I always try to encourage my children to be, think and talk positive but one day I was caught not practicing what I preach by my son. My son is 7 ½ yrs old son and he was preparing for a sketch at his school for the occasion of Mother’s day. He was playing the role of an angel. On the evening before the show, we were having a casual conversation while I was preparing dinner in the kitchen. He asked me: “Mum, can we see angels?” As usual, I seized the opportunity to encourage him to be positive and I said: “Yes, but only those who are, think and talk good can see angels.” He responded by asking: “You must have seen them then?” I paused a few seconds. I was touched by his innocence about the fact that how he thought his mother was a perfect person. Impatiently waiting for his answer, ... Read Full Story >>
A Night With The Homeless by: Ellis Moore (Age 10) Every Saturday or Sunday night my family and I go out and feed the homeless people in the city of Orlando. There are thousands of people across The United States without any food or shelter. My family and I have been doing this for several months. We wanted to see what it was like in the life of a homeless person. One special thing I like to mention is, my family and I do not eat before we begin our journey so we know how it feels to be hungry. All of the areas we go to are very dangerous. We go on streets such as, Orange blossom trail, Parramore, Gore street, Colonial Dr, and down town Orlando. We all get together in the kitchen and prepare the food. Some of the meals are sandwiches and cookies and a bottle of water. ... Read Full Story >>
My four grown children were all home visiting this weekend so we decided to go out for brunch. The centre of attention was my toddler granddaughter. She had never had pancakes before so we were excited about her trying them. We always try to make our family meals special so this time we decided to order every kind of pancake they had and asked that they be served on one big family-style platter! We each took turns digging in and also feeding it to the baby, who loved them. There was a lovely environment at the table and lots of smiles. As I was looking around the table, enjoying this wonderful scene, a gentleman at a nearby table caught my eye. He was eating his breakfast alone quietly, in the corner. He frequently looked over and smiled as my granddaughter continued to entertain us all. Suddenly, I had a great idea. I dug ... 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 recently got a new version of an old camera that I used to adore... Polaroid instant film! This one is a Fuji, which takes credit card sized instant photos. I named my camera "J5", (after Johnny #5 the Robot, from the '80's films "Short Circuit", mainly because it looks like him :) In J5's short career (this past month), he has blasted off about 80 photographs, and 60+ have been given away to complete strangers. Each photograph is unique, simple, imperfect and beautiful, as those captured within the photos had a story to tell. So far, one story stands out above them all. Last Wednesday, I was in the play area of the Harrisburg Mall. I sat next to a woman who was there with her son. She was very classy, seemed to have it all together. I would have assumed that she had a sweet, upper-middle class life. As it turned ... Read Full Story >>
It was a hot weekday afternoon and I was on my way to volunteer at a reading session with visually impaired girls. I got in to a rickshaw and immediately struck up a conversation with the rickshaw driver. The rickshaw driver started telling me the story of his life. He related that he had grown up very poor and he and his siblings didn’t have much. He said he worked very hard so that he could make sure that his children had the opportunity to attend a decent school. He said that there were many nights when he would skip dinner to make sure that they would have enough money to send the daughter on a class trip or to pay for his son to attend the computer lab. I was profoundly moved by the simple and matter of fact way in which this man was relating this heart-melting story. When we ... Read Full Story >>
Mandy was the kind of girl I was blessed to have as a daughter, the kind of friend everyone wanted to have, the kind of spirit that radiated joy and happiness when ever she entered a room. Mandy left this world to go be with her Lord on November 15, 2008 in a tragic car accident. Since then, I have tried to live each day of my life living up to her expectations. I started the Kindness Revolution on Mother's day 2009 and gave out over 100 flowers to random women throughout the weekend along with a card letting them know to pay the kindness forward. I have given away jewelry, paid for coffee and tolls, paid for groceries, cleaned off car windows trying to spread the kindness and to do as she instructed. I know that each time I do a kind act, I get back 100 times more than I gave. The feeling ... Read Full Story >>
