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 >>
Two years ago, on the day before Easter, I had given my three children money instead of Easter baskets. Later that evening, we were all sat watching TV, when an infomercial came on about starving children.
I couldn't help tearing up when my children said, "Mom, can we give our Easter money to these children?" I told them yes and that God was going to bless them for this. I wrote a cheque and sent it off in the mail. I wanted to go get them Easter baskets for their kind act, but I didn't have any more money.
To my surprise, on Easter morning, a couple of ladies from a church we used to attend came over with a big box. I didn't open it until they left, and when I did, tears started streaming down my and I fell to the floor with gratitude. It contained Easter baskets for my children and a gas card for my family.
The universe is good and sometimes knocks you on your knees in tears from the way it works...
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 >>
A few weeks ago, my oldest son, Erik decided to spend the day with one of his nieces, Mia, who is 4 years old. They went out and about to several places and then decided to go downtown before heading back home. Downtown is Mia's favorite place to go! They were walking around and browsing in store windows and taking in the sights when Mia spotted some flowers and she picked a few. After some time, Mia began to drag a bit and Erik, wanting to head back home urged her along. Passing a few homeless men sitting along the sidewalks, he would walk a bit faster to get her past them, but she held back and made him come to a complete stop. ''C'mon, Mia. You need to walk with me.'' ''Okay, Uncle Erik '', she replied ''but this man needs a flower!'' He looked on as she handed the homeless man her flower and Erik said that the man smiled a big ... Read Full Story >>
Kindness is a simple answer in a sometimes difficult and challenging world. I know that to be true. For a long time now it has been my mission to acknowledge and appreciate all people and to encourage others to do the same. When my 7 year old grand-daughter, Skylar, and I go out, we have a contest called “Who can make the most people smile. “ It makes for a wonderful glorious day. We will be walking in the supermarket and someone will be walking down the aisle with her head down. Skylar walks up to her and gives her a big smile. I watch her walk down the aisle, turn around and smile at Skylar again or perhaps smile at someone else. Kindness is a chain that pulls us all together. Anything that lifts another person is kindness. Every single act of kindness has a ripple effect. In 2002, my dad had a series of strokes and other illness. At that ... 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 >>
[Amidst the tragedy of the quake, tsunami and the subsequent nuclear plant explosions, the narrative of hope can often get lost. Below is an excerpt of some truly heart warming moments of oneness that unfolded in the aftermath of the tragic Tsunami.] You can see my full note here. Below are the some of the heart warming anecdotes that I have witnessed and heard from others ... Someone overseas called me on my cell. She said she wanted to connect to anyone who is in Japan, and so she called the country code and their own mobile number, which happened to be the same as mine. I didn't fully understand everything she said, because it was English, but I knew enough to know that she really wanted to support the Japanese people. It really gave me so much hope. Last night when I was walking home (since all traffic had stopped), I saw an old lady ... Read Full Story >>
It's easy to see how to help some people, but what about those whose needs are not so obvious? This story may have happened a while back - but it was a lesson which has stayed with me and helped me ever since. It was Thanksgiving and I was volunteering with my parents at a shelter for the needy. We stood behind the counter dishing out hot food to whoever came in. Most of our diners looked like they had been having hard times, their clothes were threadbare, they were dirty. In short, they looked needy! Then, a man came in, who looked anything but needy. He was well groomed, he wore an expensive suit. I wondered what he was doing there and my jaw dropped in amazement when he joined the line for food. The closer he came to my service station the more I muttered. What was this man doing, I wanted to ... Read Full Story >>
A couple of months ago I was renting a house to work from. I was fairly well set up, but didn't own a lawn mower and after a week or two realised I would have to find some way to deal with the growing grass! Funds were short, and I was on a fairly tight budget which didn't extend to paying a lawnmowing company. I was thinking about this one Sunday as the "Mr Whippy" ice cream van pulled up outside on the street. I hadn't had a Mr Whippy ice cream for years, and on impulse I grabbed my coin purse, shook it to gauge affordability, and headed outside. On the pavement were three young boys aged around 10 years playing. I think a couple of them may have been from next door, but I was new there and hadn't really met anyone yet. It was a hot day and I asked them if ... Read Full Story >>
I've just joined this site today and have a story to share regarding my 7-year-old son. We went to visit a friend of ours that lives in a nursing home and he saw that she collected angels. As a family, we make jewelery. My son asked if he could make this elderly lady an angel necklace and send it to her for Christmas.
