One day, a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most of the comments. No one ever mentioned those papers in class ... Read Full Story >>
At my son's school, the traffic is so hectic, they have a traffic director to help the parents get in and out of the school parking area safely.
Last week, I noticed how hot is was outside when I went to pick up my son. The traffic director was sweating!! It just so happened that I had packed an extra bottle of cold water before going to pick up my son.
As I handed the bottle of water out of the window to the traffic director (along with a smile card of course), the look on her face was absolutely priceless!! I kept looking back in my rear view mirror as I drove away, and as long as I could see her, she was still smiling! : )
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she ... Read Full Story >>
On Fridays, my son's kindergarten class has "prize day" when all the children who have maintained good behavior throughout the week get to choose a prize to keep as a reward. The children have behavior cards, which start out green every morning but are changed from green to yellow, orange and finally to red as their behavior declines. The vast majority of these chidren never change their cards from green. As school is dismissed, I am amazed to see the kids streaming out of the front door smiling ear-to-ear holding some inexpensive trinket like it was a gold medal. On many Fridays, there is one boy, who I'll refer to as "Tommy," who often walks out with an unsmiling face because he has had a difficult day or two that week. From day one "Tommy" would be the first name the children would mention to their parents: "Tommy had a ... 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 >>
I heard a great story this morning about a young girl with a very big heart. A friend was telling me a story about her customer's daughter. The daughter goes to an expensive private school where she has a friend, who is on a full scholarship at this school. This friend has very limited means and her mother is an immigrant from China and her father is an alcholic. Although the girl's mother works very hard, they can barely make ends meet. This girl is very bright and gifted at music and that's how she got the scholarship from this school. The stipend also includes an allowance for things like lunch, school uniform and music lessons. The daughter became friends with this girl and would secretly talk to her at lunch (secretly, in order to avoid the other kids teasing her). On her birthday last month, she invited her new friend to her birthday ... Read Full Story >>
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 >>
At 2:00am this past Friday morning, I received a text message from a friend, asking if I had any Smile Cards in Spanish. I immediately replied back saying I didn’t have any smile cards in Spanish. However, I also asked her why she wanted them specifically in Spanish and if smile cards in English would be acceptable. To my surprise, she said she had been one of the few selected by her high-school to go on a service trip to Nicaragua. She was going to spend four weeks in the villages teaching English to children & teens between the ages of five and eighteen. She wanted to share the concept of Smile Cards and kindness. By now, I was totally rocked and excited with hearing the news! :) So I decided to stop texting and call her to get more information about her service trip and ask when she was leaving for ... Read Full Story >>
My seven year old son Nicholas came home from school one day and in the context of our usual "How was school?" chat he told me about one of his classmates who had asked him to share his snack with him in a somewhat forceful way. After this chat, as a room mother, I had the chance to better observe the boy concerned. I saw he never had a snack and was often dirty, so I understood a bit more his situation. From that point on I sent extra crackers, etc., everyday and Nicholas made a point of sitting next to the boy at snack time so he could share - telling the boy I always gave him too much. After this we realized he was unable to pay for field trips and the teacher was doing this for him. We secretly got involved with that also, making sure he was in our group for ... Read Full Story >>
I teach a sixth grade religion class, and today I played the Smile Deck game with my students. They each left with two kind acts to complete and were very enthusiastic as I handed them regular Smile Cards to go along with the Smile Deck Cards.
One student was able to complete one of her acts that day itself, when class ended. She held the door for those leaving the building, handing out Smile Cards to those who would take them. It was uncomfortable for her at first (12 years old is an awkward age, at best), but she got the hang of it and started to enjoy her 15 minutes as 'Door Woman'!
I am excited to hear about how the other children's acts of kindness go.
I hope that my take on the ways we can “take care of God's creation” will sink into these kids, and they will carry forward the idea of embracing kindness as a meaningful part of life.
This is just the beginning for me!! Thanks for the forum of inspiration!
