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.
I knew my neighbor and her husband had recently separated and she was struggling. She hadn't shared with me her struggles, but I just knew it couldn't be easy money wise as they had 4 children, one being blind, and they were struggling financially before the separation. She had not been working before they separated as her youngest child was blind and not yet in school. It was summer time and school was about to start. As I was shopping for items for my granddaughters, I began thinking about her children and how she would be able to get them items they needed that year. I went to the store and bought a gift card and sent it anonymously to her address. When I checked my mail a couple of days later, I saw her down the street as she checked hers and opened the envelope. I couldn't tell her reaction because of the distance between our ... Read Full Story >>
Here's a story my mom recently emailed our family. I thought I'd share with the group! Per your invitation card instructions, I decided to do my first truly anonymous act of kindness as my baby-shower offering. For Junior, I wanted to crochet a receiving blanket and I just learned crocheting. Then I realized what you had asked for was an anonymous act of kindness. I decided to do it for someone unknown. I got white yarn and started crocheting with as much good wishes and blessings as possible for an unknown baby. It came out beautifully with a center area of shaded blue. And I myself felt a little bit attached to it by the time it was completed! But I remembered what you had asked for. So I asked a friend to accompany me. She had no experience of this sort either. First, we decided to ... Read Full Story >>
I was in line at the grocery store yesterday and the lady in front of me was purchasing her items and buying a treat for her grand-daughter - a bag of mini M&M's.My 3-year-old daughter started clamoring for the same thing. I only had a little bit of money with me as payday wasn't until hubby came home that night, and I tried to tell her that we couldn't get it this time, that mommy didn't have enough money.
She was fussy about it but I finally calmed her down.
Then as I started to ring up my purchases, the cashier passes me a bag of M&M's. I asked her what this was about. She said the lady in front of me bought it for my daugher while I was trying to calm her down. I didn't notice and I didn't even get to thank her because she had left while I wasn't looking.
If you're somewhere reading on this board - I say Thank You! My daughter smiled all the way home!!Since I now had one of the smile cards, I thought I better come to this site and see what it was all about.
What a great concept by the way!!
That's my story - not the grandest thing I suppose but it made my day a whole lot brighter that's for sure.
I was doing some volunteer work at a homeless shelter, and decided to document it with photography. I took shots of the residents which came out really well, but I also gave some of the residents a disposable camera.I then developed the film and printed them up. When I gave back the images, I had enlarged and framed the best photo, which was of a little girl. The man who took it was so happy because it was the first photo he'd ever owned of his daughter!
His smile was the biggest smile I've ever seen in my life (even bigger than his daughters smile in the photo)!
In the store where I work there are many customers who have kids, but hardly any money. This past weekend the employees were given coupons for 20 percent off any Christmas merchandise. We could give them to whoever we wanted.
I gave most of mine out and saved a few.
While I was working I had a lot of fun giving the coupons to parents with kids who saw all the toys we had out but knew that they wouldn't get any of them. The parents really had a ball buying toys for their kids that they wouldn't have been able to buy without these coupons.
It was so nice to see their eyes light up as they began to understand what the coupons were, and how they could help (A lot of the parents either do not speak english, or very little of it).
I am having fun now imagining the happiness of some of those kids as they get toys that they 'knew' they wouldn't get :-)
I am a middle school counselor. Earlier this week, I had a very caring, compassionate student tell me about a project she has undertaken. She said she has started a collection for supplies for the troops to make their holiday's more joyful. I asked her what organization she was doing this through and she was confused by my question. Finally, she said, "No, see my sister who is in 5th grade and I are doing this on our own!" I was amazed that they had thought this up on their own. I asked their mother about it and she said that they had come to her to tell her about it.
I was happy to help her. I told her to put a box in the main office with a sign and a list of supplies (which she had already typed up!). She brought the box in the next day and students have already begun to add to it.
What a beautiful thing these kids are doing. I am so proud of them!
