It is a terribly rainy wet winters day here in Tauranga. While I was walking from the library after getting together my University applications for next year at the end of my lunch break, a man was walking towards me with two HUGE boxes of pamphlets. I thought, "What on earth is that man trying to do? Carry all that stuff?" Then all of a sudden he dropped it all!!!!!! It was a terrible mess with hundreds of brochures all over the path in front of me! "Oh no," I thought. The man sat down and started trying to pick all of the brochures up. I couldn’t believe how many people walked on by without even caring in the least. I thought, "I’m not going to be one of those people who don’t care about this man. I’m going to help him." So, even though it was the end of my lunch break ... Read Full Story >>
Every Wednesday for 2 years now, a group of us ladies goes to a special thrfit store to look for some bargains. At this store, you could buy anything you could put in a bag for only $1! I bought a few bags and came home to sort it all out on my kitchen floor, as I usually do. As I was looking at a men's leather coat, I started to check it for any flaws. I felt something in a hidden inside pocket, so I pulled it out . It was store purchase receipts, but I did not think much of it until I unraveled it and suddenly saw a $100 bill!!!! OH MY! Well, when my husband and I finished counting it all, it ended up being $500! My husband and I were in shock! Unfortunately, there was no way to find out who the original owner was as these were clothes we bought from a ... Read Full Story >>
I returned from a lovely holiday with my family and sang in a number of different concerts around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in New Zealand. It is always such an honour seeing the joy on people's faces. One concert we sang at was at a local rest-home/retirement village. It was nice to see 100 elderly people so happy after we, "The Short Sistars," had sung. It was so wonderful to see so many happy faces, all saying they want us to come back and sing again soon. So next Uni holidays the managers have invited us to come and perform again. When our music fills the air, I love seeing these elderly people, who aren't in the best of health, and the beaming smiles appearing across their faces as if they feel at peace, maybe :) Then spent the second week down in Palmerston North..Visiting my sick Grandma in hospital everyday and looking after ... Read Full Story >>
Moving can bring out the best and the worst in people, I'm finding. They say that uprooting can really test a relationship, so, if that's the case, I think I'm passing with flying colors. And I've discovered where a very generous spirit lives: Defiance, Ohio. After suffering through many months of unemployment, my wife and I moved this week from Colorado to Ohio, where she's starting a new job. Not knowing a soul there, we were pretty concerned about all the work involved, not only loading up our entire home and driving two big rental trucks 1,250 miles, but how we'd get all that stuff unloaded without killing ourselves in the process. We made a connection to hire a couple of college students to help with all the heavy lifting once we got there. But, to our surprise, one neighbor after another stopped by and pitched in to help. What!?!? Have we ... Read Full Story >>
It has struck me, lately, how heightened awareness of the things going on around us can present many new helping opportunities! Last week, I was driving through a local sandwich chain at lunchtime, when I saw two men sitting on the grass a few yards away conversing with each another. They very thin and seemed a little dirty and unkempt, and very thin. It seemed to me that they were homeless... but they were not standing around, with signs or asking for anything. I immediately felt like I could not just buy myself a sandwich without helping them eat, too. I asked the person at the window if I could purchase two $5 gift cards. I then drove up to the two men and presented the gift cards to them. They were totally shocked! One man said "is this for FOOD?!" He immediately began thanking me, over and over again. Both these men were tremendously grateful and verbalized ... Read Full Story >>
Today we spent the morning going through our personal belongings. We were looking for items to give away for free, at a local park. Not just any items but things people really needed. We came up with blankets, soaps, food, and clothing. Our aim was not to find things we no longer wanted, but things we use everyday that would be useful to others. For some of the items we used and needed we split the amounts in half. We kept one half and added the other half to the pile of things to give away. We made up boxes with the things we believed would be useful and added some small toys. We added a list of local addresses and phone numbers of local helping agencies. Inside the boxes a simple letter was placed. It read….. “Please take these items and know that your life is important. Times are difficult but these days will pass. ... Read Full Story >>
A social worker played a huge role in my life when I was young. It's a field where the pay is low and many are at ground zero of humanity's dark sides. I wanted to share a letter I wrote thanking them. This was sent out to over 80 agencies across the midwest. If you know someone who could use this please do send it. It does matter. Dear Social Workers, The work you do matters. On the days when you are burnt out, and questioning if it does, take a few moments to read this letter. I was 12-years old when I first met Dale. I was lost in a world of institutions and dormitories for the last few years. The reasons why I didn’t understand. At the time I thought I was broken and no good. I later learned it was my home that was broken. My father was an abusive ... Read Full Story >>
