Stories Matching 'Community' Tag (173 matches)



Change Of Heart

A mother and daughter living in my complex are two of the most unfriendly people I have ever come across in my life. They are totally withdrawn, mixing with no one. As they drive past neighbors they keep their eyes averted and make no sign of acknowledgement. The only fame they have is making a nuisance of themselves to the local police station by reporting music played too loud, dogs barking more than once a day and any other petty little gripe. On moving into this neighborhood, I was warned about these two but decided I would make up my own mind. This proved quite a challenge to me as more than once either the mother or the daughter would knock on my door and blast me with some complaint or other. My warfare? I always answered politely and made sure I waved as they went past my place and also made ... Read Full Story >>

5190 Reads
  • Posted by cabbagepatch
  • Dec 22, 2009
  • 11 Comments
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24 Hours of Non-Stop Kindness

I had titled the event “24 hours of kindness.” The goal was simple: to stay out for a full twenty-four hours without sleep, performing as many acts of kindness as possible. Thanks to our local radio station, Coast 93.1, and the support of Tim Wright and Eva Matteson, (two of the most kindhearted DJs you’ll ever meet) all of southern Maine now knew about The Kindness Center’s crazy event. Now known as “The Kindness Guy,” this was my first attempt at something this big. The local and even national media buzz was incredible. Since 9:00 that morning, two of my kindness cronies and I had been all over town delivering free baked goods to nursing homes and schools, buying coffee for strangers, giving out hugs, moving furniture, giving free city bus rides and completely flooding the town with a rainbow of flowers and balloons. Since it was April 15th, “tax ... Read Full Story >>

6274 Reads

This Is What Christmas Is All About

You never know where kindness from strangers may appear.  The snow started at 4:30 Friday evening and didn’t stop until Saturday evening.  Many parts of the northeast received up to 20 inches.  I had been snowed in for over 24 hours and was starting to feel cabin fever strike.  The shoveling started around 11:00 Sunday morning and after an hour I felt like I had just started.  I suffer from scoliosis and was starting to feel the pain so I decided to go in for a bit.  Around 2:30 I threw back on my winter gear and headed back outside, thinking to myself: “This is going to take forever and boy am I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow!”  In the distance I saw a man riding a small John Deere tracker and attached to the back a snow plow.  He stopped and offered to plow the remaining driveway making ... Read Full Story >>

2433 Reads
  • Posted by rorris02
  • Dec 25, 2009
  • 6 Comments
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A Treasured Gift For A Young Couple

I met a really nice young couple about a year ago through mutual friends on a social networking site.  They have just adopted a baby girl.  This is a beautiful gift to the world on its own, but what makes it even more special is how many hoops they jumped through and how much time and money they spent to get to that stage. I was going through some boxes from my mother’s house (she passed away at Christmas time in 2007) and I found some beautiful vintage baby dresses. So I thought, wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if I sent some of this lovely vintage clothing to the couple for their adopted baby?  I knew they would love it.  This was truly a gift from the heart; I had planned on saving those for my daughter if I had one someday.  But, given that my husband died before we had any children, ... Read Full Story >>

6033 Reads

A Night With The Homeless

A Night With The Homeless by: Ellis Moore (Age 10)   Every Saturday or Sunday night my family and I go out and feed the homeless people in the city of Orlando. There are thousands of people across The United States without any food or shelter. My family and I have been doing this for several months.   We wanted to see what it was like in the life of a homeless person.  One special thing I like to mention is, my family and I do not eat before we begin our journey so we know how it feels to be hungry. All of the areas we go to are very dangerous. We go on streets such as, Orange blossom trail, Parramore, Gore street, Colonial Dr, and down town Orlando.   We all get together in the kitchen and prepare the food. Some of the meals are sandwiches and cookies and a bottle of water. ... Read Full Story >>