This year, my family applied for Christmas Assistance from the Salvation Army. I'm a single mom and have not been able to work. Dad's a bit of a non-entity and was fired earlier in the year so times have been really tough. My son has been in and out of the hospital for six years with severe kidney disease. He is 8 years old and his brother is 7. My sons know we have money troubles, but not the mass extent of it. They have and will always be provided for as I have a very loving and supporting set of parents. We were at Meijer and I was stressing about grocery money, and gas money and the holidays coming up. Meanwhile, my 8-year-old sees the Salvation Army guy, and it's really cold and he asks if we can give him some change. My son walks over and gives the guy a dollar, and my ... Read Full Story >>
My niece was away from home for a student camp, which was part of preparation for our country's Republic Day celebration. The camp was conducted at a local school and children were put together to stay in groups of 10 in each room for their stay until the completion of the camp. It was the rainy season, which brought a lot of infections and health ailments. Some children suffered from fever due to the chillness, some got throat infections and just one had the most odd infection - an eye infection. While fever, cough and cold were not too contagious, the eye infection was. This was one of the roommates of my niece. All the children left the room -they just vacated and got into their other friends room to save themselves from an eye infection. Only two of them remained in one room- my niece and the roommate with the eye infection. And ... Read Full Story >>
Across the street from my house live an older couple who are raising their 4 grandchildren, 2 of which are 13-year-old girls.
I always by clothes and shoes and most still have tags on them. I always give stuff away and this time a light flashed in my head - the girls across the street . So I filled up 2 hefty trash bags full of shoes, clothes, purses, shampoo, everything. I didn't want to embarass anybody including myself. I like to do things when nobody knows it's me.
So at the crack of dawn, I tied big beautiful yellow ribbons on the bags, went across the street, and put them over the fence. Later that day, the girls were going in and out of the house trying on all the clothes and shoes . It was like a fashion show and they were so excited - laughing and jumping up and down. Seeing those girls so happy was awesome!
Over the Christmas holidays my young boys were driving everyone in the house bonkers with their fighting, usually it's worst just before bedtime. Yesterday, at separate times of the day, I sat with each of my sons and told him "I love you". A few hours later, I realised those words had been missing from my regular vocalbulary since the holidays started. I felt guilty.
With so much time to do things together, it's inevitable that friction happens. It was kind of like coming up for air, when I said "I love you". My sons are more affectionate and calmer when they are around me now. I know it won't last, but if I keep positive, patient and loving, then life will be a lot more peaceful.
$150,000 raised from the Walkathon!
I would like to thank everyone for coming out
today to the Copprome Walkathon. I can't
thank everyone enough! We had over 700 people
With the combined funds of SHH, CCC, and William and Mary team, at the event we raised at least $150,000!! This is amazing, all the hard work everyone has put in is remarkable! This money will be used to pay off land debts and begin self-sustainable programs at the Copprome orphanage.
Today I saw groups of people coming together for a great cause, to help save orphans. When you are performing a good and just cause help seems to come out of the woodwork and I saw that today.
I thank everyone soo much for donating, walking
and supporting the cause!
"Orphans walk miles a day to search the trash
dumps for leftover food, and rotten cabbage, to
eat and give to their younger siblings, today we
are walking in this walkathon so they dont have
My mother and grandmother were incredibly generous, giving, and loving people. I think that love and giving go hand in hand.
I remember when I was a little girl there were children over playing at my house. We were out in the yard and there used to be ice cream trucks and their bell would be ringing, calling in the children everywhere, the ice cream man is here! I went running back in the house. I guess ice cream was probably about a nickel, and there were fifteen children on my front porch. There were always a lot of children around there.
My grandmother would give everybody a nickel to go buy ice cream, and if she did not have enough nickels for all the children, then I didn’t get an ice cream either.
When I was growing up in Sierra Leone, Sunday dinners were special. My mom would spend hours making delicious food for dinner and the mouth-watering aroma would fill the house.
In between games, my siblings and I would anxiously check the kitchen to see if dinner was ready. When dinner was done, my mom filled several baskets of food for various families in the neighborhood.
Of course, we wanted to eat first and then deliver the baskets. But my mom would gently insist that we first deliver the food and when we got back, we could all sit down and eat dinner. She pointed out that if we waited to deliver the food after we had dinner, the food we delivered would be cold.
In a simple way, she taught us that giving is not just for when it’s convenient.