I entered the monthly Kindness contest, answering the question, "What would you do with $100 to help your community?" I said that I would buy 100 cake mixes and bake 100 cakes and deliver them to 100 different blocks in my community, encouraging the recipients to share their cakes with their neighbors! I wanted to deliver not only food for their bellies, but food for their souls! I wanted to show the love that I had for my community and encourage others to talk with or meet their neighbors! I named the idea, "Compassionate Cakes". To my surprise, my idea was chosen and a $100 check was sent to me to do my project! Now, I had to get to work. I bought the cake mixes and made "tags" telling the recipients about the project and encouraging them to visit the website, www.helpothers.org. I added a "tag" to each cake delivered. ... Read Full Story >>
At 47 years old who would have thought I would have been wearing a "Baby's First Thanksgiving" bib? Although I didn't actually wear a bib, last year was my first "real" Thanksgiving. I came from a broken home and when I married 25 years ago, I sought to make my family everything I didn't have growing up. I'm afraid I had that "white picket fence" mentality. Every holiday needed to be picture perfect. The food, the dishes, the house decorations, even down to the cozy sweater I had purchased especially for the occasion. I was so wrapped up in how things were suppose to be, losing sight of what meant most. So many of my years wasted on being decieved. That was then this is now. Being alone now, separated from my husband, and our son serving in the military, I was blessed to have the opportunity to truly serve. A small group of friends and ... Read Full Story >>
Last weekend I was out walking with my dog. She loves poking around investigating everything and loves seeing other folks we meet. So it becomes more a social walk rather than an exercise. This day we ran into our neighbor who was preparing to sell her home. She was busy getting ready for her 'open house' that afternoon. After talking a little bit we went our separate ways. I could tell it was a stressful day for her. After I got home I quickly cut some of the fabulous lavender in my garden. Gosh, it smelled good and the purple flowers were so pretty. I wrapped some tissue paper around the bunch and brought it to my neighbor for her open house. I loved her expression when she saw me there with the bouquet of lavender! It completely made my day. It made her stop and take a big deep breath and maybe reduced her stress for a second. The next ... Read Full Story >>
I am new to this group but not to the idea of helping others. Funny thing is, I never really give helping others much thought, it is just something I do. I am sure that most of those who find their way here are similar in nature and action. The opportunities are all around us if we are open to them and not so caught up in our own routines. That being said, my first post here is not about something that would raise eyebrows, elicit sighs or gain a round of applause. It is just a simple thing but I hope that it brings comfort to many and lets the recipients know that there ARE people out here who care about them. Following my aunt's death 5 years ago, I made a decision to hold on to her condo in the California desert . It is a familiar and serene ... 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 >>
Yesterday we had a bunch of friends over to play some music and share a meal together. My husband and I had both made some special dishes and when everyone had left, there was some left over. My husband started packing up a few containers of food to give to an older woman who lives in our neighborhood... and then he asked if I would deliver it because "I know how you like to do that!"
I left the house and walked over to the woman's house to give her the food. When I gave it to her, her eyes lit up and she was just thrilled. When I was leaving, she said that I had made her evening so much brighter-- it was how she said it that really touched my heart.
I walked home, gazing at the full moon, and thanking my husband for letting me be the "giver". He always does the right thing and never wants any credit!---I can learn from that.
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 >>
You join Facebook and " friend" your old classmates. You might not ever talk about anything serious with them but they are there. You read their status, laugh at their jokes, groan at the corny quotes, or wish them a happy birthday. Until last week, that is.... A classmate from twenty years ago was one of my Facebook friends. A few random comments he made gave me the impression that something was wrong so I prodded him to call me. He did call and I found out that that he, his wife and eight children had just moved into a cheap motel room. He had used the very last of their money to pay for a week's stay there. He had no job and they had lost their home. What do you do in a situation like that? I am just me, with my own family, my own worries, not enough money ... Read Full Story >>
Some of the women at my work had been hit up to buy cookies from some Girl Scouts they knew. We wanted to support the young girls but we were all working on losing weight. We were wondering what to do when we got the idea to send the cookies to the troops overseas.
My daughter was serving in Iraq when this happened. I packaged them up in a care package and sent them out to my daughter's unit. My daughters unit enjoyed them so much and we got lots of appreciative letters and emails from them. It was so lovely to receive all of those and see what an impact a small gesture on our part had had.
They were flying a flag at their unit and told us they were going to bring it home for us to fly here.
What a blessing was brought out by wanting to support one cause by buying cookies and bringing smiles and love to another cause!