5344 Reads

Turning Kindness Into A Habit

Last winter I was going through a rough patch in my life.  I had a bunch of terrible things going on around me. I felt very distant and became quite selfish. I hated the way I was feeling and one day I woke up and told myself, “You are above this, stop feeling sorry for yourself.”   Then, I tried out an experiment, and it has DEFINITELY changed me for the better. Every day I would do at least one act of kindness - It could be anything… Bringing the trash down to the trash compactor for my 80 year old neighbor, Going into the store to buy something for myself (like a bit of makeup) and coming out with something for someone else (like candy for my boyfriend) Sitting down with my sister or a friend and just simply listening. And I can ... Read Full Story >>

7750 Reads
  • Posted by lanaxox
  • Feb 20, 2010
  • 28 Comments
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A Bus Ride That Touched My Heart

Last night after work, I took the bus home.  Now this bus ride was different then usual. The difference was that people seemed to be helping others at every chance they could!  The bus was filled with people as usual and we took the usual route home.  There is a blind lady who always gets on the same bus as me. We were just about to leave the bus station when a lady on the bus suddenly noticed that the blind lady wasn't on the bus that day and told the driver.  When we looked out the window, we saw her sitting over in the corner all by herself. One lady passenger jumped off the bus and ran to help and guide this blind lady onto the bus.  As we were driving along each stop and picking up passengers, a girl in her 20's got on at one stop and asked the bus driver how much the bus ride ... Read Full Story >>

6595 Reads

Kindness Knocks on the Front Door

Two years ago an African man from Malawi, Elias, arrived at my sister’s home in the rough, bush country of South Africa with nothing but the shirt on his back. He was hoping to come to South Africa to find employment in order to support his family in Malawi. Little did he realize my sister at that time was struggling to keep her body and soul together. Nevertheless, Elias was given permission to stay on the property with the understanding that she was unable to help him financially and he would have to find “piece work” employment to support himself. As unemployment is rife, Elias was unable to find work immediately, so my sister taught him how to grow organic vegetables, sew and bake. Elias is keen to learn whatever he can to take the knowledge back to Malawi with him once he goes home. Elias finally found employment but my sister hit ... Read Full Story >>

5380 Reads
  • Posted by cabbagepatch
  • Feb 26, 2010
  • 10 Comments
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Rewarding One Good Deed With Another

We were having a mini heat wave yesterday and I was in the supermarket, stocking up on juice and ice-cream.  Now, I'm not much of a fan of the hot weather and I was enjoying the fact that it was cooler inside than outside, but the lady behind the checkout was suffering. I asked if she was looking forward to getting out in the sun after her shift was finished and she replied that she might not last that long. She was melting! She explained that she shouldn't have been working that day, but she had agreed to cover someone else's shift. Now she wished she hadn't. She felt like she might die! I paid for the shopping and headed for the exit. Half way there I remembered something I had wanted to get for Julie, so I went back in. On the way to where I wanted to go, I passed a rack of ... Read Full Story >>

7000 Reads

The Journey of a Kindness Checkbook

The green box on HelpOthers.org talks about a $100 contest I submitted an idea that I would love to do.  I loved the idea so much that I decided to go ahead and do it, only on a smaller scale.  If I am selected as a winner of the $100 contest, I will do it on the large scale.  (fingers crossed)  Since I work at a Bank getting the supplies for my idea was easy: a plastic checkbook cover and a transaction register (normally for a checking account).  Next I wrote a message on the inside cover: "Congratulations!  You are currently the bearer of the Smile Transaction Register.  This kindness checkbook began its journey with $20.  Your only job is to keep it going.  Don't keep it long.  Look over the entries in the register to get some ideas of how to spread small acts of kindness.  You can either make a deposit if the funds ... Read Full Story >>