You join Facebook and " friend" your old classmates. You might not ever talk about anything serious with them but they are there. You read their status, laugh at their jokes, groan at the corny quotes, or wish them a happy birthday. Until last week, that is.... A classmate from twenty years ago was one of my Facebook friends. A few random comments he made gave me the impression that something was wrong so I prodded him to call me. He did call and I found out that that he, his wife and eight children had just moved into a cheap motel room. He had used the very last of their money to pay for a week's stay there. He had no job and they had lost their home. What do you do in a situation like that? I am just me, with my own family, my own worries, not enough money ... Read Full Story >>
My favorite teacher plays a game with us at least once a week called "Appreciations". In this game, one person throws a ball to another person in the class who he would like to appreciate. Usually, we thank other kids for saying "hi" in the halls or hanging out on the weekend. Today, however, the first appreciation was very deep, and the receiver began to cry. Afterward, we continued to go deeper and deeper, and our teacher decided to hold off on the lesson we were supposed to learn today. Instead, she had us all make envelopes to put on our desk (like on Valentines Day in grade school) :) After that, we spent the full hour writing a note to every single person in the class about anything we wanted to tell them. The comments made me smile so much that my mouth hurt and some of then even made me cry! It just ... Read Full Story >>
My friend and I had an assignment for one of our classes to do a random act of kindness and write and essay about the experience. We were inspired to take the assignment even farther and turned it in to a kindness project to recognise people who serve our community. We scoped out a number of places where people serve the community in our town. Then we baked (and baked) for 6 hours: cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and brownies. When we were done baking, we began dropping them off. We went to two fire-stations, a hospital, the post office, the police department, and we even chased down some bus drivers for three blocks :) Everyone's reactions were just amazing. The bus drivers hugged us and were on the verge of tears. Everybody was so thankful when it was us thanking them for what they do. Policemen and women, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, firefighters - these are the people who ... Read Full Story >>
I am currently in grade twelve at my school and have been working on a project by creating a group of eight girls, ranging from grades five to six, to stop bullying. I introduced these girls to the Smile Card idea, and it was a huge hit. We have been meeting every week since then. Next thing I know, one girl came up to me with over 100 Smile Cards that she had printed out from this website and colored in herself!
This shows me that kindness can reach all different ages. Now, the girls are continuously spreading the cards and making journals of their experiences. I plan to get our whole school involved in this Smile Card revolution.
My next theme is "We are all the same yet so different." These girls gave me hope that people in this world do care.
My wonderful grand daughter just turned five. We always have a party for her with all of our friends and family. I am often a little embarrassed by all the riches received by her. I thought that this year, with her parents blessing, we could do something different. A nearby elementary school was devastated by fire over the summer and lost nineteen classrooms and the library. I thought we could use this birthday to create an opportunity for Lily, even at the young age of five, to understand service to others. The day before her party we drove to the school and took her on a tour of the devastation. Since Lily has been attending nursery she understood the concept of school and seeing the burned buildings helped her understand why we wanted to help. We asked the party-goers to bring donations of books for the school instead of a present. Of course people still brought Lily ... Read Full Story >>
I must share a heart warming experience I enjoyed this week, both as a parent and a human being. My daughter, Emma (in 7th grade), started back to school last week. There is a young boy in her class (call him Jake) who is quite overweight. As you might expect he is the butt of many jokes and is treated very badly by other kids (and even by the teachers). Jake gives the impression that he's not a nice guy, mostly because of the fact that he's constantly picked on. For several nights this week Emma came home from school upset about the fact that Jake gets picked on so much. She also mentioned that he had no school supplies as his family could not afford them. He was constantly asking to borrow paper, which just gives kids even more reason to pick on him. One night Emma was extremely upset about this situation, not only because ... Read Full Story >>
Hello my kind friends! Every so often I like to post adventures of one of my little kindness kids. Little Rachel (6 years old now!) is a kind hearted little girl who often accompanies me on my kindness adventures. Well, this week she is a 'Top Cat' in her 1st grade class. It is her special week at school and she gets to have lunch with the principal and teacher. She is very excited. But although I am proud of her, that is not why. Part of her being Top Cat is that she has to complete a big poster about herself. She colors it, answers the questions about herself on it, etc. There is one section that asks her to name 3 supercool things about herself. Well bless her heart, one of her supercool things that she wrote is that she gets to hand out Smile Cards! :) We taped a Smile Cards underneath where she ... Read Full Story >>
We homeschool our children so we sometimes have the flexibility of adjusting our schedule to fit in special things. Today, as part of our 'Kindness Klub' we decided we would head out for an afternoon of giving back. Each of my kids chose from a list of kind things that they wanted to do. I ran down to the local store, picked up a few potted flowers and attached Smile Cards. We then put a few dollars in a plastic bag with a Smile Card. Before we set off on our mission, we read a verse from the Bible about kindness and said a prayer that our efforts would be well-received and help brighten someone's day! First, we stopped off at the local bus stop. We taped the plastic bag to a post inside the bus stop and quickly left ;) Second, my 10 year old daughter said she had seen a house she wanted to drop her flowers off at. She directed me to it. ... Read Full Story >>
