Stories Matching 'Generosity' Tag (200 matches)

Pano's Basement in Bosnia

It was the early 1990s.  During the bleak years of the Bosnian war, the Serbian Army surrounded the city seeking it's surrender and the expulsion of all non-Serbians.  The residents, with a minimal volunteer and civilian militia, were unorganized but mounted a spectacularly brave defense.  From around the world, many people converged to help them.  It was an almost magnetic pull to serve a valiant and vulnerable expression of our human experience.  I was one amongst those who came. Fueled by Hemingway and feeling much like the Spanish Civil War, international brigade volunteers were driving ambulances around town.  And yet it was resident foreigners who were causing the most distress in their hurry to leave the besieged city.  The strong passports allowed most to escape the darkest days, and to sojourn on the Dalmation coast filling their memoirs with a few notes, before going home. A few of us, though, stayed during ... Read Full Story >>

4744 Reads
  • Posted by hopeful
  • Aug 19, 2008
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If Only President Lincoln Had Some Smile Cards...

Before he became president, Abraham Lincoln spent twenty years as an unsuccessful Illinois lawyer -- at least he was unsuccessful in financial terms. But when you measure the good he did, he was very rich indeed. Legends are often untrue, but Lincoln was the real thing. During his years as a lawyer, there were hundreds of documented examples of his kindness, honesty and decency. For example, Lincoln didn't like to charge people much who were as poor as he was. Once a man sent him twenty-five dollars, but Lincoln sent him back ten of it, saying he was being too generous. He was known at times to convince his clients to settle their issue out of court, saving them a lot of money and earning himself nothing. An old woman in dire poverty, the widow of a Revolutionary soldier, was charged $200 for getting her $400 pension. Lincoln sued the pension agent ... Read Full Story >>

6922 Reads

Folded Napkins For Stevie

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy.  But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one.  I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome.  I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to ... Read Full Story >>

6928 Reads

The Wisdom of Old Ted

I placed Ted's ashes in the ocean and watched as they made a rainbow before dissolving into the sea. In my hand was an envelope with my name on it. I reflected on my friendship with Old Ted, over the past two years prior to his death. It was a sunny mid-day in Tucson. I had been attending a teaching and we were on lunch break. I was the first to arrive at the Furrs restaurant. I was getting out of my car when I saw him. An elderly man in his eighties, thin, tall, and walked with the gait of someone who knew how to put many miles behind them in a day. He came up to me and said, "I'm hungry can you feed me?" "Of course." I said. He looked me over, I was dressed in my red and yellow monks robes. "What are you?" he asked quite matter ... Read Full Story >>

11.0K Reads

An Anonymous Wedding Gift

When my sister got married some time back, we were all excited.  After her honeymoon she invited me over to her house to help her unwrap the gifts and send some thank you notes to all the people that came to the wedding party.  As a side note, my sister works at Standard Bank in Malawi. Going through the gifts, we came across this precious exotic ice bucket in silver and gold.  I had never seen such a beautiful ice bucket.  Inside it was a note that read, "When I heard you were getting married, I asked around for the details and somehow managed to get here.  You might not know me but I know you.  I am a regular customer at Standard Bank and you helped me a lot when I was applying for a loan.  I will never forget what you did, God bless you.  -- Anonymous" When I showed my sister the note, she couldn't remember who the person ... Read Full Story >>

5630 Reads

A Lesson In Receiving Graciously

I often walk from work (near Pier 39 in San Francisco) to the Embarcadero BART station, where I catch a train back to the East Bay. Several times, I passed a gentleman who I presumed was homeless.  He had a lot of his possessions tied down to his bike and held a cardboard sign that said he was a vet who doesn't drink or do drugs, but would appreciate anything that could be given.  He usually has headphones on and is listening to the radio. He is always minding his own business, often reading as well.  I've never seen him actively "panhandling." Several times, while I was passing him, I realized I had some food with me, so I turned around and offered him that food (most recently, a blueberry muffin).  He took off his headphones, and said "Umm, blueberry muffins are my favorite!" with a big smile and a gleam in his eye.  ... Read Full Story >>

5516 Reads

What's In The Bag?

