Cons happen a lot in our city and it can be hard to know who is really in need and who is trying to exploit other people's kindness. Recently, I was finishing my work at home when the dog barked letting me know someone was at the gate. I rushed to see who it was and there I saw poor, fragile woman in her late fifties. I said to her, "May I ask what you want?" She replied, "Hello, ma'am, my name is Parvathy. My husband and I live in the slum nearby. We earn our living working at construction sites. A few days ago my husband tripped on the stairs while carrying a heavy load. He is badly hurt and hasn't been able to work for the past five days, and so we have no food. Now he is at home in bed with a high temperature. Please help me! I need to take ... 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 >>
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 >>
18 years ago I discovered I was unexpectedly pregnant, I was on my own and in an extremely limited financial situation. I worked at a pet shop, a job I loved, but cleaning cages with unrelenting nausea was pretty awful to deal with. Having little money, and unable to keep anything down, I started losing weight instead of gaining it. There was a neighbor woman I had visited with a couple of times, and to my surprise, she started working at the pet shop too. Everyday, for lunch, she would produce large, organic salads and other very healthy meals. To my surprise she insisted that I have some of her lunch. I tried to refuse, but she was determined. Puzzled, I managed to eat, and when I admitted to everyone at work that I was pregnant, she was very excited, and kept on feeding me, despite the fact that I couldn't hold it ... Read Full Story >>
I recently posted a story about a local man in a difficult situation, and how his plight had inspired my children to help. I posted a follow on story about how my children started a fundraiser (making angels) to help out a local man and his family. The man is out in all kinds of weather, holding a sign that reads, "Will work for food for family." We don't see stuff like that in our area much and he touched my children's hearts and they raised $100.00 for this family. This story is the final instalment. Yesterday my husband and I took the kids to give the man the money they had raised for him. My husband called him over to the car, and I got out to explain who we were and tell him about the fundraiser. He was very soft spoken, rather young, and extremely respectful. We talked about how hard times are right now, ... Read Full Story >>
Several years ago my young daughter and I moved into the upstairs apartment where we now live. While my loving, wonderful friends helped me move in, the downstairs neighbors began to complain about the noise. That did not bode well for living above them. After all, how can anyone move in quietly? As I suspected, the complaints continued on a daily basis -- well after that initial day. We walked "too loudly" down the stairs, we flushed the toilet too much ... Their child had problems with my child and they complained to me as well. I soon learned that they had driven out the last few families who had lived above them and that each situation had erupted into feuds and yelling. So, I had the information I needed and I tried to think of the situation from a spiritual point of view. I realized that I could fight with my ... Read Full Story >>
For the first time last year, we featured a top ten list of stories published by our members in 2010 and it was very well received, so we decided to do it again and compile this year's top ten kindness stories of 2011 to share the inspiration! 1. Today You, Tomorrow Me During this past year I’ve had three instances of car trouble: a blowout on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out-of-gas situation. [...] Each time, when these things happened, I was disgusted with the way people didn’t bother to help. I was stuck on the side of the freeway hoping my friend’s roadside service would show, just watching tow trucks cruise past me. The people at the gas stations where I asked for a gas can told me that they couldn’t lend them out "for safety reasons," but that I could buy a really crappy one-gallon can, ... Read Full Story >>
My task was to knock on 10 doors and give them a treat -- a "reverse trick-or-treat" kindness mission! I took a wicker basket and filled it with wrapped treats, including Emergen-C Joint Health packets, ThinkThin Crunch protein bars, and Kashi Honey Oat and Flax energy bars -- all fairly healthy items. The Smile Deck Card said to knock on 10 doors, but I took it a step further and knocked on all of the 30+ doors in my apartment building. The results were on the whole quite positive. However, my ambivalence with doing this deed stemmed from my fear that the neighbors would be suspicious of someone knocking on their door inside of a gated building. This turned out to be the case with a number of neighbors, but that was part of the challenge for me -- to maintain positive, giving intentions amidst people's doubt and suspicion. I found that first ... Read Full Story >>
I am a huge fan of thrift shops and I have several that I check out every weekend. It's how I unwind and have some time to myself. I actually look forward to it every week. One of my favorite shops had started discounting certain clothing by 90%. Every week they had an entire wall filled with all kinds of items, most of which were in great condition. I was disappointed at first that I couldn't personally benefit because nothing was in mine or my husband's size. Then it dawned on me. I could stock up on sweaters and jackets for the impending cold weather and donate them to the homeless shelter! In the last couple of weeks I've gotten six huge bags of sweaters, jackets, sweatpants, and long-sleeved shirts for under $20! I also got a small bag of soap, toothbrushes and shampoo for $1. One of the jackets I got today ... Read Full Story >>