Today, it was over 100 degrees out. Horrible humidity too. While driving to get my tire fixed on my van I noticed some homeless people wandering around in this heat. My heart sank. As soon as I was done at the garage I went to the store and picked up some gatorade, ice and bags of trail mix. I headed home to pick up my 3 kids (1, 2 and 16 years old), loaded the van with the cooler and went off to pass them out. We found 3 homeless guys walking in the heat with the weight of their backpacks and gave them ice cold gatorade and bags of trail mix. The best part was seeing the look on my 16 year old's face as he handed them the drinks and hearing my 2 year old say 'God bless you!' from the back seat. Awesome. This is how my kids and I ... Read Full Story >>
A couple of weeks back, my friend had a yard sale, and she offered to sell some of our stuff for us. I thought it would be a good opportunity to clean my 7 year old son's room and get rid of some toys that he had long outgrown. We agreed that whatever we sold in toys would be his money. The night before the sale, we loaded up the truck with toys and a little bike that he was now too tall for. He had taken the bike for a final spin before we left home but happily put it on the truck for the sale. This little bike had had at least 2 previous owners that we knew of. It was not in the best shape and it certainly was not shiny new but it was still a bike, and the tires were still good. We put a price of $10 on it but it didn't sell. So, after the ... Read Full Story >>
I stopped at a huge yard sale and was looking for that hidden treasure. A blouse caught my eye, and as I approached the "cashier" I heard her say, "Well, can't you get some more money from someone?" I looked over and saw that her comment was directed at a child holding a nice looking pair of shoes in one hand, his other outstretched palm displaying a few coins. I was instantly annoyed that the lady was witholding a pair of unwanted shoes for a few more cents. I remembered my smile cards, and asked "how much are they?" . "Two dollars" she replied. "Oh, here ya go," I said, handing the boy two dollars and a smile card. As I walked away I heard her say to the boy, "Can I see your card?" I decided to buy the blouse and when I went to pay the lady was clearly chagrinned. "Where did you ... Read Full Story >>
Our family has had many different pets over the years: Dogs, cats, frogs, lizards, turtles, and even a snake once. CC (our 7-year old grandchild) has always had a compassionate heart for all of them. When we learned about a shelter in the area that was ran by just volunteers she couldn’t wait to get involved. This was an excellent opportunity for her to learn and care for many different animals. What made this shelter different than most is their policy to never have any of the animals put to sleep. The animals they tended to would live at the center until they were adopted. If it took a week or a year for them to find a home, it didn’t matter. When CC learned that many of the animals were there because they had no home, it really bothered her. She couldn’t understand how that could be. When she ... Read Full Story >>
I was traveling in China a couple of years ago. We were touring some very rural areas - the particular location was the Ancient City about 40 miles outside of Wenzhou. I was the only brown skinned person in sight. People where quite fascinated with me, and would stare, and sometimes photograph me. I was getting a little annoyed, but I thought why not send my fellow travellers love in my thoughts. As we walked through this village we came upon a family making rice wine. They appeared to have very little but had such radiant smiles. As we got closer, I saw a small little figure dart into their little home and dart back out. Their little toddler, all of 3 years old, approached me. She was an adorable little thing. She wore quite tattered clothes and had dirt smudges on her face. As I bent down, she reached out and gave me ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday while I was busy doing my housework, my daughter ran up to me and said, "Mommy there's someone at the gate." I told her to ask who it was. It was an old man beggar. I heard my daughter yelling, "Mommy he wants money." For a second I ignored her, but then it hit me what she just said. I found my daughter taking out money from her Dad's wallet. Instead of stopping her, I stood there amazed at her action and the realization: kids give without hesitation and their kindness is impulsive. Then I murmured a little prayer to myself, "God, let my kids never outgrow such a value and let that value grow on us adults." Sure, we all want to do kindness acts as much as we can, but let's also be honest -- how many times have we acted on it in reality? How many times have we ... Read Full Story >>
In 2000, I was on holiday with my friends on the island of Corfu, Greece. One night we were walking along the main road that was lined on both sides with bars and nightclubs and it was very late maybe 11:30pm. I noticed that there were children walking along in front of me and I thought, "It is late for children to be up and about," but then I noticed that they were gypsy children, young girls and boys selling roses, or trying to sell roses to drunk tourists and gangs of girls out for the night! I felt sad when I saw one boy, probably no older than 8 or 9, trying to sell theflowers to the passers by and getting polite and sometimes agressive responses from the people that thronged the street. "Where were his parents and what was he doing out at this time," I thought. I just ... Read Full Story >>
