I live in a big Scandinavian city that unfortunately has a lot of homeless people. Luckily there are small ways of helping them even though you may not have a lot of money. One way to help is to buy their monthly magazine. By doing this one day, I got to know a young homeless man who was often standing at the train station, selling the magazine. He was a refugee from another country and I can only imagine what kind of psychological scars he must have had from living in a war-torn country, escaping it and then ending up being homeless. After a while, I discovered that his birthday was close to mine which meant that we were born under the same sign of the Zodiac, something we talked about once in a while. I met him last year shortly after his birthday, and without thinking, after congratulating him, I asked if he had had ... 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 >>
I recieved my new Smile Deck (a deck of cards with a unique kindness idea on each card) from HelpOthers.org. I have distributed a few of the cards (asking, of course, that they be returned to me as soon as the mission on that card is completed). I have not yet heard back any stories from the cards I sent out but I look forward to hearing them and to sharing them here with all of you. :) I drew one card myself. It was the Ace of Spades. The task on the card was to make signs about conserving water and distribute them in public places. I used 'Word' to make the signs. I put a pretty picture of a leaf with water droplets on it at the top and then listed 5 easy practical ways YOU can conserve water and then printed off a few copies. I posted one in the laundry matt near where I ... Read Full Story >>
I was at Karma Kitchen, a gift economy project, when a volunteer asked if anyone could use some free drink coupons for a particular airline. I enthusiastically accepted, knowing that even though I don't usually drink, I could use those free drink coupons to "tag" someone with a smilecard. I loved the idea of "tagging" someone with a smilecard and a free drink coupon on an airplane! Fast forward a month or two later, when my girlfriend and I were on a flight to Las Vegas as the first stop of a trip to the Grand Canyon. I had several drink coupons and smilecards ready, and it was just a matter of figuring out the "Who" and the "How" of tagging someone on an airplane, while still trying to stay completely anonymous. As luck would have it, we had an awesome, amazing, hilarious flight attendant, who was very, very funny (he really could have been ... 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 >>
I work with a warm, fun-loving woman named Heather. This year our boss asked a group of us to join his family on Thanksgiving. Seated around the table, Heather said something had totally changed her the day before -- like she was walking in a new direction. I listened and watched as her eyes welled with tears. Heather deals daily with people on the telephone. She was speaking with a Veteran and asked if he was looking forward to Thanksgiving. She was surprised when he said no, and asked why. He had been let go from his job more than a month before and was having a tough time making ends meet. He shared how hard it was to feel powerless to provide a Thanksgiving meal for his wife and children. She wished him a happy holiday and good luck. There was nothing to do but say good-bye and hang-up. But I must do ... Read Full Story >>
Thank you so much!! I had sent a request for 30 smile cards for all my Christmas acts. In the request I said that if it's not possible for them to send me these cards I totally understand because after all I do live a long way down in New Zealand. I didn't hear anything more and just happily accepted that I won't be receiving any smile cards. Last night I arrived home to find a package with about 278 smile cards inside!! This arrived a few weeks after I placed the request...I couldn't believe it!! That was something I sooo wasn't expecting! I was so overwhelmed, thinking is this a mistake? Here is what I use my smile cards for.... - Whenever I send out cards or presents in New Zealand or around the world I always include a smile card inside. I have sent out quite a few cards out to quite a number ... Read Full Story >>
My church was assigned Valentine’s Day to serve a meal to homeless people. After reading a HelpOthers.org story about giving flowers out at a meal program, I formed the idea to augment our church activity with some colorful floral life. Building off of my intention, a fellow church member came forward to help pay for the flowers. At the event, we fed the hungry souls until they were stuffed, and then we gave flowers to anyone who wanted one. Our pastor even joined in to pass out flowers at the tables.
Later that day, I saw a lady with a carnation in her hand hugging the pastor, which led me to believe that the flower must have touched her in a special way. It is great that through a simple idea on this website, we were able to bring the food serving experience to a deeper level with some flower power!
