I was at the airport enroute to visit my parents over the holidays and was on the train heading to my terminal resting easy knowing that there was plenty of time before my flight. On the train I noticed that there was a gentleman helping a young mother who was travelling alone with a baby and didn't seem to know where she needed to go. The man asked me which gate I was going to and after realizing I was headed in the opposite direction decided he would help the mother. At our stop I realized the man had two young boys and his own share of carry on baggage to deal with, but he was still trying to help the mother so I offered to take her from there. The mother showed me her ticket and I noticed that her flight departed in 10 minutes and she had a ... Read Full Story >>
How did you hear about us? My Friend handed me a card. What inspired you to join? The joy of doing good things. --Joshua, in New York This is my second time emailing you. First, I only asked for a few cards to try this at our school and the response has been great. Both teachers and students have been coming to my office in the Guidance, where I am Academically Gifted Resource Teacher, asking for more cards and wanting to join in this game. Also, some were quite excited when they had been tagged. Your cards really brighten our school days. If you could send us some more to brighten our already sunny days in North Carolina, we would appreciate it very much. Many thanks to you from all of us at Lufkin Road Middle School. We are getting ready to take the EOG's this month and could use some extra acts ... Read Full Story >>
Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people. I want to share the lovely feeling of joy on being around a bunch of 4 year olds for whom I was a complete stranger yet felt so bonded by my presence and connection. Early this week, I offered to do some ‘story time reading’ at a local preschool. The kids and teachers were very excited about it. It was wonderful to be around these incredible kids who all picked their favorite storybooks for me to read. Due to time constraint, I could only read few books but promised the other kids to read them their favorite story the next time. I already made 2 trips to the school to keep my promise and looking forward to more! I was thinking of ways to show my appreciation to the teachers and staff of an ... Read Full Story >>
I plan to put one in each of my sisters lunches with a special surprise snack and note of love. I will then give them 4 more cards to encouarge them to take part in their own acts of kindness, while I use the remaining cards with random acts when I see a need. I hope encouranging my sisters when they are young will help them and their friends discover a joy of helping others that they will carry on throughout there lives.
Where I lived I noticed a widow that struggles so much to take care of her three children.
She goes out early in the moring and comes back late before the children will have something to eat.
In an envelope I drop a smile card and N4,000.00, which I think will be able to feed them for some time. I left it at her door post.
The following morning she came out calling everyone around saying "God had sent an angel to bless me with some money that will be able to take care of me and my children for sometime".
As a single mom, it is often hard for me to provide those little "extras" my children seem to want.
About four weeks my 11 yr old son came home from school to inform that the musical instrument he had made from recycled products was chosen to be sent to the NYS Green Nation Recycling Competition in Albany.
There was a note from his teacher informing that my son was invited to attend the competition but that parents were expected to fund this two day event for their children.
My son was estatic, but what was I to do. I didn't have that kind of money, this trip was going to cost $300!
Well, my son immediately began do odds jobs for family memebers so he could earn some money towards the trip, and I began to work as much OT at work to put a little extra in as well.
We prayed every night that somehow we will raise the money for my son to attend.
Last we got a telephone call from a member of the Deputy Sheriff's Association in our area, and this wonderful group of men and women have come together to sponsor my son so he can attend this event!!!!!
My son is truly blessed.