I've mainly been using my smile cards in paying for the person behind me at the Burger King and McDonald's drive-thrus that I go to. However, sometimes I find myself yearning to be more creative with them. I have over 250 of them to distribute since I "made" my own and ordered them through a website that prints and ships out custom cards. I have decided to bring kindness to the staff and students at the school where I work. I will keep my eyes and ears open to see whose day could use a smile. I'm sure I'll get to everyone sooner or later or better yet, everyone who receives smile cards will eventually be able to help out and spread the smiles with me. Today, I enlisted another co-worker to anonymously deliver a smile to my first recipient. She was more than happy to be included and said she just loved things like ... Read Full Story >>
I have always tried to base my life on helping others. Sometimes I have had to do without but that’s okay. Our family, like everyone else, are having a rough go of it and I feel blessed just to be able to provide for my own kids. I know that my kids have always been kind-hearted and would do whatever they could for anyone else, but when I learned about a recent act of kindness my teenage son did for a friend, it has really touched my heart. My son was going to school every day with lunch money in his pocket but yet coming home hungry. When we asked about this, we came to find out he was sharing his money daily with a friend that was going without any lunch every day. As rough as we have it some days we now make sure there is lunch money for two ... Read Full Story >>
By James David Mancini February 2011 I remember as a young boy I was living in a poor suburban neighborhood as a foster child. Lost in the system of child services and forced to spend lots of time alone. I would often wander the different neighborhoods on my own and offer to help rake a yard, mow a lawn, or wash some walls in exchange for some pocket money just to buy some school clothes or candy. I will never forget this one time I knocked on the door of this elderly woman and asked if she needed her leaves raked in the yard. She asked why I was not in school and I showed her my torn pants and the soles of my shoes, which were worn and no longer keeping my feet warm and protected. She allowed me to work in the yard for pretty much that entire day, feeding ... Read Full Story >>
As a part of my Pay it Foward project revolution, I'm starting the 29 day giving challenge...again! I've done this in the summer, but this time is different because I'm also doing it with some friends from school and some friends here at KindSpring ;) Today, as my first gift, I believe I have given the gift of encouragement and cheer. Looking back , when I had first done this challenge, normally I would think, " What kind of gift is that?" Looking back at that experience now, I realize that these simple gestures mean a lot more then one thinks they do :) Today, some of my friends were a bit gloomy, perhaps because of the weather, some because their schedules got changed (it's a new term for us now at school). There was this one frind from school that had recently gone through a break-up that I didnt know of, ... Read Full Story >>
Ethan is six and three quarters and Emily just turned seven, and they are best friends. Their pre-school teacher, Kathleen Albert, has been teaching them about kindness. So, for their graduation project, Ethan and Emily decided to raise money to help feed hungry people by collecting cans. When they were done, they had raised 5,304 dollars for the San Francisco Food Bank - enough money for 15,912 meals!
Happy weekend, RAOKtivists! It's Kindness Ninja Saturday!! My sweet class of 23 second graders absolutely love sneaking out of our classroom and performing acts of kindness. We call ourselves the Kindness Classroom and we are Kindness Ninjas! The Kindness Ninjas' favorite RAOK was hiding bottles of bubbles around the playgrounds.
The past two Fridays, the Kindness Ninjas have made positive post-it notes for their friends as well as for some anonymous recipients. A big ninja snuck around after school and put some of these on teachers' classroom doors!
So....take it from the Kindness Ninjas...
Be kind. Be nice. Be sweet. And, never forget that together we can be the change we wish to see in the world!
My friend went on a field trip with her grandchild's class. Many of the students have little material wealth. Although she also struggles with making ends meet, she bought each of them a dinosaur coin.
Her idea was that they could always remember this trip, and that each child would have something to take home. What a kind person.
Today, a friend of mine was being picked on for always wearing the same sweater so I told the bully to stop, and he eventually did. Also, the class was being really rude to our teacher, so I told the teacher that no matter what, I was so appreciative that he was our teacher.
I just believe that it's nice to let people know how special they are and that they should never let themselves get down, because it's nice to know that you're appreciated for being just who you are. <3 (:
There are a few people who have passed through my life who I say I would never be able to repay. One of them who left the most impact was my art teacher Mr. Cataldo.
I went to a very rough middle school and that is a difficult age to be in an unsafe environment. I was bullied and mistreated on a regular basis. Perhaps the other students could see the victim in me, but all of that changed the day that I came into art class.
Mr. Cataldo let every student of his know that this was a safe zone and no bullying or bad behavior could happen on his watch. He fostered a good environment for learning and growing. It was only an hour a day, but it saved my life at the time. So thanks, Mr.C for giving me a little haven of peace in an otherwise dark and disturbing middle school experience. I think about you often!
Today's gratitude challenge encouraged me to think about something I take for granted and then to express gratitude for it by writing a story. Every day, the first things I do - and a large percentage of the rest of the things I do throughout the day - depend on my ability to read. Some decades ago , I joined 40 other six-year-olds as a member of the first township-wide first grade – the previous year, first graders in the township had still attended one-room schools, but the Baby Boom had reached even that rural corner of central Pennsylvania. Sprawling in comparison to the previous schools, the new building had a separate classroom for each grade. First grade had been assigned to a veteran teacher from one of the one-room schools named Mrs. Noel. I don’t know how she did it, but Mrs. Noel taught most of us the basics of reading. In ... Read Full Story >>
Last school year I held a teaching position working with 3rd to 5th grade boys with severe autism. It was a very challenging year due to a 2 hour per day commute on top of a rewarding yet exhausting day each day.
One of my instructional aides wrote me a beautiful card telling me how much he thought of me as a person and a teacher. He complimented me immensely by telling me that I was one of the best teacher's he had ever worked with. I felt honored and humbled and that compliment makes my heart glow even today.