Today it is 39 degrees and supposed to be raining. It would have been the perfect day for me to act upon my Kindness Idea. I was the lucky winner of the December Kindness Idea's Contest on Helpothers.org - where they give you $100 to carry out your kindness idea. My idea was to purchase umbrellas for shelter on a rainy day and small towels to wife your face and hopefully bring a little smile into your day and hand them out to folks who find themselves caught out in the weather unprepared. Once I received the check for $100 I ran right out and purchased umbrellas and towels. I laundered the towels and wrapped them around the umbrellas and banded them with a smile card. I placed them them in plastic bags to protect them from moisture, dirt and grime! Then I waited on the rain!!! Lately we’ve had plenty snow…but no rain. Yesterday the rains came! Where were the ... 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 >>
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!
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!
Last night my husband and I were on the way to a show. We were both hungry and wanted to grab a quick bite on our way there, so we swung through a Jack-N-the Box drive-thru and placed our order. When we got up to the window the lady smiled at me (which is sometimes rare) and asked how I was doing while she was collected our money for the food. I replied, "Fine, and how are you?" She went to get our order ready and I asked my husband to pass me my "Drive-thru Smil bag". He handed it to me and watched in amazement as I gathered together a "You make a difference" paper, a Smile Card, a smiley stamper and a smile button. She came back to the window almost before I finished putting it all together. Without looking too closely she passed the bag and said, "Thank you. Have a good ... Read Full Story >>
I found a website that sells tiny pewter hearts which are not too expensive, so, I bought a batch and I keep a couple in my pocket most of the time.
Whenever I find the opportunity, when I am out in stores, at a yard sale or at work or anywhere really, I will ask the person I am speaking with to give me their hand. I put two of those little hearts in the palm of their hand saying, "Keep one and pass the other one on."
The responses I get are amazing! If I had won the Lottery there would not be bigger smiles or more excitement. Everyone immediately wants to tell me who is getting the other heart; someone with cancer, their child who was grumpy this morning, and so on.
A little sharing really makes people happy!
P.S. In my other pocket I carry dog biscuits so even their canine friends can be happy!
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 >>
This weekend I went grocery shopping. The cashier I chose was talking to the ladies in front of me and then something they were talking about reminded her about sending relief for a co-worker. She quickly took care of that and called the person to tell them help was on the way. When it was my turn to checkout she chatted with me too. I had prepared a little Smile Card package that I normally use in drive-throughs before coming inside the store just in case I found someone to share it with. Well I knew she was the one. I could tell she really cared about people. When we were all done with my transaction I said, "This is for you," and handed her the items. She looked at it and said, "Thank you! I really needed this today!" Then her eyes filled with tears and she gave me a hug! I told her, "Now, ... Read Full Story >>
Check out the video below, from a HelpOthers member ...
If you're so moved to support Hywy's 30th b'day by doing a kind act in your community, please leave a comment below about your intention, and it will be sent directly to her -- and wil make her day/year. :)
Much love to all of you who make this world a better place, one kind act at a time!
"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 >>
I submited a kindness idea to Helpothers.org $100 kindness contest and I won. Armed with $100 and a mission - WOW! What an amazing week I just had! It started out last weekend - the first goal was to fill 20 “Smile Baggies” to give out. I had so much fun all Saturday picking out the items to buy. I'm a single mom of a teenager, so the opportunity to buy something without worrying about whether it would hurt our monthly budget made me feel like I had won the lottery! I picked out some practical items – a post-it note pad, pen, hand sanitizer wipes, and breath mints. But since it was a “smile baggie”, I also got some fun stuff too – microwave popcorn, hot cocoa, bubble gum, a smile stamp, and a small bottle of bubble bath. I spent Sunday night bagging all the goodies and attached the following letter to each bag: "HI! This ... 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 >>
In early December, I had a fun idea. I thought it would be a good idea to provide care packages for my students who were heading into their final exams. I teach two classes at CWRU in Ohio, which is a difficult, research oriented, private school.I also teach two classes at Tri-C, a community college made up of more mature college students who worked and had families. They had their own stresses. I found this site, HelpOthers.org and the kindness contest, and wrote in with my idea to use the $100 to provide care packages for my students. Before I even knew if I would win the kindness contest, I spent $50 of my own cash. I used it to get the supplies for my CWRU students' care packages. I pondered this for awhile before I did it, because $50 is a lot of money to me, but it quickly became an obsession. I decided to do it ... Read Full Story >>
