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 >>
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 >>
I have been ill and in a lot of pain for quite some time. So my trips away from home have been few and far between, mostly to the doctor's office. Two weeks ago I decided to go to the local market for some fresh produce. As I backed out of my driveway, I asked aloud in the car, "Please help me to show kindness to others today." It was heartfelt and I was eagerly looking for ways I could be kind, for example by letting people into my lane. I drove to the market, and as I drove up, I saw an elderly man get his wife settled into their car, and then go around the car to the driver's side. They were in a handicapped parking spot, and as I have a handicapped plate, I waited for that close spot. It would mean all the difference in being ... Read Full Story >>
As a part of my Pay it Foward project revolution, I'm starting the 29 day giving challenge...again! I've done this in the summer, but this time is different because I'm also doing it with some friends from school and some friends here at KindSpring ;) Today, as my first gift, I believe I have given the gift of encouragement and cheer. Looking back , when I had first done this challenge, normally I would think, " What kind of gift is that?" Looking back at that experience now, I realize that these simple gestures mean a lot more then one thinks they do :) Today, some of my friends were a bit gloomy, perhaps because of the weather, some because their schedules got changed (it's a new term for us now at school). There was this one frind from school that had recently gone through a break-up that I didnt know of, ... Read Full Story >>
A few months ago an elderly lady from our meditation group dropped and broke her favorite cane. She was quite upset because it was her favorite cane and she could not afford to buy a new one. Being a wood carver I decided I would make her one. This lady is from a Native American background and I asked her what her spirit animal was. Some Native Americans believe they are guided on their journey through life by the spirit of an animal. Her spirit animal was a crow. This week I presented her with the finished cane. The top of the cane has a hand carved, highly detailed, painted and realistic looking crow head, actual size with glass eyes. Below that is a black suede braid around the shaft of the cane tied in a fancy knot called a Turk's Head knot, From the knot hung two black feathers with wooden ... Read Full Story >>
Today I prayed for ideas on ways to be kind. My first opportunity came at a restaurant. A little girl dropped a dollar and walked off. I picked up the dollar and ran after her, giving it to her mother. "She dropped this," I said. Then at the store, there was an elderly man looking at firewood. He had a cane, and I couldn't see him carrying the firewood by himself, so I approached him and asked if he needed help. He said that he was just looking, but he seemed grateful that I asked. Inside the store, I found a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Uncertain who to give them to, I got into the check-out line. I only had two items, but a man came behind me with one, so I let him go first. I bought my mother her favorite candy bar, and I had the flowers but no one to give ... Read Full Story >>
I have never lived in the same province as my only niece but she and I have a special bond. Since she was two years old I have written her a letter every week! We refer to them as my Thursday letters because my day off used to be Thursday and the first thing I would do would be to write to Brooke. She is ten now and quite grown up, but I continue to cherish the times when I write to her. I have only missed six Thursdays in eight years; because of a mail strike and a hospital stay. When Brooke was four she was talking with my mom. "Auntie Steph writes me a letter every week," she said "That's a lot of letters," my mom replied. "What does she write about?" "Well ..." Brooke thought about it. "She tells me that she loves me! Sometimes she says it long and sometimes ... Read Full Story >>
Last Saturday when I was in the car with my children, I realized that I hadn't made time to do out usual recycling, and our water bottles had been piling up (in our car actually!). We were going to be driving past the recycling station at the corner grocery store and as we approached it, I took in the long line of people, bags in hand, waiting their turn to cash in for a few bucks and some change. I thought about the times I've waited in that line, not always just for a little extra cash or purely to help the environment - but sometimes simply because I actually needed to buy milk or bread didn't have the money. I made a last minute decision and pulled into the parking lot. I jumped out of the car and grabbed the few bags of plastic bottles that I had in the back of the car. ... Read Full Story >>
[Posting on behalf of a friend who I met at a recent dinner and was inspired by the intention behind Smile Cards.] Chapter One: It was Christmas Eve for most people – for me, and my longest-standing friend Lanie, it was just another Saturday night. We were going to meet for a waterside dinner on the Northern shore of Long Island before I headed onto I-95 on my way back to Providence. I arrived about 45 minutes early and on impulse popped into the Nail Salon a few doors up from the restaurant. The owner approached me asking what services I wanted. “Manicure” I answered. “Manicure Pedicure” she chirped. “No, just manicure today – I only have 45 minutes.” "Manicure Pedicure," she re-chirped. "Manicure Pedicure 45 minutes!" She walked me to the back of the salon, pointed to a chair, turned to her staff and without a seconds pause, she pulled up a chair ... Read Full Story >>
I woke up the other day to a phone call from a taxi driver who had my friend's cell phone. My friend had apparently left it in the cab the night before. The driver had called others but I was the first one who had answered. It was a rainy morning which for cab drivers in this big city is a very busy time. He asked me where he could drop the cell phone off. I told him the street where I lived and quickly jumped out of bed and got dressed so I could meet him on the corner. I guessed that if he had taken on a passenger of two he could have made some good money from driving all that distance. When he arrived I thanked him and blessed him for having such a kind and beautiful soul. I was so happy for my friend who had only recently moved ... Read Full Story >>
I am collecting pennies at work for a co-worker. He doesn't know I'm doing this.