I was recently on a working trip to Mumbai. One evening I took an autorickshaw home from work. It was around 6 p.m. and there was heavy rush hour traffic. Because of this the rickshaw was traveling at a snail's pace. I was lost in my own thoughts, thinking about the day's events, when a Mumbai police traffic warden materialized as if from nowhere. He ran alongside the rickshaw and slapped the driver three times, quite violently, across his face. I was shocked by this sudden turn of events! I asked the driver to take the rickshaw to one side of the street and stop. I asked if he was hurt and he said his eyes were sore because of the slap. Other than that, he said, he was fine. I asked what had happened. He said that, by mistake, he had run over the traffic wardens shoes. I told him he should ... Read Full Story >>
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!
Early this morning, I got up to make a batch of Rice Krispie Treats for my neighbor across the hall. She barely greets me when we see each other, and her sweet little boy, who's now four, has picked up her hostile manner and will not talk to me, either. Last Monday, she had called the firefighters when a pan I'd forgotten on the stove caused my flat to fog up while I was out taking a walk. When I came home, the street in front of our apartment house was blocked by a police car, a fire truck and an ambulance! The instant I saw them, I remembered the pan! Luckily, nothing serious had happened, and all my neighbors agreed with the firefighter who said, "It could have happened to to anyone.“ When I thanked the neighbor who had called the firefighters - let's call her Ivy - and apologized for causing ... Read Full Story >>
I was sitting on the front steps of a small bakery near where I live and eating some noodles. I was enjoying my meal in peace with no one around. There is a burned out house right opposite the bakery and I know a group of people live there. The house has no electricity and has very poor ventilation. I happened to glance up from my noodles and I saw a group of women gathered outside the house. They were sitting on the ground sharing a meal of some sort. Seeing them there, a thought occurred to me. I am grateful for the food I receive every day but there are also folks who may be getting one square meal a day, or less. I felt that I needed to go visit with the women who were sitting there. I bought a large packet of biscuits from the bakery and went over. The women looked slightly ... Read Full Story >>
I made a dinner for a single mom and her boys after learning yesterday that she is working extra hours when they are at their dad's house so she can spend more time with them when she has them. Because of that (and health problems) she is very sleep-deprived. She is also worried about one of her sons' health situation. I put a lot of love (the secret ingredient!) into the dishes. Then I called her and said I wanted to bring dinner over for her. She answered by saying, "Really? What's the occasion?" I said, "I just wanted to bring you dinner today." She told me that her son had just asked, "What's for dinner?" and she replied that there was nothing in the fridge so they might just have to settle for cereal! She was totally floored by the timing. She said that it never happens that their fridge is totally empty! Needless ... Read Full Story >>
One of the few freight networks that still makes the rounds on Mexico's rugged countryside. Immigrants from Central and South America board the trains in an attempt to reach Mexico's northern border quickly. The trail is dangerous: the travelers face mutilation and death from falling off the train. Criminal gangs stalk the southernmost lengths of the network, stopping the trains in their tracks. The travelers are lucky if they are left alive. The few women that board the trains' roofs are raped and kidnapped. On the central and northern lengths of the trail, narcos are always prowling, ready to scare the travelers into surrendering their belongings. Some of them are forcibly recruited into the narcos' ranks as slave footsoldiers. Some are killed in cold blood, their bodies ditched into mass graves. They are chased by inmigration officers and federal police, who have been known to commit shameless acts of human rights ... Read Full Story >>
I've learned that when you truly open your heart and try to connect with others, people will often surprise you. A few of us decided to make some sandwiches today and share them with the homeless around our neighborhood. And this is how we met Michael. Unlike your typical homeless person, Michael started a community garden on a small patch of land on the sidewalk of busy intersection. He was thrilled to show us the beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, and sunflowers that anyone is welcome to take! He said it has sprung up with the help of others who've given him seeds, plants, and soil but mostly because of the kindness of others. Michael, who can often be found playing with his dog named Red-dawg at a nearby park, has a lot to teach. Living on the streets isn't easy but he has really learned to do the most with what little he has. Planting little seeds wherever he can find the space, and watering them. :-)
I finished my community service requirement last year by working in the school library.
