A dear friend was only weeks away from death from cancer. She said she was sorry she wouldn't be able to see the ocean again and get her toes in the sand. We live in Central Virginia and she was unable to travel so the trip to the coast wasn't going to happen. Some of us decided the solution was pretty simple. We would surprise her and bring the beach to her. The beach included three tons of beautiful white sand dumped in her driveway, two cabanas, beach balls, pails, shovels, beach chairs, a variety of decorations and a fire pit for the bonfire on the beach at night. Of course we had s'mores on the beach. We also rented a sno-cone machine since it had gotten to the point where flavored ice was about all she was able to eat. We ... Read Full Story >>
She stood looking at every tag on the tree for over an hour. Ten years old and a heart of gold, she decided that she would give up one of her Christmas gifts to the boy named Joseph who needed clothes but wanted a skateboard.
Money was tight in our household but her argument was "Mom, I have a lot to be thankful for; maybe he doesn't have that much." That year when she unwrapped her empty gift box, she read the word Joseph in it. My daughter smiled her beautiful smile and we cried.
Ten years later, I lost that daughter in a car accident.
It's been 9 years and each Christmas I stand in front of the tree of angels at the store for an hour, searching for the "Josephs" who will get her gifts.
One year, a 15 year old girl wrote, "My baby brother needs clothes more than I need a photo album and film." So I got her box of scrapbook and photo supplies and I hope they had as much fun with it as I had shopping for her.
I know my Angel girl was watching over me that year. The girl's name was Johanna ... the same as my daughter.
For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of going abroad to do something worthwhile, a voluntary thing, either working with kids or animals... and have been spoiled for choices with the kind of organised things you can pick, different causes, different countries. It's very expensive though. And I was puzzling over how can I be able to afford the flights and costs and everything. And impatience took over me. I thought "I can't wait to do something, I have to do something worthwhile NOW!!" So I just got up off my bed, went downstairs and started making sandwiches and put some crisps and some biscuits and an apple into about 6 little disposable picnic bags, called a couple of friends and told them my idea - "we're going into the city to give this food out to the homeless!" My friends loved the idea and we ... Read Full Story >>
I was doing some last-minute shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. A nicely dressed little girl was excitedly looking through the Barbie dolls as well, with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep going through their ritual of "do I have enough?" As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokemon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were obviously rather worn, and wearing a jacket that was probably a couple of sizes too small. He too had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so at ... Read Full Story >>
I had to come on to UC Irvine's campus to accompany a friend to a meeting. In the parking lot, I enlisted him in my scheme with a Smile card and short explanation. We were each supposed to make 1 person smile, pass on the card, and meet up to share the story of what happened. He was dumbfounded and at a complete loss of ideas for what to do. To top it off, we were in an upscale shopping area of the campus surrounded by young, smiling, mostly affluent people. "No worries," I said as I pulled out my laptop to look for a wireless signal that we could use to hunt for ideas. The only problem was that there was no empty tables to sit at. That's when we spotted him: an older man by sitting by himself while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. "Excuse me sir, ... Read Full Story >>
"I have a package for Jonathan," Tom says. "Um, ok, let me page him," the person behind the counter says. This is an independent book store, and they generally don't get random deliveries like this. Wearing a buttoned shirt over a pair of jeans and black sneakers, Tom might've been taken for an errand guy. A closer look, though, and Tom's mystique is evident with the serenity on his face and the depth of his voice and the span of his geniune smile. On paper, Tom has a ton of accomplishments to his name, but in spirit, he identifies to something subtler -- "I grew up in love with stories of the invisible worlds that surround us, whispering to us of greater potentials than most of us ordinarily recognize. I have learned about silence and the world’s soul through years of walking in the woods, on mountains, and ... Read Full Story >>
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
It was Neil's 10th birthday party. After a dozen close friends super-soaked each other with water and stuffed themselves with food and cake, this sunny August morning party would be about a different kind of fun -- fun of giving. Today, we decided to "tag" people with free car washes. First up were the signs. Taking all the art supplies and glitter and fancy colored pens, the kids sprawled all over the ground to create couple of large "Free Car Wash" signs; no matter how hard they tried to color inside the lines, these signs had "we are kids" written all over it. Soon enough, we gathered up the sponges, towels and soap and headed to the driveway. "Free Car Wash," we practiced our cheer on practically every car that drove by. To get our act together, though, we rolled in one of our own cars on the driveway. ... Read Full Story >>
Many people spend their New Year’s Eve, getting dressed up and dancing their way to midnight. We decided to do things a bit differently. We filled a backpack with clothes, shoes and other goodies and headed out to the railway station. The first person we spotted was a 15-16 year old boy picking up discarded plastic bottles on the platform. We called him over and started up a conversation. We had a discrete look at his hands and noticed he had long fingernail. We explained that it was important to keep short nails (studies have shown that disease occurrence in the poor can be reduced by 30% by keeping short fingernails) and then the two of us began cutting them for him. When we were done, we offered him a chocolate bar, which made him look at us suspiciously. (In India, there is a fear that people cast spells on food and then lure children away). ... Read Full Story >>
well, im millie, im 15 years old, and im going to tell you about my daddy =) i dont see him much anymore, but i learnt so much when i was with him. i remember one time, dad, my little brother and i were on our way back to sydney on a plane...we were stuck inside the plane for an hour and a half after we landed because some trailer wouldnt work. anyway, a little girl and her brother were sitting in frount of us, they were about 4 or 5, and they were afraid of being stuck in the plane...the little girl was crying. So my dad started to do "magic" tricks, he had a yo yo and was making it "dissapear" and making funny faces, in no time at all, my dad, me, and my little brother had a small audience, the people next to us and the people behind and in frount. the parents of the kids thanked us, and we havnt seen them since, but i learnt from my dad that day...Laughter is the best medicine.
