This morning I was walking in a new park that I had just discovered near my house. When I went walking the previous day, the old gardener had asked me if I had some clothes to give him. He was wearing a tattered vest and it was obvious that although so many people frequented the park, nobody had ever spoken to him before. I gave him some nice shirts and some cake that I had at home. The next morning he told me how thankful he was for the shirts. As I walked, I noticed that the sprinkler that he was using to water the plants in the park was leaking in several places. I went home and brought some scotch tape and scissors, and, with his help, I blocked the leakages. I told him he could keep the scotch tape in case he needed it again. It was then that I got to see his ... Read Full Story >>
My husband and I own a lawn care company and so many times we would pass this house that was very unkept as far as the lawn was concerned. Last week, we decided to stop in and see if we could help. Nobody would come to the door for the longest time. Finally, a little old lady came to the door, very reluctant to open the door. We explained to her that we did not want to harm her in anyway. After a few minutes of talking we asked her if we could cut her grass for her? She was quick to answer, "I cannot pay for my grass to be cut, my sister is living with me dying of cancer and it takes everything we make combined to pay for her medicines etc." We had indicated to her that we would just like to do this for her and her ... Read Full Story >>
My birthday was coming up last week and I was thinking of ways I could pay forward some kindness on the day to send good wishes out in the world. And then on my birthday itself, right in front of my eyes, three different opportunities came up one after the other, to support my colleagues at the charity I work at in different ways. One girl decided she wanted to give back to the charity that gave her so much both as a child when she was growing up and also as an adult by employing her to deliver services to other children. So, she's going on a trek and raising money for our charity. She is now part of a really amazing program that works with the most at-risk young people in our area, many of whom have already been kicked out of 3 schools, carried a knife to school, ... Read Full Story >>
I read a lot of spirit and intention books. I remember reading Wayne Dyer one night and in his Power of Intention book, he wrote something along the lines of if you can’t give a homeless person money, give him a smile. The other day I was waiting for the light to change in downtown San Francisco and there was a homeless guy who was walking around with his sign and he went from car to car (I was the 3rd one in). The cars reacted as they usually do, just closing the windows and ignoring him, one car moved up, you know the drill. As he came to my car, I looked him in the eye and I gave him a HUGE smile, I said I’m sorry I can’t give you money and he just stood there smiling at me. There was probably a 10 second pause before the light turned ... Read Full Story >>
A couple we know who have fallen on hard times went out of town over the weekend we think to probably regroup and try to re-establish their love for each other so they can weather the adversities they have recently encountered. They are the type of people who will not ask for help and even if it is offered they will not accept it, at least not willingly.
We decided to do something nice for them by doing a quick landscaping job on their entrance walkway. They have a nice paved walkway but on either side it was just bare dirt, not very attractive. We went out and bought some flowers and some red cinders and replanted the walkway and then spread out the cinders for the asthetic look and hopefully to make weeding easier with less weeds able to grow through.
We think it looks great and hope that when they drive in their driveway they wonder if they are at the right house. We feel it is important for them to know that they are special people who have friends who love them.
