Ethan is six and three quarters and Emily just turned seven, and they are best friends. Their pre-school teacher, Kathleen Albert, has been teaching them about kindness. So, for their graduation project, Ethan and Emily decided to raise money to help feed hungry people by collecting cans. When they were done, they had raised 5,304 dollars for the San Francisco Food Bank - enough money for 15,912 meals!
Top 10 Stories of 2012 Countdown - Story #9 - A Spontaneous Opportunity to Truly Teach My Children About Generosity
My kids and I were heading into the superstore over the weekend. On the way, we spotted a man wrapped in a blanket and holding a sign that said, "Lost my job. Family to Feed". At this store, a sight like this is not a normal occurrence. It was obvious the man was embarrassed, but desperate. My 10-year-old noticed him commented on how bad it must be to have to stand outside in the cold wind. While we were in the store, I asked each of the kids (I have seven :) to pick something they thought our 'friend' outside would appreciate. They picked a couple apples, a package of shrimp cocktail, a sandwich, some cheese and a bottle of juice. Then my 17-year-old asked, "Can we get him a gift card?" I thought about it. We were low on cash ourselves, but... well, sometimes giving from our 'need' instead of our 'abundance' is ... Read Full Story >>
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought that we could, so she dictated these words: Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? Abbey died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I'm happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith, addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Meredith pasted several stamps ... Read Full Story >>
One of my favorite things in life is my monthly date night with my daughter. We try to include some kind of Smile Card activity whenever we can. This time was no exception! It was 119 degrees today where we live so we thought we would make our kindness act something cool. After eating we went to an ice cream shop. As we paid for our ice cream we told the woman behind the counter that we were doing a random act of kindness and we would like to buy ice cream for the next person who came to the counter. We handed her the Smile Card to give them and told her how we would like to remain anonymous. She read it and told us she thought what we were doing was awesome. She said she would do it and we sat down at the table near the counter. My daughter wanted ... Read Full Story >>
We were one of the last couples among our friends and family to begin having children and were inundated with free baby gear and hand me downs. We are truly fortunate. We were blessed with 2 beautiful babes and for a time, I thought that we might have a third but time and life have moved forward and it became clear that it was not going to be. It took me awhile to be able to pass along our good fortune, partly because I was not ready to part with baby items and partly because we kept looking for someone who had a need. Finally, in the last week or so, I've managed to go through all of the kid's clothes and today, sent my husband to our local Crisis Nursery with SIX black garbage bags full of kid's clothes.When he arrived home, he told me that they were very happy for ... Read Full Story >>
My 7 year old daughter wanted to do some kind act for our mail man. So she made a thank you card, drew a picture. She also taped an organic fruit bar as a small gift. Also tagged him with a smile card. She is so excited:))seeing her smile makes me smile :)))
I had to visit my sister in another town because her husband was very ill. My whole family could not go because school was in session. My children stayed back in their father's care, except for the youngest, who was just a year old. I was nervous taking a train journey alone with my daughter. I knew that I had to go, so I gathered all my courage and boarded the train. After waving goodbye to my husband, I settled down. There were three other passengers in that compartment. Two of them were quite elderly, while one was a young man. My daughter was crying, missing her dad. I tried to console her, but to no avail. I tried giving her water, then some biscuits, but her crying would not cease. By this time I was getting worried about the disturbance being caused to the others. One of the oldies was ... Read Full Story >>
I gave our neighbor children a few daffodils from the bunch blooming beside our front stairs. They were sweet about it, and made a big show of smelling them.
I asked the children what kind of flowers they were and they both smiled, "YELLOW!" :)
I said they could pick a few more daffodils from the front landscape and the boy, about 4 1/2 years old, held one up for me and said, "Here, this one's for you!"
On a busy drizzling chilly Saturday at the local supermarket, I noticed a fund-raising boy scout, with his mom, selling candy bars for his troop.
I drove to the curb, waved him over, paid for 2 and told him to give them away. He was a little hesitant and a little surprised but then he "got it" and was very happy.
For some reason I stopped in the parking lot and watched he and his mom for a bit. No one stopped at his table and plenty of people walked by.
I drove back, stopped curbside, got out, walked up to he and his mom and gave them another $20, telling them to give the candy bars away to anyone walking by. They were shocked and pleased and I told them it was hard work being outside on a day like this doing good works and that we need more Boy Scouts in this day and age.
They were hugely grateful, so was I and probably the adults or kids that got the free candy bars. Then I drove through Starbucks and was a little tingly all over.