I have been going through a difficult patch recently and a friend told me this story when we spoke one evening. I am sharing the story with you because it gave me a little bit of hope when I was in need of a positive perspective. I hope that the ripples of this lovely story give you some hope if you need it too. He said that he was standing at the entrance of his building that evening, on his way home from work. He was talking to the building porter, when an old couple entered to go towards their flat. They stopped to talk to the porter and since my friend was standing there too, he overheard their conversation. Earlier in the day, the old couple was trying to stop a taxi to take them somewhere. The old man was severely handicapped and could barely walk without any assistance. A taxi ... Read Full Story >>
I work in media and often get some pretty great perks in my job. I wanted to share one of them with you - probably one of the hardest acts of kindness I have done yet!!! But it was worth it!!! I was at work yesterday and was about to leave when my supervisor walked into my office and handed me an envelope. She had two tickets to the U2 concert that was playing that night in her hand and said they were mine if I wanted them. I LOVE U2, they are my favourite band, and I quickly said yes very excited about the night ahead of me! Then I wondered who to take with me. My boyfriend is a big fan and would have loved to go, but 2 of my sisters are massive fans and I know they had been trying to get tickets (with no luck). So... ... Read Full Story >>
I am a middle school counselor. Earlier this week, I had a very caring, compassionate student tell me about a project she has undertaken. She said she has started a collection for supplies for the troops to make their holiday's more joyful. I asked her what organization she was doing this through and she was confused by my question. Finally, she said, "No, see my sister who is in 5th grade and I are doing this on our own!" I was amazed that they had thought this up on their own. I asked their mother about it and she said that they had come to her to tell her about it.
I was happy to help her. I told her to put a box in the main office with a sign and a list of supplies (which she had already typed up!). She brought the box in the next day and students have already begun to add to it.
What a beautiful thing these kids are doing. I am so proud of them!
I just finished my Human Services practicum and as much as I loved the class and the instructor, I was dissapointed with my classmates. It was a small class - just 12 of us - and the other students took advantage of the instructor's kindness with late work, excuses for not completing assignments, etc. During the last 3 weeks of class, she was expressing her dissatisfaction and how she was going to have to re-think how she taught the class next semester. I really felt bad for her as she is a great inspiration to me and I could relate to her pain. In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a story about two guys walking down the beach covered with starfish. One guy is throwing the starfish back into the ocean as they walk. The other guy says "There are thousands of them you can't possibly make a difference." At that ... Read Full Story >>
Across the street from my house live an older couple who are raising their 4 grandchildren, 2 of which are 13-year-old girls.
I always by clothes and shoes and most still have tags on them. I always give stuff away and this time a light flashed in my head - the girls across the street . So I filled up 2 hefty trash bags full of shoes, clothes, purses, shampoo, everything. I didn't want to embarass anybody including myself. I like to do things when nobody knows it's me.
So at the crack of dawn, I tied big beautiful yellow ribbons on the bags, went across the street, and put them over the fence. Later that day, the girls were going in and out of the house trying on all the clothes and shoes . It was like a fashion show and they were so excited - laughing and jumping up and down. Seeing those girls so happy was awesome!
$150,000 raised from the Walkathon!
I would like to thank everyone for coming out
today to the Copprome Walkathon. I can't
thank everyone enough! We had over 700 people
With the combined funds of SHH, CCC, and William and Mary team, at the event we raised at least $150,000!! This is amazing, all the hard work everyone has put in is remarkable! This money will be used to pay off land debts and begin self-sustainable programs at the Copprome orphanage.