When I was 21 yrs old, I was dating a girl whose parent's friends were going through a divorce. They had a 6 year old daughter and unfortunately their separation was just before Christmas and we both knew how upset the little girl was. Her dad was not living in the house and wasn't planning on spending Christmas with them. So my girlfriend and I wrote little notes like, "On the first day of Christmas, my secret Santa gave to me...." and put a gift each night on their porch for the little girl. We started this about 2 weeks before Christmas. Well into the first week, my girlfriend's parents heard that someone was leaving gifts on the porch for this little girl and wondering who it was. Of course....we didn't. :) As we got closer to Christmas it was getting more difficult doing what we were doing without getting ... Read Full Story >>
I love to do the random things like pay for the person behind me in the fast food drive thru.... This week after church we decided to go out to eat with our kids in tow. Our family consists of 6 children, some adopted. We went to a local restaurant. We were seated next to a family of 4 children, and I noticed the young mother had a bandana on her head and appeared to have a hair loss issue, it immediatly touched my heart. I told my husband I want to pay their bill. He looked around, I think he was looking for a lonely person in the corner, then I pointed to the family next to us. When he did a head count I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Our income is stretched as it was and here I am suggesting we pay for another bill. After ... Read Full Story >>
We were recently at a concert. The young artists were playing their hearts out but unfortunately, the audience was largely empty. Moved by the artists, my wife felt we ought to do something to support them. Something, anything. The guy next to us, an Italian youngster named Arthur, had become our friend in applause. We just knew that he felt the same way, because at the end of the concert, all three of us stood up to give our own version of a standing ovation for these budding artists. After the concert, we go outside to the front desk and ask the little girl behind the CD-counter. "What is your favorite item? This t-shirt or this CD or this card?" The little girl was also part of the ten-person band; she was the daughter of the lead singer. A little shy, she shrugs her shoulder with ... Read Full Story >>
“Everyone says the flowers smell good but I don’t smell anything. Nothing. Do you smell them?” she asks, in her heavily accented voice. After walking around a busy street looking to do a random act of kindness, I had stumbled into this flower shop. Even though my mind was busy devising possible scenarios, I had a gut feeling that something was going to present itself. A little startled by the flower lady’s question, I tell her that “the flowers smell ah-mazing and perhaps you should take a break once in a while so you can enjoy them too.” Before I realize, I find myself in the midst of a conversation about her life -- she got laid off from United Airlines a few years back, took the unemployment money and traveled the world for a year. Then, she ran out of money and came back to work at the ... Read Full Story >>
I have a five year old son and two 18 month old twins and especially at Christmas time I wanted them to truely understand what the act of giving was all about. So I made a list of people that were less likely to recieve gifts or love and let my five year old chose who we would give gifts to.
He chose homeless people. We purchased some large inexpensive gift bags and filled them with canned goods, used warm socks, new toothbrushes, bars of soap, candy bars, and many other surprises, but to my surprise my son came in with his piggy bank and said they could have his money. We filled several plastic bags with coins and I slipped in a few dollar bills, and we put all the bags in the trunk of the car.
It was several days before we saw a homeless person pushing a cart down the main blvd. and fortunately my son was with me and we pulled over and gave the bag to a man who started to cry when we wished him Merry Christmas. I have never forgotten the look of gratitude on his face and neither has my son.
We have now done this for three years on my sons request.
Last month I started a family kindness journal. Every day each member in the family must write down the good deed that they did that day. It is amazing to see how far my children's deeds have come.
At first they helped the teacher or shared school supplies, but it has progressed to wonderful things I never imagined.
For example there is a boy my son has not gotten along with since the first day of school. My son came home and told me his good deed for the day was to make friends with this boy.
I said, “What possessed you to be friends with someone who has been mean to you all year?”
His response? “I gave it a lot of thought and realized he was lonely and didn't know how to make friends, and that was why he was mean.”
This boy has had quite an attitude adjustment (no longer hitting and calling names) and has been welcomed into my son's group of friends.
Some deeds are big some are small, but the point is for us to think of other people.
I was with my oldest son and we were on the lookout for an open parking space in our jam-packed shopping center. We spotted a perfect one in the next row of spaces, and I manouvered our van around the turn, all the while hoping no one else would spot it and grab it before I could. And, as luck would have it, a lady was wheeling her shopping cart right in front of us, and it looked like it was getting away from her - crammed with bags and cartons of soda underneath. She herself was carrying three extra bags in her hands while trying to push the cart against a strong spring wind, and looked frazzled. She noticed us and I could tell she was trying to move over to the side so we could pass. At that moment, some of the lighter ... Read Full Story >>
He took it out from around his neck and leaned down a bit, his eyes looking straight into mine. "Would you mind?" he asks. Looking at him through his eye glasses, I smile and say, "Of course not, Lee. It would be an honor." And with that, I was garlanded -- probably for the first time in my life -- with a simple necklace. Lee is the epitome of a happy-go-lucky guy. He used to be a trucker, I think. If there were one word to describe him, it would be happy. Or joyous. And what a pure heart. In one of those fits of unadulterated compassion, he just felt like giving me something. So he takes off his own necklace and offers it to me. It was far from an ordinary necklace. In a small town of Oregon, Lee met a Japanese-American fellow selling small hand-made, glass items. While conversing with ... Read Full Story >>
When I was on CBS's Survivor - Africa all I had with me were the clothes on my back and my one luxury item of choice: a hackey sack. My hackey sack was my most prized possession, the one item that took me temporarily away from the Survivor game and home to the familiar... and I gave it away. It may sound silly, but it was a tough decision - a real moment of personal truth. I was with a group of other Survivor contestants distributing HIV/AIDS testing kits to a small village in Kenya when I met Milton. Milton didn't have any of the luxuries I had growing up- no TV, no bike, no PlayStation. But Milton's eyes were full of laughter, and they lit up when I produced my hackey sack. I knew exactly how Milton felt, and that I would be leaving my beloved hackey sack with him ... Read Full Story >>
I'm having a lot of fun with my smile cards! Thanks you so much for all that you guys do, it really is awesome!