Last weekend I volunteered at our local shelter to serve meals to the hungry. I convinced a classmate of mine, a woman who is older like myself to come along for the experience. Her life consists of school, playing golf as a semi-pro, and generally living a very comfortable and protected lifestyle. I assume everyone has seen the hungry, the needy, the homeless, the less fortuanate in our society but the assortment of folks at the shelter seemed to trouble my friend. She was aprehensive about getting physically too close when she was serving meals and she was also full of questions. She made observations such as, "They look like they do drugs", "I assume a lot of them have alcohol problems", "Some of them seem like they are retarded." Once everyone is fed, staff/volunteer's can also eat from the leftovers. We were told there was enough and that we should ... Read Full Story >>
We had a community garage sale this weekend. Early that morning a man who was staying down the street with his mother stopped by. He is a cabinet maker but there has not been much work for him lately. He has been doing lawn jobs and clean up to make extra money to keep going. He stopped by to ask us if we had any lawn equipment for sale. We didn't but upon hearing his struggles I pulled an extra yard blower/vac out of our cabinet and gave it to him. When he asked how much it was, I just told him he could have it and wished him the best of luck. 2 hours later he came back. He had gone home and tried it out and was happy that it worked great for him! He thanked us again and asked if he could clean up our yard to show ... Read Full Story >>
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: "If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately." Well -- one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. "Help," said the flight service person. "Talk to her. What is her problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she did this." I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly. "Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, Sho bit se-wee?" The minute she heard any words she knew -- however poorly used -- she stopped crying. She thought our flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the following ... Read Full Story >>
As I was walking along the river this evening, enjoying some hot chocolate with the sun shining down on me on this nice spring day, I was in the mood to do something nice for a stranger and started to look around for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness. Two minutes later I was approached from across the pathway by a complete stranger. I wasn't sure why he was approaching me, when from out of nowhere he started talking to me really aggressively and harrassing me. I could tell he was probably drunk or high or who-knows-what so I just stayed calm and kept walking ahead. There were hundreds of people sitting on benches nearby and walking along the South Bank with me, so I wasn't really worried. As I tried to walk along he kept saying offensive things to me and trying to get my attention. ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago, I worked for a trucking outfit as a driver. It was my habit to go in on Saturday and spend a couple hours maintaining my truck. As I was under the truck greasing it, I noticed the owner's elderly father making his way over to his grandson's truck next to mine. The old man was in his high eighties, had been an avid fisherman all his life, and had come out to ask the kid to take him fishing after work. The grandson told him all about how much he would love to do that, but, he just couldn't that day due to prior commitments. The old man accepted the answer and hobbled off to the house. A few minutes later, the father came out and asked his son what the old man had wanted. After telling the story, the kid ended it with telling his dad, ... Read Full Story >>
I have a dear friend Joni, who is one of those people who lights up a room when she enters. She is an extremely warm and welcoming individual, who makes you feel good about yourself. Over the past few years Joni has dealt with much, including family illness and death, and throughout it all she has maintained a presence of joy that has been remarkable. Recently she was contemplating whether or not to continue a weekly visit/group she conducted at a nursing home. Each week she would bring an activity to share with the residents. This was the nursing home where her mother had been and Joni had grown quite fond of the other residents there. But Joni's schedule is so full, she felt the need to make some changes, and thought she might discontinue her work at the nursing home for a while. As she was wrestling with her decision she kept ... Read Full Story >>
I keep scissors handy on my sofa side table to clip interesting articles and coupons that my friends & family may like. Once a week, I sort them into different piles and send it thru the mail to distribute. I received many thank you's for the interesting articles, so I started to clip out funny cartoons, inspirational stories, share poems and pick up stick-um's and other surprise goodies too! I stuff them into the letters especially if I know the person needs a pick-me-up ... it's fun and not expensive at all ... and everyone loves the "snail mail surprises." Lastly, when I sort thru the mail, I pull out the Two for One coupon restaurant deals, additional savings coupon or certificates from department stores, etc. I keep them in a envelope and if I don't need it, I make sure to pass out to other friends and co-workers for their use before expiration dates. I recently snail-mail ... Read Full Story >>
Hello, my name is David G. Nadeau and I am from Monroe, Michigan, hometown of General Armstrong Custer. I am a paid-on-call Firefighter for Monroe Township Fire Department and I was at Ground Zero for one week starting September 12, 2001. Some of my hundred or so pictures from Ground Zero have been published in EMS magazines. Newspaper reporters from Cooperstown, New York and Lexington, Kentucky call me wanting to publish this story. That is because someone from the family of the business card I found at Ground Zero told the reporters this story – a story about a business card which is just one of a thousand stories to tell. I arrived at Ground Zero on September 12, 2001 with another Firefighter. After several hours of working at the front of a bucket brigade on Friday, September 14 – just one of many bucket brigades -- there came an opening ... Read Full Story >>
When I was about five or so my favorite television show was Star Trek. Dr. Spock was clearly my favorite character and I listened to his advice with great seriousness. When I found out that he was going to be signing autographs at TSS, I begged my mother to take me. To continue this story, you have to understand a little about my chaotic childhood. With rampant abuse, television, movies, and books were my only escape. I delved into them and found places, people, and situations both like my own and not. It gave this little girl hope. It helped to save me from the messiness of growing up in a dysfunctional household. So I hope you can imagine how important meeting "Spock" was to me. When the day came, I couldn't wait to get to the store! I dressed up in my favorite outfit, green of course, and waited, very impatiently, ... Read Full Story >>
A very close friend of mine has two older parents who have been very sick and in the hospital. Her Mom has alzheimers and her Dad has diabetes and just had surgery on his legs. She was able to make arrangements for them to come to her house when they left the hospital, but this is now an additional responsibility for her in addition to her own family.