Yes, helping others is wonderful. Feeling so good helping out. You know what I mean..It brightens your day, lifts your heart and that wonderful from the heart smile! Fabulous! And then some. In March we had to take Dad's license away. Our proud, independent Dad was going to have to ask for help and to depend on others! Yikes! How does one do that? He had to ask/accept and we did too. Big changes. Now I celebrate the start each day with 'breakfast with Dad". We share special time. We help lift each other. I leave with a tired body but a fabulous smile. I have to admit there have been days when I had to push myself but was always happy I did. Now for the unexpected WOW! I've been coping with chronic but stable health issues for 10+ yrs. ..being told to pace myself, don't get stressed, take naps, blah ,blah. Well, guess what? My blood work is now the best in 2 yrs! Wow! All I could ... Read Full Story >>
I was shopping at my local supermarket., as I normaly have for years. One particular day, I had done about 2 weeks worth of shopping and was headed toward the register to pay for my groceries. After the cashier had scanned my items and I had bagged them up, she stated that the total was $150. I reached into my back right pocket to grab the money to pay and noticed that there was no money in there. I started to get nervous. I knew my pocket book was in the car and I was sure I had put the money in my back right pocket. I look at cashier with wet eyes and a confused look not knowing what to do. There were people behind me on the line. She told me to speak with the courtesy counter. I laughed and said, "Really? It's cash, no one would hand that in!" I said I would be right back and ran ... Read Full Story >>
This year had been very difficult financially for my family due to budget cuts, layoffs, and unforeseen circumstances and with the holiday season around the corner, I didn’t know how I was going to buy Christmas presents for my children until my very own Santa showed up. One day while window shopping with my 4 month old son, a stranger walked up to me and began a conversation asking the usual baby questions like how old is he, will Santa be coming to see him, was he my only child, etc. After a few minutes of talking, he introduced himself as Ralph, and asked for help with shopping for for his grandkids since he didn't know what to buy. I agreed since I was only window shopping and didn’t have anywhere to be at the time, and because I had children close to the same age that he was looking for, I figured I’d ... Read Full Story >>
I want to say thanks to all of you for your special notes and ideas, after I sent my request for 'gifting acts of kindness ideas' for my nephew's birthday last month. I was excited to hear from some of you with suggestions. Pancho suggested that I give him my attention -- as the greatest gift one human being can give another -- yes! Nipun helped out by sharing his own story, and got me thinking further about how I could do a kindness tag, Idaho style. I gave that kid some super-duper hugs, not to mention every bit of attention I could muster, and a good dose of kindness stories, to boot. There is a long story with great sidenotes that goes with the birthday adventure story, but the short story is as follows: I gave my nephew twenty bucks for his birthday, with the condition that he use it to do something kind for someone ... Read Full Story >>
It was a busy and stressful day at work. I decided that I had done what I could do and it was time to face the hour-long commute to the East Bay. It was stop-and-go as usual when I finally braved through the Bay Bridge traffic and reached the Powell Street exit ten minutes from my home in Berkeley. About to exit the freeway, I noticed a large black pick-up truck parked a bit abruptly to the right shoulder. A small Hispanic woman got out of the driver seat and opened the back door. I could barely see her through the tinted windows but something didn’t seem right. Just as I pulled over behind her and got out of the car, she came running towards me -- screaming. As the tiredness of the day slipped away rather quickly, I tried to remain calm and inquire what the situation was and walked ... Read Full Story >>
The other day I found an old man and his wife sitting by a footpath looking exhausted. On asking I learnt that he had just been discharged from hospital and was going home ( I could make out some bandages around his neck, partially covered by the shirt ).
He and his wife had to walk some distance to reach the bus stop and the hot and humid weather was obviously taking its toll on them both.
I made up my mind to help them and I put them in auto rickshaw (a three wheeler taxi) and paid the fare to their house.
As he got into the auto, I saw the look of relief and gratitude on his face. It was worth million dollars! I felt very blessed and felt sorry for those who saw his condition but did not reach out to help. For me it is very hard to ignore people in need, especially when I am in a position to help.
