorful "favor" boxes with treats for each patient and in subsequent weeks, I plan to make cookies, buy bouquets of balloons for each aisle, and provide some Halloween treats for the patients.
I was really broke. I had only $10 and didn't have time to eat breakfast or pack my own lunch that day. As I drove my son to school, I noticed a man walking up the road. I'd seen him before - elderly, worn, dressed in whatever rags he could find and leaning on a piece of a branch as a walking stick. Usually I'd always pack 2 sandwiches in case I saw him or anyone else in need. I also noticed a lady selling fresh fruit cups ($5) & fruit bowls ($7) on the roadside. I prayed I'd see him when I came back in that direction to go to work. I did, and he was sitting on the bus stop bench right next to the fruit vendor! I pulled over, purchased a bowl of fruit for $7, told her to keep the change and immediately turned to give the ... Read Full Story >>
I have enough of.....everything! I realized this morning as I was thinking about the idea of sufficient that the universe has given me exactly what I have needed when I needed it.
I am grateful for this revelation which made me want to give more of myself to everyone that I met. I was on the train and had the pleasure to speaking to three older women...who did not feel like strangers... for 55 minutes which gave me such joy because I am enough.
I am grateful for the love of my son who hugs me everyday and tells me he loves me....I have enough love. I am grateful for my friends because they are enough.....and I am grateful for the friends who are no longer friends because what they gave me was enough.
Thank you Universe for providing me with enough every single day.
I have a loving family, that despite our differences and our distance, we remain close at heart and open and always there to support each other.
I am grateful that my integrity and character remain intact and not jaded by hurtful situations or by what appears to be socially acceptable these days.
I'm inspired by the words "treat others as you want to be treated" and I am grateful that I practice this method.
I'm more than grateful to live in a beautiful place, surrounded by all that is breathtaking, from oceans to forests, rivers,lakes, fall, and mountains.
Last but not least, I am grateful that no matter how long the road you've been traveling, you can always turn around.
A complete stranger I had met today during a Red Cross relief operation for the recent victims of Supertyphoon Haiyan was kind enough to walk with me for about 2 km from the headquarters to the train station. I was absolutely unfamiliar with the area, really bad at following directions, and very unaccustomed to (deathly afraid!) crossing streets filled with raging buses and jeepneys, especially in the Philippines! The moment I had left the headquarters, I felt like a lost sheep in a big city, but instead of having to deal with all of that, I had a god-sent friend, a Good Samaritan who willingly delayed his lunch hour just to make sure I got to my destination safely--a companion who offered not just the gift of a friendly conversation but also his unconditional friendship. And even more, I saved money instead of paying for a cab! We parted with good wishes and hopes for ... Read Full Story >>
I was a grateful recipient of kindness today. We are about to take in a Guatemalan woman and her infant child for three weeks, until the infant is healthy enough to move.
I was on FreeCycle.org this morning searching for a bassinet and car seat. Then I spent the afternoon harvesting the generosity of others, who will in turn allow us to provide much needed housing to this woman and her infant.
A friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia in her 60s. Her last hope was a marrow transplant. Luckily, they found one in Germany! This lady had signed up in the donor registry years before, but wasn't a match for the child and later the teenager in her region that needed a transplant. Years went by and out of the blue she got the news that she was a match for a woman in California (my friend). The transplant was performed, and my friend fully recovered. This year she went to Germany to thank the donor and found out that this lady had received the match request two days before her wedding! She said yes, and a few weeks later became a lifesaver while still a newlywed. Here they are together.
I was on my way to teach my yoga class at a shelter one day, when I saw a homeless youth on the street. I felt an impulse to give all my one dollar bills. Shortly thereafter, I noticed another youth, also homeless. At that time all I could give was a smile and a connection.
When I reached the shelter there none who wanted to partake
in the yoga class. However, I did bring with me some baked goods like donuts, cinnamon rolls etc, which I was able to give away. One the way back to my car from the shelter, I noticed I had time left on my parking ticket. I also felts inspired to give that away to a person I connected with a person on the street who needed it.
All that little giving made me more aware of the abundance and the opportunity to connect and give.
A friend of mine is struggling with Lyme disease. I'm aware that because of it, my friend has a restrictive eating plan. To help heal her immune system, I came up with an idea for an advent calendar for her to enjoy - a new seasonal tea bag every day, plus a puzzle/doodle or idea/affirmation to do or share. And I enjoyed putting it together for her - it felt good to be doing something to support her recovery :)
I feel like my cousin is my 'soulmate' because we seem to be so connected. She is always so supportive with her time, laughter and her love. She is always smiling joyfully and loves to laugh.
I sent her a thank you card last week just to let her know how much I appreciate her presence in my life.
Today I Am grateful for the opportunity to help a friend in need. It's amazing how sometimes the advice you give is the same advice you need to hear. When that happens it's as if this friend is going through hard times for a purpose, and part of that purpose is to help you grow as a person. At the same time, perhaps the challenges you've faced and the lessons you've learned have lead you to this point and put you in a position to be of service, thus giving your own trails greater purpose.