I purchased an angel pendant and he made a beautiful necklace that anyone would be proud to wear. I called her after Christmas to see if she had received it. She had received it, she cried and said she wore it to bed every night and that the many people who commented on it. She said, "I will wear it until the day I die!"
I told my son what she had said and he just smiled and hung his head. Now he has made her a homemade Valentine and we are trying to find an envelope large enough to send it. I have a feeling that my son will remember this lady for every little thing. I'm so proud of him! This was all his idea!
I wanted to share a story from a time in my childhood when I was living with my step mother. She worked all day so I was responsible for doing the household chores and taking care of my younger half brother. During that time in our life, my dad was not present much, but I didn’t mind, my step mother took great care of my little brother and I in any way that she could. I loved her and always wished she could spend more time with us but she worked Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. At that time my little brother was about 4 years old and he missed her so much all the time. He would always wait up for her but would fall asleep many times before she returned and when she left for work he would be asleep. One day, ... Read Full Story >>
It was bitterly cold and I had been watching a homeless man make himself comfortable in a "shelter" next to a power unit on the canal bank. His "shelter" was a tarpaulin taped to the metal unit and anchored with rocks to keep the wind from blowing it away. He had been living there for over a month in weather that often dipped below freezing. In all the times I passed that makeshift lean-to I never saw him with warm clothing or food. I knew what I wanted to do. I was young, living at home, and when I told my parents what I wanted to do they were alarmed. I could be putting myself at risk, taking a box to a homeless person in the night time! But I knew, on some intrinsic level, that I would be safe. I went to the grocery store and got an apple box with a solid top ... Read Full Story >>
There is a man who always stands out on different corners of our city, holding a sign that reads "Will work for food for my family." Normally I don't have much extra to help him too much. Many times my mom is with me and she makes me pull over and she will hand him some money. Tonight, I was on my way to the store to get milk when I saw the man. My daughter and her friend in the car. We all felt so awful that this man was standing out in the cold, wet weather. Many people make comments that he should be able to work. I often wondered why he would stand out there rather than be in the warmth of a building to work. Well, he may not have an address, and you need an address in order to apply for a job. Either way, I don't ... Read Full Story >>
For years I was a reporter, with five of those years covering an affluent community. Month after month of little girl beauty contests, conservative politics and people calling for the extermination of prairie dogs wore on my soul. Then I wrote "Becoming Jamie" the story of a seven year old girl, born a boy, but aware of her own transgender status. I veiled the family, for their safety. The photographer created an image that illustrated the girl's journey thus far to herself. We ran the story. I went back to the grind of the daily story, the details of government and sustainable business, and the thousand other stories swirling through a community. Then I got an email that I had won a prize with the press association. I had enetered only one story. I knew it was "Becoming Jamie." I called the family, to tell them the story was up for an ... Read Full Story >>
My brother and I were shopping at a department store one day. My mother had taken him home separately and had returned to get me. As we were walking towards the car, I saw a homeless man sitting outside the department store we were shopping at.
I told my mom to hold on a minute. I walked towards the man, and handed him a twenty dollar bill. I usually wouldn't do this, but I knew that I had to this time. When I handed it to him, a tear ran down his eyes, as he said "God bless you".
When I returned to the car my mom told me she was so proud. I asked her why and said that I felt that when people need help, and we have the urge to help, we need to just help them. She then told me that my brother, who she had taken home earlier, did the exact same thing.
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 >>
We had our first child in January and were so overwhelmed by all the love and kind wishes that people from around the world shared with us and our little one. She was showered with blessings, flowers and gifts from near and far and in some cases from people we didn't even know personally! :) My husband's business friend had a shirt made with her name on it for the football team he supports, another lady in Ireland (who we have never even met!) had candles made with her name on them, another friend in India had dresses made for her, our aunt knitted lovely hats and sweaters for her, friends bought her loads and loads of adorable clothes, another friend from New York had a blanket made with her name on it, another friend sent us cupcakes from a famous bakery that spelled out "Welcome Sareena," another friend gifted her ... Read Full Story >>