Today I saw groups of people coming together for a great cause, to help save orphans. When you are performing a good and just cause help seems to come out of the woodwork and I saw that today.
I thank everyone soo much for donating, walking
and supporting the cause!
"Orphans walk miles a day to search the trash
dumps for leftover food, and rotten cabbage, to
eat and give to their younger siblings, today we
are walking in this walkathon so they dont have
My husband and I own a lawn care company and so many times we would pass this house that was very unkept as far as the lawn was concerned. Last week, we decided to stop in and see if we could help. Nobody would come to the door for the longest time. Finally, a little old lady came to the door, very reluctant to open the door. We explained to her that we did not want to harm her in anyway. After a few minutes of talking we asked her if we could cut her grass for her? She was quick to answer, "I cannot pay for my grass to be cut, my sister is living with me dying of cancer and it takes everything we make combined to pay for her medicines etc." We had indicated to her that we would just like to do this for her and her ... Read Full Story >>
When we do our weekly grocery shopping, our daughter Sarah selects one item to purchase, which will then be put aside to give to the local food bank.We are teaching Sarah that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.
During our family’s Friday night observance of the Sabbath, we put coins into our box. Sarah takes a handful of coins and, after telling us something she is thankful for or has enjoyed that day, she places a coin in her homemade box. When the box is full, we donate the money to a local charity selected by Sarah.
My birthday was coming up last week and I was thinking of ways I could pay forward some kindness on the day to send good wishes out in the world. And then on my birthday itself, right in front of my eyes, three different opportunities came up one after the other, to support my colleagues at the charity I work at in different ways. One girl decided she wanted to give back to the charity that gave her so much both as a child when she was growing up and also as an adult by employing her to deliver services to other children. So, she's going on a trek and raising money for our charity. She is now part of a really amazing program that works with the most at-risk young people in our area, many of whom have already been kicked out of 3 schools, carried a knife to school, ... Read Full Story >>
In December, I went to the Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Philips Square. As I was sitting at the side of the rink taking off my skates, a little boy about 6 or 7 walks up and asks "Are those your skates?"
I answered ‘Yes’ and wondered if he thought I had stolen his skates, since I wear boys hockey skates. He said: "Oh, I don't have skates." For some reason, I blurted, "Do you want mine?"
I told him to first ask his mom. He ran away excited and his mom asked if it was really okay [and I said yes.] He was jumping up and down in excitement. After he put on the skates, I watched him take off with a big smile.
Two weeks later I was in the recycling room in our condo. Residents leave items for others to salvage. I found two Bauer boxes with new skates, both in my size!
I gave one pair to a friend who was there the evening I gave the boy my used skates. She shook her head and said: “You give away one pair, and you get back two”!
I have a friend whom I talk to a lot and love to share things with. Since she is a bit smaller than me, I'm usually giving her the clothes I outgrow. She doesn't have much money so she really appreciates them. Anyway, she had a horrible past, her parents were abusive to her both mentally and physically. As a result, she has very low self esteem and is very fragile.
A couple of nights ago, her fiance and his friend came up to bring her an early valentine's day present, and then without warning, his friend calls her ugly! The poor thing was heart broken, and her whole past came rushing into her head, making her sob for hours. I felt sooo bad. I didn't do well trying to cheer her up over the phone... but what can you do?
So I thought of something. Everyone loves hearing that they have good qualities in them, especially when they don't think they have any. I decided to write 100 qualities I love about her. To show her that she is loved and beautiful.
I finished it today and decorated it with colored pencils and crayons. I'm going to give it to her tomorrow morning. I hope she likes it. :)
My friend, Gayla and I were traveling to Phoenix from Chicago. I misread the ticket, and we missed our flight. I was busy being upset about my failed plans when Gayla suggested we just fly wherever we want instead, since we had the time. I think about missing my flight to Phoenix and going to San Francisco instead. It taught me a lot about being open to what is, not attached to what I want, and how things unexpected can happen. Long story but while Gayla and I were in San Fran, this strange thing happened. It made me think maybe I should start to trust the natural course of things more, instead of always thinking I know what is best and trying to control things. Did I see an angel or go or santa while in San Francisco? I don’t know what he was, but he was not of this ... Read Full Story >>
One of my favorite anonymous acts is to pay for meals in a restaurant. A few years ago I was at a Ruth's Chris restaurant with my project team for a team Christmas dinner. Where I was sitting, my view of the other dinners was via a mirror in front of me. It was a Wednesday night about 3 weeks before Christmas so there were only about 6 other table occupied. About 10 minutes before we left, a young couple came in dressed pretty formally. I happened to look in the mirror just as the woman looked at the menu. I saw her lean over to her date and whisper "It's so expensive!". I usually pick a table that's already eating their dinners so I can get their check from the restaurant. As we left I asked the host to get the manager. I told him I wanted to pay for their ... Read Full Story >>
I read a lot of spirit and intention books. I remember reading Wayne Dyer one night and in his Power of Intention book, he wrote something along the lines of if you can’t give a homeless person money, give him a smile. The other day I was waiting for the light to change in downtown San Francisco and there was a homeless guy who was walking around with his sign and he went from car to car (I was the 3rd one in). The cars reacted as they usually do, just closing the windows and ignoring him, one car moved up, you know the drill. As he came to my car, I looked him in the eye and I gave him a HUGE smile, I said I’m sorry I can’t give you money and he just stood there smiling at me. There was probably a 10 second pause before the light turned ... Read Full Story >>
A couple we know who have fallen on hard times went out of town over the weekend we think to probably regroup and try to re-establish their love for each other so they can weather the adversities they have recently encountered. They are the type of people who will not ask for help and even if it is offered they will not accept it, at least not willingly.