A bunch of us (9 friends) got together and came up with a calendar of dates for us to take turns making dinner and delivering it to her house. (Thank goodness for email!) It'll be one less thing she will have to worry about while she establishes a routine and things settle down for her. This way she will know they are eating healthy foods and she can tend to her parents needs. I'm so happy to be part of this effort.
MANY HANDS make LIGHT WORK. If we all do our part, it's easy!
I was driving home from school one hot summer day when I realized that my car was not working right. I kept driving and prayed that it would hold out the 3 hours that I still had to go. Seconds later, everything in my car died and I barely made it off to the shoulder. Knowing absolutely nothing about cars, I popped the hood and proceeded to check the oil (since that's the only thing I knew how to do). As I was doing this, two older men in a truck pulled behind me and asked if I needed help. Of course, I couldn't turn them down since I was so far from home. They could see that I was shaken up and told me to get back in the car and they would take a look to see what was wrong. After some investigating they informed me that it ... Read Full Story >>
A few weeks ago I walked into a Zenex Garage to buy some milk. When I turned around after taking milk out the fridge I saw an elderly man standing behind me with a small packet of mielie pap, a small bottle of Savlon, a small bottle of milk and a half loaf of bread. He was trying to hold everything and at the same time was counting his coins in his very shaky, bruised, cut hands. I walked up to him and asked him how much he was short. Stunned, he could not even talk. Almost apologetically, he told me he had not recieved his pension money yet and needed a few small things for his family(himself, his wife and two kids) for a week while he waited for his pension to come in. He did not know which of the items were most important to take but he clearly could ... Read Full Story >>
I recently received a message via Facebook:
"You won't remember me... I went to Sutton public, grades 4 & 5. You gave me a drawing of yours of one of the California Raisins. Anyway, I had moved around a lot growing up, ie. I was usually the odd kid out. What you did, was something really nice that I always remembered. Thanks."
Wow. I felt so warm and fuzzy inside when I read that and was so so satisfied to know that my simple random act of kindness was carried throughout this boy's life. (By the way, I didn't remember him but I surely remember the drawing!)
Children are so incredibly kindhearted but it often goes unnoticed because they have no egotistical need to have it noticed. Kids rock!
And I'm very very glad that he chose to contact me and tell me about it. It's inspiring to hear it after all these years!
It feels like a "hug a stranger" day today. :) Thanks for letting me share!
If you read the front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday, Dec 15, 2005, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. The fifty-foot whale was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her her tail, her torso and a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her - a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. They worked for hours ... Read Full Story >>
There was an Officer of the Law, a recent graduate, proud as you can imagine, in his uniform of blue with brass buttons and gold epaulets. He wore a hat with a plume and a sword with a gold and ivory handle. He was as pompous as could be. He was arrogant and bold and callous. Every letter of the alphabet served only to demonstrate his authority and exalt his being. One day he was walking his beat and heard a commotion in an alley. He ventured into the darkness, and there in the distance saw a man in rags. "Come forward," he commanded. "Come forward now!" But the man in rags did not come forward. "I am an Officer of the Law, and I command you, come forward!" The man in rags did not move. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and spoke, "I don't know ... Read Full Story >>
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One night I took a fare at 2:30 AM, when I arrived to collect, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By ... Read Full Story >>
Since I joined this website last week, I was mulling about how to incorporate acts of kindness into my life as a regular practice. I was truly inspired! I am a massage therapist and have my own practice. What I decided to do is to no longer keep my tips; instead, I would use that money towards giving someone a free massage. For instance, I charge $75/hour. When there is $75 worth of tips given, I will offer someone in need -- who cannot afford the massage otherwise -- a free one. Well, no sooner had I hatched this plan that a client called me and said she had to cancel based on financial difficulties. Guess who got the freebee?!? The beautiful thing is that this woman just lost her father and is in a ... Read Full Story >>
I became a massage therapist because I was headed for chiropractic school and wanted to see if I was ok touching people all day. After completing my massage therapy education I started working out of my home while also working for a pharmaceutical company by day to save money for chiro school. At first, it didn't really consciously occur to me that this type of giving was what I was really after. I just found that I loved what I did and couldn't wait to go to work each day. Now, ten years later and running a thriving massage therapy practice, I donate massages regularly to family, friends and random people such as pregnant moms having difficulty for any reason, abused women, widows and children with special needs. Sometimes I just pick a person for no apparent reason and tell them that they have won a free massage with me. I don't ... Read Full Story >>
The train was not working that night as I was heading home. I had to catch a bus and 2 hours later was dropped off in the middle of the town I was staying in. The ice storm froze the ground and it was very difficult to walk. I asked three people for directions, but they were too hurried to help.