Once a year, I give my two children money. The only hitch is, they have to give it away. I give them each $100. They know it is a lot of money, so they are careful how they use it. It is their job to find out who in our community is doing things that they feel good about, and then decide who will get the money, and why. Giving away money, even if it is only ten or twenty dollars, is a tremendous way to learn about the positive work people are doing right in your own neighborhood. It makes us get out of our comfort zone, ask around, talk to people we wouldn’t normally talk to, and ask questions about what the problems are and what people are doing to make them better. Everyone wins. My kids learn about the community, about the power of giving, and people in ... Read Full Story >>
When we do our weekly grocery shopping, our daughter Sarah selects one item to purchase, which will then be put aside to give to the local food bank.We are teaching Sarah that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.
During our family’s Friday night observance of the Sabbath, we put coins into our box. Sarah takes a handful of coins and, after telling us something she is thankful for or has enjoyed that day, she places a coin in her homemade box. When the box is full, we donate the money to a local charity selected by Sarah.
I was waiting at the doctor’s office with my infant son. A little girl came up several times to talk to me. I looked down and saw that the girl had three bright and shiny bracelets on her. I said, ‘Oh, what lovely bracelets.’ The girl grinned from ear to ear and said they were a birthday present from her mother. She then took one of them off and handed it to me. At first I thought, “Oh, I can’t accept this from such a little girl.” But what would I be saying to the little girl if I refused her generosity? So I took the bracelet, thanking the little girl profusely. The child skipped off, obviously thrilled that her gift had been received with such pleasure. For weeks afterward, I always made sure I had the bracelet on as I left the house, to remind me of the little girl’s ... Read Full Story >>
One afternoon, he discovered that if he tossed stones over his neighbor’s fence, he could create a crashing sound, the sound of breaking glass. So he would heave a stone and wait for the crash. Heave, crash. It was great fun and felt a little dangerous. He might get caught, after all, but that, to a small boy, was part of the excitement. As it happened, he did get caught. The man who lived next door came to his house and told his parents about the boy and the stones. ‘I would like Juan to come to my home so I can show him a few things,’ the man said, in a tone Juan found rather ominous. His parents, ashamed of and disappointed by their son’s behavior, readily sent their son to the neighbor’s house. Juan sheepishly followed the man into his house, through the back door, and out into the yard. ... Read Full Story >>
In December, I went to the Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Philips Square. As I was sitting at the side of the rink taking off my skates, a little boy about 6 or 7 walks up and asks "Are those your skates?"
I answered ‘Yes’ and wondered if he thought I had stolen his skates, since I wear boys hockey skates. He said: "Oh, I don't have skates." For some reason, I blurted, "Do you want mine?"
I told him to first ask his mom. He ran away excited and his mom asked if it was really okay [and I said yes.] He was jumping up and down in excitement. After he put on the skates, I watched him take off with a big smile.
Two weeks later I was in the recycling room in our condo. Residents leave items for others to salvage. I found two Bauer boxes with new skates, both in my size!
I gave one pair to a friend who was there the evening I gave the boy my used skates. She shook her head and said: “You give away one pair, and you get back two”!
My friend, Gayla and I were traveling to Phoenix from Chicago. I misread the ticket, and we missed our flight. I was busy being upset about my failed plans when Gayla suggested we just fly wherever we want instead, since we had the time. I think about missing my flight to Phoenix and going to San Francisco instead. It taught me a lot about being open to what is, not attached to what I want, and how things unexpected can happen. Long story but while Gayla and I were in San Fran, this strange thing happened. It made me think maybe I should start to trust the natural course of things more, instead of always thinking I know what is best and trying to control things. Did I see an angel or go or santa while in San Francisco? I don’t know what he was, but he was not of this ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago my observant 7 year old was in our car on her way to school. This particular day we drove by many displaced/homeless people who were asking for help. She asked why the same people were asking for help everyday and why no one was helping. I really did not have an uncomplicated answer to this question. So I decided to ask her how she thought she could help. This beautiful little girl had so many ideas flowing out of her I couldn't keep up. There were a few good ideas flying past me just as the time did that morning. The next day on the morning trip to school my daughter asked me to stop at each corner where a homeless person stood. I asked why but was quickly informed to wait and see. Stop #1 - I rolled down my widow and asked the gentleman to come ... Read Full Story >>