It was a usual day at the hospital. I was running around doing what I needed to get done for my patients. Then I stopped in my tracks because I could feel my cell phone vibrating in my pocket. I almost always keep my phone on. In the event of an emergency my family and friends can that way get in touch with me. It was an emergency. There was a death in my family. I couldn't move. I couldn't think. I was excused early from work that day, but came home to an empty apartment and didn't know what to do next. I cried. I didn't know if I wanted to be alone or phone my close friend. I didn't know if I should have bothered my friend. Death is a sensitive subject for some people. Different people handle it in different ways. What does one say? What does one do? After deliberating for a ... Read Full Story >>
It was early on a cold December morning. I was making a quick trip to the post office, and along the way, I saw a man riding his bicycle through the dirty, heavy slush, left over from last night's snowfall.
He was dressed in a tattered, old black coat. A knit beanie cap covered his head. As he parked his bike on the sidewalk and went inside (to warm up, I assumed), I noticed that his hands were bare.
While he was out of sight, I reached to my back seat and grabbed a pair of thick leather gloves that belonged to one of my boys. Then, quickly, I ran to his bicycle and placed them in the basket that he had tied with twine to his handlebars. I hurried back to the warmth of my car and waited. Even though I had been in a hurry, I couldn't leave without seeing that he got them. About twenty minutes passed.
I watched as he returned to his bike, picked up the gloves, looked around for a moment. Then, he put them on and slowly rode away.
One late winter's evening I was standing at a bus stop in gloomy, wet and windy London. Then I noticed a young man running as fast as he could and just behind him there was a number eight bus.
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!
Last night was date night with my little girl. She wanted to conduct another Kindness "Special Ops" Mission for our evening. That afternoon, we made up some kindness envelopes full of a smile cards, a few dollars and a special note. She decorated the outside of the envelopes with smiley stickers and the words "Open me, I’m a gift for you!" She wanted to go to the mall and secretly place envelopes around to spread some Christmas smiles. When we dropped our first one and walked off without being seen, the look on my daughter's face was priceless. She was beaming and had a joyful kick in her step. I love how she loves our kindness missions! For the next one, we sat down at a table for a minute, ready to scurry off and leave our envelope behind. The heavy sea of people around us made it challenging. My daughter is ... Read Full Story >>
Every month, I write letters to two Marines serving in Afghanistan who I don't know. I thank them for their service to our nation. While I don't know them, I hope that they know how much I appreciate them.
I recently moved to a new town in a new state. It's hard to learn where everything is. I have this really nice man putting in hardwood floors and stairs in my new house. He has been working very hard. His hands are all blistered from removing the tiles and preparing the floor for the hardwood - but he never complains. I was at the house yesterday while he was hard at work. I thought to myself that he might like a yummy lunch but I don't live in the house yet and so I don't have anything to cook with. So, I asked him if you would like a Subway sandwich as a treat from me. A huge smile came across his face and he said, "I would love one!" Being new to the area I didn't know where to go. He told me exactly how to get to the right place! I ... Read Full Story >>
Twenty years ago I lost my son. My friends decided that I needed to get out at least once a week and so we started going for coffee. Those friends helped me get through that terrible first year and still continue to help me. We decided that we would try and help people when we could. So, we take a collection each week and then decide what to do with it. We have paid for breakfasts, helped an elderly man fill his oil tank, bought Christmas gifts for needy families , helped fire victims, and sometimes just sent flowers to someone who was feeling blue. We usually do this in a way that no one knows and that makes it even better. We also have a yearly tea at my house the first Saturday in December to start the Christmas season. We have been Secret Santa to three people and each ... Read Full Story >>
Our neighbor grows the most amazing gardens! They are real works of art. The beauty she creates spills out even to her neighbor's yards with amazing displays of color.
It brings me such joy to serve her and others. I hope my happiness spills out in love and joy to others who, in turn, pay if forward with goodness all around our beautiful town.