Then I saw an old lady holding onto the corner post with her packages, afraid to move. I asked her where she was going and it was at least 3 miles away. I tried to find a cab or police car but I was told they do not stop in this neighborhood.
So, we proceeded to walk along, holding onto each other for dear life. The roads were layered with a sheet of ice. Then and there I decided that I could not leave this old lady alone like this. So, I decided to walk her home, hand in hand, for a good 2 hours. Later that evening, I finally reached my destination wet and exhausted but filled with joy and love for life.
I used to work at a warehouse that was down the street from a homeless shelter. It was right next door to a little gas station where they made breakfast sandwiches daily and I would walk over before my shift started and get a sandwich and a coke every morning. There was always someone or the other standing around outside asking for money to get something to eat. As a single mother I rarely had money to spare but sometimes I would give them my change until I noticed most of them would go inside and buy a beer with the money instead of food. I stopped giving out my change and just told them I didn't have any. One day as I was walking out of the store, I noticed an old black man who was obviously homeless. However, interestingly, he was always wearing a nice suit and tie ... Read Full Story >>
I'm a bit of a family historian (not that we have much of a history outside coal mining in Scotland and farming in Ireland.) One of my most precious possessions, which probably dates from about 1915, is a family portrait. My great grandmother sits on a chair all stiff and formal with her brood of babies around her feet and on her knees. My great grandfather stands behind her the picture of authorirty, but he is actually standing on "tin" legs after an accident with a railway truck. One-by-one the people in the picture left this world. My gran died aged 82, but in this picture she is about 3 forever. One of her sisters, Lena, outlived all her siblings by quite some way. Going to visit Lena not long before she died it occurred to me that she might not have seen this picture for many decades. So I made a copy, framed ... Read Full Story >>
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However,he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for kindness." He said, "Then I thank you from the bottom of my heart." As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in humanity grew stronger as well. He had been ready to give up ... Read Full Story >>
I went to a Catholic Mission Hospital in Ghana one day, to visit a friend who was a Priest, and medical doctor but was off duty then. On reaching at the hospital gate, there was this woman who seemed to have traveled from the far away village to send her sick girl to the hospital. And the girl was actually dying, so pile, with bulged eyes, and flies were all over her body. Also, the mother of this girl who looked so shabbily and tattered could not do anything but to see her poor girl dying on her own laps, since the nurses on duty would not offer her the necessary help, perhaps due to her poverty. From the hospital gate, the shouts for help from this poor woman drew my attention, so I approached her, took the sick girl from her laps and sent her straight to the consulting room to see ... Read Full Story >>
I was priviledged to join a college which not only created an environment for attaining professional qualification but also ensured that each and every student left the college an all-rounded individual. Most of the colleges in my country were commercially oriented and students tended to come in, have their lectures and off they went. The lecturers in the college I attended always embraced higher ideals and many of the kids coming straight from high school would dread this college on the basis that it was strict. It was no bother to me anyway and I often looked forward to my college days. One of the lecturers, in particular, captured my attention most, not because of his tutorial skills but by the way he would always walk and leave no dirt or paper behind him. He would always bend over and pick any piece of paper lying on the floor and throw it to the nearest dustbin. On ... Read Full Story >>
I was working for a company in Australia that has a high turnover of staff. I, too, had found a better position and was very aware that management would be dissapointed that I was leaving. I had recently become friends with a young man who had just migrated to Australia. He was unskilled and was finding life difficult being unemployed and married and having two young children. As I handed in my notice I was asked if I was aware of anyone who was looking for work and could do the job as well as I had done. I took this opportunity to line up an interview for my new friend. My friend was not offered the job after the interview. I had to serve a weeks notice and during this time I asked management the reasons why my friend was turned down. They claimed that his English was not good enough ... Read Full Story >>