We decided to do something nice for them by doing a quick landscaping job on their entrance walkway. They have a nice paved walkway but on either side it was just bare dirt, not very attractive. We went out and bought some flowers and some red cinders and replanted the walkway and then spread out the cinders for the asthetic look and hopefully to make weeding easier with less weeds able to grow through.
We think it looks great and hope that when they drive in their driveway they wonder if they are at the right house. We feel it is important for them to know that they are special people who have friends who love them.
Today, my friends and I had an early release day at school and got out at about 11:30.
We had decided to try to incorporate random acts of kindness into our lives last Sunday at our meeting for our charity group, Minga.
We brought sidewalk chalk to school and walked for a half hour from school into town writing nice messages on the sidewalk all the way. We came up with quite a few like, "Smile, it's sunny", "Peace", "Have a great day!", Give someone a hug", and "Be happy".
It was so rewarding to see people smile when they saw them and it's thrilling how such a small gesture can really make a difference!
Now, whenever one of us is walking home, we're always going to continue on the tradition!
I go to the Hospital every Saturday, in my bright costume, and long eyelashes,and an august clown face. I hand the patient a 4" Love Pillow.. hand made by myself, and a couple of friends.
I say, "This is a Love Pillow, It is to remind you that you have a Heavely Comforter,
God is still in charge, you know,
And He loves you so much,
He knows what your needs are even before you ask.
He will never leave you, He loves you with an Unending Love, And I love you too !!!"
--Tedi the Love Clown
I have been clowning for 24 years now, and this has been my most important experience. I see between 80 and 120 patients each week and wouldn't miss it for the life in me.
After 11 years of being "lucky to live Hawaii" my wife and I are moving to Florida to take care of my Mother. It's a real treat for my wife, who is a local girl who has never been to the mainland.
To minimize expenses we decided to mail the essentials from Hawaii to Florida -- the cheapest solution we could come up with. This also meant parting with things that we have held onto. Things like my cassette tape collection, along with my vinyl record collection. I'm guessing that I probably had about 300+ cassette tapes, mostly 60-70's rock and around 100 or so vinyl LP's, many bootlegs and a lot of great cover art.
I called our local radio station and told my friend DC, the morning jock, that I'd like to donate them to a listener who would appreciate them and give them a good home. He put it on the air, said that the first caller would get the cassettes and within minutes, a listener named "Spike" was over joyed to get them!
The following day DC gave away my vinyl collection and I'm glad they will have a home where they will be listened to.
My friend & I were at the school games. Her son Andrew has cerebal palsy but he was insistent that he was going in the races. In the flat race he ran well, but came in last.
In a short pace of time the egg & spoon race was on.
What we saw next brought tears to our eyes.
The school principle handed Andrew his the spoon with the egg glued onto it. Needless to say Andrew came in at the Number 1 and our tears were mixed with laughter and so much joy.
An act of kindness makes us all winners.
On my way to work,my eyes wander to various sights
There always sits a beggar man next to a shop
He sits outstretching his arms
I dig in my pocket to give him alms
The beggar man is my everyday sight
He gives me a smile that is just so right
We are blessed with everything in life
Yet we do not smile as if there is a strife
The beggar has wealth nor health
Yet the smile on his face is heartfelt
For sometime the beggar man is seen nowhere
I feel something missing,
I look around and stare
The shopkeeper tells me he died
Silently I pause,he will no more be in my sight
I will miss him,I do not know why
Seeing him was a habit,
I feel to cry
The beggar man taught me to smile and to forget lifes worry awhile
***based on a true story