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 >>
I came across HelpOthers one afternoon at work and I left my office that day filled with inspiration, wondering how I could make a difference in someone's life, even if only for a moment. I'm in a period of transition moving to a new home as a single parent with three children, finances are tight, my mom is fighting ovarian cancer, my sister has been laid off, my ex-husband is out of work. Life is less than rosy for me right now and I was eager for an opportunity, quite honestly just to feel better about life and make someone else feel better. I was eager to give. As I left the parking lot, I made my way down the street towards my home. It was an especially hot day even at this late hour of the afternoon. I stopped at an intersection and idly watched a young woman make her way through ... Read Full Story >>
I recently went to a meditation session. At the end of the visit our host told us the following Monday was his birthday. He asked if, as a gift to him, we would do something kind for someone else on that day. I thought that was an awesome birthday idea! The following Monday, I saw my neighbor, a new mother, in the yard with her baby. I went outside to say 'hello'. In the course of the conversation, she told me, not in a complaining way but just as a matter of circumstance, about the sleeplessness and the challenges to get anything done with a baby in tow. I remembered my meditation host's request and said, "Hey! Why don't I watch your baby for an hour. I'll just hang out with him here in the back yard and you go in and take an hour to yourself." She was so surprised she almost cried. "Are you ... Read Full Story >>
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 >>
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead Join us in celebrating World Kindness Day on Saturday, November 13th by, you guessed it, doing something kind for someone else! :) Want to do something kind, but just can't think of what to do? You're in luck! We've got loads of ideas on our site, where you can find one that moves you personally. We've also included some of our favorites here below, which are quick and easy for everyone to do this Saturday in the spirit of joining the global community to promote kindness. Kindness Ideas Give a friend your favorite inspirational book with a personal note attached. Pay for the person behind you in line. Plant a fruit tree where it will thrive. Leave ... Read Full Story >>
My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day. The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept! Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. ... 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 >>
Last year my family was moving from New Hampshire to Washington State. In the process of selling our house, giving away most of our belongings (we were moving to a much smaller house and didn't need most of it) and saying goodbye to all the friends we'd made over the past 22 years there; our 27-year-old daughter, who was living with us, became progressively more ill, eventually becoming unable to sit up or walk. Three weeks before we were supposed to close on our house, she was diagnosed with both Lyme disease and a brain tumor, which was pressing on her brainstem. Her excellent neurosurgeon was able to remove the entire tumor, which was non-cancerous, and within days she could walk again and use her arms. Intravenous antibiotics took care of the Lyme disease. When we returned home from the hospital (after 11 days away), there was a big sign welcoming us home ... Read Full Story >>
Last winter, I had tons of snow on my driveway. My mom asked me to help shovel, since dad was working. I shoveled and shoveled mounds of the white stuff, panting and sweating and silently complaining. My good neighbor saw that I was struggling, came over and helped me finish up. We chatted a few seconds. I can't remember what was said, but I suddenly felt bad for my rotten attitude. This man was pretty much a stranger helping me out without asking, and I couldn't shovel for my own family without feeling sore about it. The year passed and I didn't think much about his kindness, until yesterday. The neighbor was working on his house with a group of his buddies. It was a fairly mild day, but if you were moving about you would probably work up a bit of a sweat and a good thirst. I wrote a quick note, ran down to the ... Read Full Story >>
As I was leaving the grocery store yesterday, I noticed an old man hobbling along struggling with 2 sacks of food. It was bitterly cold (10 F). There isn't much near the store, so I guess he must have a fair walk ahead of him. I pulled up near him, rolled the car near him and put the window down to ask if he needed a ride. I think he was a bit skeptical since few people go out of their way to do these sorts of things, but he did accept. After he got settled in the car, my husband and I introduced ourselves, but he was very quiet and reluctant to give his name. During the drive, we tried to make him more comfortable with some small talk. We chatted on about the weather, this new store opening and the like. His home was more than 2 miles away on unplowed streets, it would have ... Read Full Story >>
When I moved into my new house it already had a washing machine in it but I had just bought a new one so I wondered what to do with the machine already in the house. I remembered two girls who regularly knocked at my door for religious reasons. They never had or kept anything they didnt need. If one of them needed something, say a winter coat, they would work for the amount of time it took to make the money they needed for the coat and then return to their religious work. They had just got their own house so I decided to give them all the things I didn't need when I was done unpacking. Whatever they didn't need, they could give to the charity store they helped support. I asked them if they needed a washing machine and they both looked at each other and smiled. It turns out that they had called ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I was asked to deposit some cash in the bank. I went out with the money to deposit and some extra money which was to be used to pay for renovations going on at my house. The bank was busy when I arrived so I took a token and waited. While I was waiting I noticed an old lady struggling to get a cash-in payee slip. I went over and got the slip for her and then asked her what she needed done so I could help her. I filled in her slip and got a queue token for her. When my turn came up, I deposited the money and I then waited for the old lady's turn in case she needed help. She had intended to deposit three thousand rupees but when it was almost her turn she realised she had lost the money on the way to the bank! She was so upset she started crying. She tried to ... Read Full Story >>