Often we do little acts of kindness and can’t really know what happens next… the people who benefit from the act return to their lives and we return to ours! Our paths may never cross again. But that’s not the case when a member of HelpOthers does a kind act to another member of HelOthers! Here we can chart the ripples as we guide the kindness on its way! Here’s one such story. You may have read Aurelia’s post about making Chex Mix for her family, or Bluebell’s post about receiving a snack from a friend in the US. Well I sent some Karmabucks to Aurelia to find out more about her amazing snack and she offered to send some to me if I was based in the US. Unfortunately I’m not, I live in the UK but luck would have it that I was off to America for a company event last ... Read Full Story >>
I wrote earlier about my gift home makeover project - Etseth and I would like to tell you about a very special family that I have recently done a makeover for! The mum of this family, was a victim of severe domestic abuse 12 years ago. After years of the being subjected to violence, she summoned enough courage to leave, she moved from England to Wales with her three children and moved into a woman’s refuge. Further down the line, she met someone, got married and they eventually had two more children. Their two oldest have moved out so they are left with three children who are 14,11 and 9 years old. My project was to plaster the lounge/dining room. Whilst I was doing this project, their oldest daughter returned from serving in Afghanistan. Unbeknownst to the family, the daughter had spent lots of her army pay to take the family away for a 2 week holiday. As the ... Read Full Story >>
This story follows my previous story: Last night, my daughter and I printed out Smile Cards and attached a note to each card saying 'Merry Christmas' and 'Have a Happy New Year'. We decided to turn the cards into part of the a neighborhood tag game. You must pass your card along to someone else in the neighborhood with a piece of paper wishing them Happy Holidays too.. We delivered the cards around our neighbourhood in the dark so no one would see us - it was so cold.. :) We gave out plenty of cards to our neighbors. I was curious when I saw my neighbor run up my driveway today after her child got on her bus with a paper in her hand... It was one of our Smile Cards - we got one back! This afternoon when I was checking my mailbox, our eldest neighbour, maybe around 80 years old, stopped at my mailbox with her friend. She ... Read Full Story >>
I wanted to use one of my Smile Cards today, so I went to the bank and withdrew $20. I went out on my lunch break, and walked around looking out for someone to give the money and the Smile Card to. I spotted a couple of people who I thought about giving it to but then I remembered that the Smile Card says to do it anonymously. So I decided to find a way to give away the $20 without the person knowing where it came from. I got in my car and drove to the mall and walked around praying for God to show me what to do. As I walked passed a dollar store I saw five pay phones by it. I took the $20 and neatly wrapped it around the Smile Card. I left if by the first pay phone and prayed that someone who really needed ... 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!
When I lived in Portland, I lived pretty much hand to mouth. I had injured my knee and couldn't work and my tiny early retirement check paid rent only. I was on food stamps so I could eat, and getting around on crutches made bus travel challenging. But it was my only recourse as my car had so many repairs needed, I couldn't afford to have it fixed. Curiously, I would find money all the time, so I started a FOUND MONEY jar. It was the biggest jar I could find (a Mason quart jar), because I was always finding coins on the street or in theaters or in seats. When I would come home with coins I had found, in they would go. One time I found a $5 bill in my garden by my apartment. It was the biggest bill I ever found, and it lived in the jar ... Read Full Story >>
France is a very special place. It is the favorite tourist destination for people from all over the world. As an American who has lived here for over 20 years it's been for me "a hard nut to crack." In New York City it was easy to just strike up a conversation with people I'd never met and would never meet again. Many French consider this type of interaction "superficial" or "invasive." Inspired by this website I decided to find my way to create openings on Valentine's Day. The key is "when in France do like the French," or learn to respect their ways and their limits. I went to Paris and searched for hours, a woman on a mission, to find just the right chocolate hearts. The last "maison du chocolat" or chocolate store on my list had them. Small chocolate hearts, a beautiful deep red color, filled with dark chocolate, ... 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 >>
My husband works for a company that provides 24/7 care and housing for people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities. Here in Arizona, brutal budget cuts have slashed funds for those most in need. My husband loves his job and knows he is serving an important purpose, but sometimes the cuts affect morale. I decided to start sending a basket of goodies to work with my husband every Wednesday, which is the day that all staff members come in to pick up their checks. I figured it might give them a little extra reason to smile. On the first Wednesday, I sent these delicious maple leaf cookies I found that are made Canada. I wrapped them individually in cellophane (because there are lots of employees and I wanted everyone to get at little something). When my husband arrived home from work, he brought me the following note from one of his ... Read Full Story >>