I just recieved some great news! I recently won the Violet Richardson Award for starting my STARS, a volunteer club, and my club was given a grant and we have already planned our next project! It's called "Operation Bear Hugs!" We are going to purchase a lot of teddy bears for little kids at our local safe house and we are going to attach smile cards on them! We are so excited!
We also are making gifts for a children's hospital that we hope to visit later this summer ... they are called "Smile in a Box." It is a small brown box that has a poem attached and when you open it there is a smiley face tap light that when you push it it lights up! It's for kid's who are scared at the hospital ... they can have a warm smile anytime they need it! Even late at night! And of course, what would the smile be without a smile card!
Again, thanks for all you guys do! I know that it takes a lot of work! Keep it up! And remember, smiles are contagious ...
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes, carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did ... Read Full Story >>
What better way to start a journey than to tag the passengers on my flight? What to tag them with was the next question. The kids were easy. I went out to a party supply store and picked up a variety of goodies- bubbles, mini mazes, cards, candy, notebooks and pens. It was perfect, the store had smiley face bouncy balls and smiley face bags. But what of the adults, the day before my trip, I realized the perfect solution was in front of my eyes for weeks. For graduation, I had received a bag of smile stones. If you haven't had the pleasure of finding a smile stone, I hope you come across one. Smooth glass stones in a myriad of colours with smiley faces drawn on in permanent black. Mid-flight a child behind came crying to her family, it was time to begin. I pulled ... Read Full Story >>
Last-weekend, my kids along with few other kids from the neighborhood volunteered to help me wash my car. We embarked on our car cleaning mission when my 10 year old came up with the idea of washing other people's cars as well. It was pretty hot outside and I had no plans to continue being in the bright sun. She further wanted to give lemonade to passerby's for free. I had seen little kids serve and sell fresh lemonade for a small cost (may be 25 cents) but not free. I felt fuzzy and decided to help her out. She promptly asked me, "What if we make this a smile car wash mommy"? I couldn't hold back my tears and encouraged her and the other kids to go inside the house and get creative and come up with ideas. While I kept myself busy in drying the car, the ... Read Full Story >>
Lucia is 8 years old and in November '05 she wrote a contract for the whole family to sign. "We will all agree to getting a puppy dog on April 15 2006." She had been asking for a puppy for about a year already! It was inevitable now! We signed, the five of us, but did inform her that she needed to start saving money to be able to buy the puppy and so she did. At least once a week she would sit down to count, penny at a time, how much she had collected. In change she raised about US$80 dollars. April came, we had a few adorable options in mind but on the first week of the month, we received a communication letter from her school about a girl needing multiple organ transplant and this letter made Lucia change her mind. She informed us she was taking her ... Read Full Story >>
My daughter's birthday is May 29. She was 6 by then. As it was Monday, we prefered to celebrate it earlier, i.e. on Saturday 27 May. This was easier for me as I'm free on Saturdays. On Thursday the entire family was busy packing the presents and putting funny pins on them. I promised my litte princess that I would wake her up early in the morning and distribute the presents to her classmates. I woke up at 05:30. After I took a bath, I planned to wake her up ... but.... as I came out from the bathroom, I realized that an earthquake struck. I screamed to wake my husband up and asked him to carry my daughter; and ran out of our house. We were watching our house swaying from outside. It happened for just 3 minutes, but... the piano thumbled down, tiles came down, some cracks appeared ... Read Full Story >>
She stood looking at every tag on the tree for over an hour. Ten years old and a heart of gold, she decided that she would give up one of her Christmas gifts to the boy named Joseph who needed clothes but wanted a skateboard.