Hello dear Kindhearts, Writing to share a couple friends made this basket of leaves this weekend, for our friends at the school in India, who need paper leaves for their Grateful Tree. Please message me if you'd like to contribute, and I'll send you my address (or school address depending where on earth you are). Want to add to our collective pile? You can use flower or leaf punches OR here are a few free downloadable printable PDF's I found online. I am not affiliated with this company, but I'm grateful they are giving these away! ~simple heart shaped leaves (pages 2 or 3 are best sizes) ~oval shaped leaves (pages 2 or 3 are best sizes) Thanks so much for your kind consideration. much love and kindness to you all <3 - See more at: http://www.kindspring.org/my/feed/index.php?cid=0&sid=101971#sthash.mU2p1Qhk.dpuf ... Read Full Story >>
I enjoy watching the video from the compliment guys with their positive and thoughtful dispositions! Personally I am careful however about complimenting only how people look . I have a little girl in my class who always tells me I am beautiful. Which I am not! It is an automatic kind if thing she is doing. I try to tell her it is how I act towards her that is really important. I really try to get the children to accept and honor the differences in themselves and others. Throughout the year I make a big outline of each of their bodies. We give compliments like you are compassionate, thoughtful, hilarious, artistic, fun loving etc. we cover the whole area of these bodies with words. I hope the picture hangs in each child's bedroom and fills their soul.. No matter what they hear anywhere else. The kids then make a book for ... Read Full Story >>
I would like to share a heartwarming story with you. My friend has white hair with a white beard to match. He was at the hardware store the other day and a little girl came down the aisle with her parents and said to him, "Hey Santa, why are you here and why are you not in your red suit?
My friend, thinking quickly, replied, "Well, I lost a lot of weight and Mrs. Claus is making my new suit and I am here because I need tools to fix my sleigh. What would you like for Christmas?" I thought it was fantastic that he was able to be so spontaneous at spreading a little bit of joy.
I run a small thrift store to help support our small food bank. A mother stopped by with her ten year old son and asked if we could help her family out with a few groceries. I said yes and gathered up several bags of groceries for her.
When I returned to her vehicle where her son was, I asked if he could go into the food bank and select a few of his favorite foods. She said yes. He chose his favorite cereal and fruit roll ups.
I wanted to make his visit special and even though we had made only $32.00 in the thrift store that day I gave him $20.00 of it. I asked him to surprise his mother and buy her and his lunch on the way home. I wanted him to remember this day as more than a trip to the food bank. I wanted him to be blessed with the possibility of acting on this moment for the rest of his life.
I teach at a middle school where we really focus on kindness and service being our over-riding culture. We have a Wheel of Kindness we spin each week to challenge the kids to commit kind acts, and we hold assemblies that recognize our students who are committing acts of service locally and globally. Well this week I was reminded again how special middle school kids are. I follow many of my students on Instagram so I can keep up on their lives away from school as well as look for any cyber bullying. On Monday evening, I received a direct message from a boy who had someone write a very mean message in his locker. He took a picture of it and sent it to me asking for help. I assured him that this is not what we are all about at our school and asked him to meet me at ... Read Full Story >>
TJ is one of our bonus year third graders. He came to our school site last August with facial scarring, a pronounced limp, and braces on both of his legs due to a major car accident that kept him out of school for six months. TJ is presently physically limited in his abilities to navigate our school campus. Does that slow him down much...Nope! TJ has,along with his Dad, Reggie, and his paraprofessional Sue, started a Flashlight Science Club. Kids are given flashlights to check out the darkened science room, full of embalmed bugs, snake shed, antlers, petrified wood, and other treasures. Weekly as the students gather, TJ takes the microphone, and step by step shares detailed instruction on the proper use of the small flashlights. The no longer used space, aka science room is then darkened to only a single surface light above the exit, and for the next 30-45 minutes, ... Read Full Story >>
This is not a pity story, but my past weeks were filled with negativism, cruel remarks, and hopelessness and despair! I was feverishly working at my little office next to the Health Office, trying to input results from about 150 students' screenings. Little Hoku walked in: "I have a tummy ache." She said. "Okay, do you want to go to the Health Office or lie down, perhaps?". I asked. "No, I want to sit right next to you." This was interesting, I knew Hoku. She had to come to the Health Office everyday before lunch for her medications. Although I always spoke to her, she never replied to me. I kept working. "You know I'm a good drawer." She expressed. "I'm sure you are!" I responded. Still typing, I saw that she had "filched" my blue post-it note stack. The next thing I knew, there was a blue post-it stuck to my ... Read Full Story >>