All the librarians are women over 65 and most have trouble shelving books on the upper shelves. So, I decided to work for another year to help them out because most of the volunteers from last year are not coming back.
The librarian was so happy she bought a whole can of peanut butter cups so I can have one every week!
The washrooms at university do not have soap, and a friend and I felt that this was a very unhygienic practice. So, we decided to initiate a small project where we would place hand wash in as many washrooms as we can, with little notes pasted on the washroom walls.
We went to a store and bought loads of hand wash and refills, and began placing them in the washrooms near our classrooms. We've provided an e-mail id in our little notes, and told students to inform us when the hand wash becomes empty, and we will refill them within 24 hours.
The reactions from those who are using the hand wash has been very pleasing. We decided to remain anonymous, however there is a great deal of speculation going on, and that's exciting.
It's a wonderful way to serve, and this idea emerged in my head, while attending a Moved By Love retreat recently. I am so grateful to my friend for helping me implement my idea.
I'm young(ish) and able-bodied, so I've recently begun giving up those "plum" parking spaces I would occasionally find open at the grocery store or gym or wherever and deliberately driving past them to find a spot further away.
I used to bedelighted whenever I found a great spot, but now I imagine that someone else might need or appreciate it more. It's a small thing, but I like to think i
t might put a smile on someone's face! (And the extra walking benefits me too!)
I set up the stand "Free Loving Hugs" on the side walk on one of busiest days in town - Fair on the Square. Over a period of two hours standing there I gave out about 300 hugs including 3 puppies, one kitten, and 1 kick in the butt.
What? Kick in a butt? Yea! One man came to me and he said that he really needs a hug. I gave him a hug, and then after he told me that he was going through some tough times in his life, I gave him a second hug. He said that he also needs a nice kick in the butt and so I happily, but gently, obliged, to help “kick”-start him into action. =)
Another memorable request was from a lady who came to me with tear filled eyes, and told me that she really, really needed a hug today. I gave her a nice loving squeezy hug, and then she told me that she was just diagnosed with cancer. Then I felt like I needed to give her a really, really long healing hug. We stood there hugging and the emotion of the moment overcame me and we both stood their crying for a while... =)
It's hard to ask for help. It's uncomfortable to admit that you need something or that your life would be a lot easier if you could lean on someone else to do a little thing that you always assumed as your responsibility.
I've learned that people won't ask for help, but they sure will appreciate it if you jump in and do something helpful. Before you jump in, however, you have to really understand their circumstance and figure out what act or deed would be most helpful.
Out of habit, we often bring casseroles to the sick. Sure it is helpful, but they get too many and their kids don't like what they get so they have to make something else anyway.
So, instead I try to fill in where others aren't - doing laundry, picking up kids from school, including kids in activities etc. I hope I never forget that silence does not mean someone is ok, it just might mean that they don't want to ask for help.
A few years ago I spent several months at a Franciscan center. We were barred from working in our professions and instead helped maintain the extensive grounds on the compound. The philosophy was that working in our usual professions would close our minds to new discoveries and that desiring success would limit our possibilities to explore and take chances. Simple acts such as mowing the yards, trimming trees and planting crops allowed us to work without competition. I had always told myself and others that honest work was worthy and that I did not judge people by their professions. The first times I received compliments for my work I responded with expressions like; it’s no big deal or it’s pretty simple. After a few weeks I realized that I liked to hear compliments about my work. This realization was so strongand emotional that I started to cry while I was pulling weeds. I was embarrassed ... Read Full Story >>
Every Friday morning, after Mass at the Timber Lake Manor, we have coffee and rolls. One of the ladies from the parish always brings fresh rolls, coffee cake, or some other kind of treat for us to share. I'm always amazed!