Money was tight in our household but her argument was "Mom, I have a lot to be thankful for; maybe he doesn't have that much." That year when she unwrapped her empty gift box, she read the word Joseph in it. My daughter smiled her beautiful smile and we cried.
Ten years later, I lost that daughter in a car accident.
It's been 9 years and each Christmas I stand in front of the tree of angels at the store for an hour, searching for the "Josephs" who will get her gifts.
One year, a 15 year old girl wrote, "My baby brother needs clothes more than I need a photo album and film." So I got her box of scrapbook and photo supplies and I hope they had as much fun with it as I had shopping for her.
I know my Angel girl was watching over me that year. The girl's name was Johanna ... the same as my daughter.
I was doing some last-minute shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at ... Read Full Story >>
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
It was Neil's 10th birthday party. After a dozen close friends super-soaked each other with water and stuffed themselves with food and cake, this sunny August morning party would be about a different kind of fun -- fun of giving. Today, we decided to "tag" people with free car washes. First up were the signs. Taking all the art supplies and glitter and fancy colored pens, the kids sprawled all over the ground to create couple of large "Free Car Wash" signs; no matter how hard they tried to color inside the lines, these signs had "we are kids" written all over it. Soon enough, we gathered up the sponges, towels and soap and headed to the driveway. "Free Car Wash," we practiced our cheer on practically every car that drove by. To get our act together, though, we rolled in one of our own cars on the driveway. ... Read Full Story >>
My wife and I were at Disneyland taking the shuttle back to the hotel, when this boy -- I guess he must've been 4 or 5 years old -- gets on the shuttle bus with his pirate sword and eye patch.
He was looking real tough in his gear so I decided to yell out to every one on the bus, "Stand back! There is a pirate on the bus."
As fast as the words came out of my mouth the boy pulls off his eye patch, drops his swords, and yells back, "No, no, no. It's just me. I am a little kid, not a real pirate." Everyone on the bus had a great laugh.
The next day his mother saw me in the hotel lobby and stopped me to thank me. She told me that I had made her son's day and that he talked about scaring the big guy on the bus all that night.
P.S. I am 6'3" 280 lbs.
We live in a small flat in Ranip (in India). While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day). During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. ... Read Full Story >>
With the recent floods in Gujarat, India, I've been busy with flood relief work in the affected slums. We distribute medicines, food, clothing, etc. but what is the most important thing to give is love. There are countless stories of how love makes a difference. One important part of our work is going out, cutting fingernails, combing hair and playing with kids. There is no particular incidence that strikes me but rather the power of simply giving love. The magnetic force that drew kids to the volunteers was love, pure and simple. As we talked to the kids, they seemed to blossom, basking in the attention that each was receiving. At one point, a bunch of kids had gathered around me, while I was watching over some pots of food, while others were going house to house for distribution. Soon I was teaching head and shoulders, knees and toes and Simon says. ... Read Full Story >>
well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.
Saturday I was with my 8 year old son and we were in Boston at the Boston Commans. There was a manyelling out "spare change." He was a homeless man.
My son said, "Dad can I give him a dollar and one of your smile cards." I said you sure can Jared. I been teaching my son to be very loving and caring. So when the homeless man took the dollar and the smile card he said to Jared, "this is the best spare change I ever got because you made me smile with this nice card thank you so much. Have a nice day." And then he turned
as he was walking away and said, "keep smiling."
I looked at Jared and he looked at me and we were both smiling together and Jared said dad I feel so good that I made that poor man smile and I told him me too honey and I am very proud of you. Then Jared gave me a big hug and said,
"I love you dad." So the thing I loved the most out of this story is from one smile card we ended up getting three smiles the homeless man, Jared, and me John.
Thank you so much SmileGroups have a wonderful day from your loving and caring Jared and John.