15.2K Reads

An Old Way To Bring About New Smiles

I recently got a new version of an old camera that I used to adore... Polaroid instant film! This one is a Fuji, which takes credit card sized instant photos. I named my camera "J5", (after Johnny #5 the Robot, from the '80's films "Short Circuit", mainly because it looks like him :)  In J5's short career (this past month), he has blasted off about 80 photographs, and 60+ have been given away to complete strangers. Each photograph is unique, simple, imperfect and beautiful, as those captured within the photos had a story to tell. So far, one story stands out above them all. Last Wednesday, I was in the play area of the Harrisburg Mall. I sat next to a woman who was there with her son. She was very classy, seemed to have it all together. I would have assumed that she had a sweet, upper-middle class life. As it turned ... Read Full Story >>

3612 Reads
  • Posted by enchantedchilde
  • Mar 8, 2010
  • 12 Comments
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Just Doing The Right Thing

I was on a walk with a friend yesterday when I found a BlackBerry cell phone in a puddle of melted snow.  I picked it up and it still worked!  I started scrolling through the contact list and calling numbers to see if I could figure out whose phone it was.  Unfortunately, only one person answered and she didn't recognize the number that I was calling from.  She made a comment of "It is just so nice that you are trying to find out whose phone it is."  Since that lady didn't know whose phone it was, my friend suggested that we go back to the street and the house that we found the BlackBerry in front of.  I knocked on the door and two college-age people answered.  They hadn't lost their phones, but as I told them the story and mentioned some names on the contact list, the young man said that he had those names ... Read Full Story >>

7157 Reads

Moving Creates An Opportunity To Start Giving

Moving away gave me a chance to reflect on my good fortune and it was a wonderful opportunity to give away some of my things.   I’m not rich, but I decided to make sure that what I have an excess off (thanks to the kindness of wonderful friends and family) is passed on to those who really need it.   Once you start, its amazing how much you can do...   1.     I donated some clothes which were still in pretty good condition, which used to belong to my roomate or me (partly inspired by the story of Goonj posted by 'Anju73').  I spent a good deal of time laundering and ironing them I also added some lavender scents :).   I searched for the right place to give them to.  I could have given it to Habitat which is round the corner, but I checked out a great homeless shelter that I had heard about and gave it to them instead.   I popped ... Read Full Story >>

3909 Reads

A Special Blessing That Lasted A Lifetime

Most of us have a few experiences each day that make us laugh or grin for a short period of time. If we are lucky, we may cross paths with something that makes us grin for a day or two. If we are truly blessed, somewhere on our path we are able to be part of something that will make us grin for the rest of our lives. I need to share such an event with you, with the hope that you would consider a similar project in your community. I am a building contractor from Lynchburg, Virginia. I have been volunteering with Greater Lynchburg Habitat For Humanity since our affiliate started in the late 1980’s. In the past 20 years, I have tried to give more to Habitat than I have received, but it is something I have not been able to accomplish. I have always said that if you look around, ... Read Full Story >>

4710 Reads

One Last Visit To The Beach, On Her Doorstep

I need to share a powerful and strangely wonderful event in my life that involves death and cancer.  I am certain you are struggling with the fact that  I am using the words wonderful, cancer and death in the same sentence.  I think that after you hear this story you will agree that in this case it is an appropriate combination of words. A dear friend of mine was dying of cancer.  Shortly before she died she shared with me that she was very sad that she would never get to go to the beach again.  She grew up near the ocean and it was a special place for her.  The cancer had made her too weak to travel the 4-5 hours from her home to the ocean.  I shared this with several of her friends and we decided we had to do something about it. On a Saturday afternoon in June, while her family kept her distracted ... Read Full Story >>

6194 Reads

A Five Rupee Formula for Joy

On my way out the building in the morning, I search my pockets for 5 rupee coins. If I have one, I go to the shop downstairs and buy 5 packets of Gems-- an Indian version of M&Ms. There are 3 Gems per packet, giving me 14 chances to make someone smile (there would be 15 but invariably the first Gem ends up in my own mouth!). On the first day, I gave one each to the two youngs sons of my dhobi (washerman), and to the boy who lives in the makeshift shack in front of my building. Their hands were really dirty so I put them straight into their mouths. I thought for a second about giving them an impromptu lesson in hand-washing, but they are too young to understand Hindi and I haven't learned enough Kannada to explain properly. Next time I'll pick up the basics, and use ... Read Full Story >>