What a wonderful act of kindness and generosity to thoughtfully prepare this little meal which unites us around the table in conversation and fellowship. It's a wonderful extension of the intimate communion we share in Christ.
Last Saturday, my daughter Evelyn and I delivered a spring grass gift to our local post office filled with Easter sweet treats. It was a fun project, planting the seeds together in a small and colorful metal pail, watering and watching the 'magic' grass appear. Even more satisfying was giving it away — the post office staff was quite surprised and delighted.
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 no longer work in a paid position. I do however have many volunteer commitments. I had originally fallen into the mindset that I didn't have enough time to do what I really wanted to do. Soon I realized that in the context of having enough, I do indeed have enough time to do what I really want to do. I really want to spend my time working with others on projects in my community, working on a website, and joining with others to get things done. Although I am no longer rewarded for my efforts with a paycheck I am grateful that I can contribute my skills in helping others.
It feels as if I grew in one giant leap. At Sunday Assembly I spoke on a stage into a microphone in front of a group of people. For many years I have been nervous and never know what to say when even speaking with just one or two people. Sunday Assembly is like church for atheists, it’s a secular meeting. The topic was “happiness” and I spoke about Kind Spring. The group passed out my “basket of smiles”, (inspired by penny4them’s jar of gems, thank you!) with quotes about joy and happiness that I had printed out, each attached to a smile card. I urged people to go out and do an act of kindness and pass on the smile card. I spoke about how Kind Spring is a welcoming site, where, even though many people post about their religious beliefs, everyone is accepted and equally welcome. I spoke about how ... Read Full Story >>
My husband and I were serving in Peace Corps in a remote village in northern Thailand. There were many challenges and difficulties, particularly around our housing. We moved into our house this past June. Shortly thereafter, while we were away at a Peace Corps training, the owner ripped out all the surrounding banana groves and the lush undergrowth in order to raise the ground level--she had planned on tearing down our house and building a new one after we left. She brought in literally tons of dirt. This left our house in a kind of moat, and when the heavy rains came, our house flooded. This, needless to say, was upsetting, but it turned into a blessing, because when he became aware of it, the principal at my school got my eighth-grade class to come help clean up. The boys dug into the moat to drain the water, and built a concrete path ... Read Full Story >>
A story on receiving kindness. I used to pass through on a daily basis a busy four lane highway and intersection in Adajan, Surat India. There aren't ever traffic police to be seen controlling vehicles movement on this critical four lane crossroads even during peak rush hours.
I always got stuck in traffic getting angry at our Surat police. Sometimes I fumed at other peoples' insensitivity of hurriedly thinking of themselves first instead of kindly letting others pass though. Many times I too thought to get out the car and direct the traffic. But it was not possible.
Few months back a group of elderly people who used to sit and socialize in the 'Shantikunj' garden took this initiative to direct the traffic on peak hours daily. They were doing it without any expectations and just to help society.
I was really happy to see the non-chaotic lanes. I salute those elderly people and thank them too. There is kindness in our society. We all have kindness somewhere deep in our hearts. We need to bring it out and spread kindness in the society.
I am so excited today!and I wanted to share it with you all wonderful KindSpring friends!! I have finally been able to become an active volunteer with Hope For Freedom meal program in the city I live in:) I will volunteer all weekend and hopefully every week helping feed less fortunate people, and I couldn't be happier!!
I have applied at several other places to volunteer like the SPCA and my local hospital. There is a great sense of accomplishment and pure joy in giving back to the community, in helping others and in showing kindness. This is one of the things I live for!! I want to give my all to society and help make a difference:)I hope many are inspired and contemplate volunteering a bit of their time to local organizations...there's always need for people to come together and help out fellow humans and animals too!
Thank you all for existing you inspire me everyday, your stories and quotes put a smile on my face and restores my faith in humanity over and over again! God bless!!