Who knows ..... some day I may be old .... needing help .....
One sure way to feel good is to do good.
Performing acts of kindness seems to have been a theme in my life for a long time. I started when I was a little girl, when I wrote a poem about friendship to a neighborhood lady who always seemed to be in a sour mood and was especially unfriendly to the neighbhorhood children. When I had children of my own, I continued to do acts of kindness in their presence, so that they might learn by example. Sometimes they participated, and sometimes they just observed. Afterwards, each time we would talk about it and it always brightened my day immensely. One day not too long ago, my son and I were in line at the Dollar store buying an assortment of products. In a line next to ours, a woman was waiting to make her purchases. She had a few necessities and one bag of chips. She stepped up to register to make ... Read Full Story >>
Earlier this year, I submitted an idea to the Helpothers.org Kindness Contest. I was lucky enough to be selected a winner for my idea and received a $100 to throw an ice-cream party for the children in the ART (Acute Residential Treatment Center) at the Walker Home & School in Massachusetts. This institution serves the complex needs of a diverse group of children, from those with severe mental illnesses to those who have experienced abuse, neglect or other catastrophic challenges in their young lives. The simple joy of knowing that even children who struggle with daily living can find pleasure in an ice cream party really meant the world to the staff who support them. It was also important to me becausse it reminded me of how The Walker Home saved my son Evan's life when no other organization could understand him. In saving our son's life, they saved our family from crumbling as well. Walker ... 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!
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 wonderful Aunt Helen Louise recently passed away very unexpectedly. I have been trying to stay positive during this time. Today was an especially emotional day, so I decided to try and keep myself busy by doing a little 'treasure hunting' at my local Goodwill store. Whilst I was browsing, I saw a young girl trying to ride a bicycle. Her grandmother and grandfather were steadying it for her. Her grandmother was very encouraging and it made me smile to see the look of determination on the little girl's face. I browsed through the racks but didn't find anything I wanted to buy. I was on my way out of the store, when I noticed the bicycle parked at the checkout counter. A light bulb went off right away in my mind, and I asked the clerk if the bicyle had been paid for. She told me that the little girl's grandparents were going to buy it ... Read Full Story >>
Two weeks ago while my daughter and I were eating dinner I saw a police officer walking past my backyard with a worried looking woman. I opened my door and asked if everything was okay. Apparently the woman was the grandmother of an eight year old boy who had gone missing an hour earlier. I said we hadn't seen the boy, but we would help look. I asked my two year old daughter if she understood why we had to go looking for this boy and couldn't finish dinner right then. She replied, "Be kind people, Daddy." (That still makes me want to hug her!) We hopped into our truck and went searching all over town for about an hour and a half. Along the way, as we asked various strangers on the street if they had seen this little boy. A group of kids said they would help too. They hopped on ... Read Full Story >>
Today, I felt terrible. My head was full of problems and confusion. I decided to take a walk even though I didn't know where I would go. The most extraordinary thing happened when I was out on this walk. I saw an old man sitting on a chair. He was a seller of second-hand shoes. I thought he looked at least 70 years old. He seemed so tired and nobody was buying his shoes. I wanted to give him something but I had not brought anything with me. Then, a little girl came toward him. I heard the child say, "Grandfather, may I polish your shoes?" That old man took pity on her, smiled and he gave her a shoe to polish. The girl said, "I polish the shoe because I need money to buy my brother a new school uniform." I heard this and tears came to my eyes. The old man answered, "Oh, little girl. Just stop doing this. Come with ... 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 >>
My husband and I were at a discount grocery store waiting in line. We were behind a mother and her boy who was probably about seven years old. She had a beautiful purple bouquet in her basket. The flowers brought a smile to my face. I remarked to the lady how lovely her flowers were and she said her son picked them out. He just beamed at the compliment so I asked if he would like to pick some out for me. He was off like a shot down the aisle to pick out a bouquet for me. When he returned he was so obviously pleased at having done a two-fold good job: picking out nice flowers and helping an "old lady." When I thanked him, he said a very loud and clear "You're welcome." So, by then Mama is beaming at her helpful polite son who feels great about doing a good deed. ... Read Full Story >>