3644 Reads

Rescued By A Cluster Of Goodness

Yesterday was the Mother of All Bad Days for me, but I was rescued by a cluster of unrelated kind people/angels.  My head's still spinning from the experience. Our house is up for sale and my wife and I agreed to have an open house yesterday.  Before it was to start, I had to take our dog, who's been suffering from some unknown liver problem for over two months, to the vet.  The appointment was timed just right to get back home and help host the open house.  That plan soured in a heartbeat! Our dog had been making some progress with her disease, but I got the first round of bad news for the day--her blood test indicated she was getting worse.  Nearly $2,000 dollars has been spent so far trying all kinds of ways to help get her better.  Now the vet was telling me it would take another $2,000 ... Read Full Story >>

3801 Reads

Whole-Hearted Generosity From Those With Very Little

This is a story about the kindness of the rickshaw pullers in North India.  Rickshaw pullers are some of the poorest people in India and they work extremely hard.  People sit on a carriage and the rickshaw pullers transport them by pulling the carriage manually (or sometimes with a bicycle).  I recently suffered a knee injury and needed to go to physiotherapy every day. I was unable to walk much, so I had to use a rickshaw puller to take me there, wait for me and then bring me back.  This was usually the only time I would leave the house each day and so I would use these trips to get all the stuff I needed like medicines, milk, fruit, etc.  As I couldn't really walk much, I had to ask the rickshaw pullers if they could take care of these errands for me.  Everyday, on the way back from physiotherapy, I would ask the rickshawpuller to stop by the market and request him to the get ... Read Full Story >>

4954 Reads

A Gesture of Generosity that Healed a Life

I was in church one Sunday when my husband’s ex-wife requested the pastor and the church to pray for her.  She said that she was a drug addict and she wanted to stop using drugs.  She was crying and said that she needed God’s help because she knew that she couldn't do it alone. She was a beautiful woman with four children and they were all crying with her. After church I went to her and introduced myself. She said that she had heard about my marriage to her ex-husband. We talked for a little while and she told me that she did not have a car and that they were going to catch the bus home. I offered to give them a ride and we continued to talk in the car. She began to open up about how bad things really were in her life. I had heard rumours from ... Read Full Story >>

4328 Reads

Three Hours and Three Beaming Smiles

It was a hot weekday afternoon and I was on my way to volunteer at a reading session with visually impaired girls. I got in to a rickshaw and immediately struck up a conversation with the rickshaw driver.  The rickshaw driver started telling me the story of his life.  He related that he had grown up very poor and he and his siblings didn’t have much. He said he worked very hard so that he could make sure that his children had the opportunity to attend a decent school.  He said that there were many nights when he would skip dinner to make sure that they would have enough money to send the daughter on a class trip or to pay for his son to attend the computer lab.  I was profoundly moved by the simple and matter of fact way in which this man was relating this heart-melting story. When we ... Read Full Story >>

4579 Reads

Carrying a Load With A Big Smile

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 >>

4127 Reads

Paying Forward a $500 Gift

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 >>

6340 Reads

Inspiring Video Dedicated To HelpOthers.org!

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 >>

4616 Reads

Filled With a New Sense of Hope

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 >>

4710 Reads

A Lunchtime Opportunity To Feed Me Plus Two

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 >>

3888 Reads
  • Posted by LittleOwl
  • May 8, 2010
  • 6 Comments
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Boxes Filled With Compassion

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 >>

13.3K Reads

A Letter of Thanks to All Social Workers in the World

 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 >>

33.2K Reads

Compassionate Cakes for the Community

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 >>

4292 Reads
  • Posted by Harriet
  • Jun 29, 2010
  • 24 Comments
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My First Thanksgiving

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 >>

3581 Reads

The Best Gifts Of All

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 >>

5184 Reads