Sometimes I am witness to acts of selfless generosity that are nearly invisible and done with no thought that anyone would see them other than the person to whom the act is directed. Here's an example.It comes from our little artist breakfast group that we host every week. Taya, who is a remarkable artist, is moving to New Mexico. She's 75 and has decided she wants to start a new chapter in her life. So she has just completed the purchase of a property in a tiny community in New Mexico where she knows no one. She is leaving Oakland where she has lived for perhaps 25 or 30 years and, of course, leaving her circle of friends. This in itself is astonishing. One of our group, Edythe, had mentioned [only mentioned] how she is fond of the beauty of coins, not for their monetary value, but just for their beauty. This morning ... Read Full Story >>

5229 Reads

Nightshift at the Marriott

It had been a long, hot August day. We'd driven over six hundred miles and it was nearing 11 pm as we entered Kingman, Arizona. We pulled off and picked a motel. Much to my surprise, it being mid-week, the deskman informed me they were full. Next place, same story. This time, I asked the clerk for suggestions.      "Try the Hampton Inn."      At the Hampton we were greeted with, "We're booked. Sorry."     "What's going on?" I asked. "Is there some kind of convention in town?"     "A tour bus just pulled in with 60 people," he said. "Plus lots of people are heading up to the Grand Canyon. It's an unusual evening. You might try the Best Western. I think they had one room left about an hour ago."      We tried the Best Western. No luck.      By that time, we'd traveled to the west end of ... Read Full Story >>

11.9K Reads

The Best Way I Ever Spent $100

A few months ago I decided to take my daughter on a little fun weekend trip to Melbourne (Australia). We enjoyed a beautiful day at St Kilda beach and, after hours of walking around, decided to sit down on a bench near Lunar Park to have a little rest. We noticed a duffle bag behind a bush but there was no one around so we assumed it must have been stolen and dumped behind the bush. There were clothes, books, university documents and lots of other bits and pieces in the bag. We found a wallet with some cards and ID but no cash. The bag belonged to an 18-year-old girl. She had put a tag on her bag with her address and phone number on it, so I called to let the owner know I'd found her bag and arrange some way to return it to her. The girl's mother ... Read Full Story >>

7324 Reads
  • Posted by alluneedislove
  • Sep 10, 2009
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A Perfect Stranger Restored My Faith

Anymore, it seems like all we ever hear about are the horrible things people do to others. I can't even turn on the news at night (we get Kansas City, Mo. news) without hearing of at least 3 people who were shot and killed plus numerous other acts of violence. Also, with families everywhere pinching pennies everywhere they can, not everyone is feeling as generous as they normally would be. But I found out that even in tough times, people can do simple things that might greatly improve a stranger's day. Not long ago, I was having one of those end of the week, everything fall apart, rotten days. I had a hard day at work, my week didn't go well and problems just kept popping up everywhere. Things broke or quit, unexpected bills came in and I was struggling to keep from loosing my cool from all the stress. Then ... Read Full Story >>

5758 Reads
  • Posted by Katie H.
  • Oct 6, 2009
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Sharing Our Home With Children In Need

My husband and I have been hosting children in need of orthopedic surgery from Belize since 1993.  Our local Rotary district and Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis provide the air fare and medical care.  Some say that we are so wonderful to be host parents...maybe, but we are the ones who are blessed to have the privilege to care for these darling children. 

Our children have had the opportunity to see the world in a different view than most of their peers and we are all grateful for being chosen to share our home with others less fortunate. Now that that they are adults, our three children host these children too.

If you live within a few hours from a hospital, you too can help others with your immeasureable time and talent (and there are always other experienced volunteers to back you up if needed).

3452 Reads
  • Posted by stoltzcm
  • Nov 13, 2009
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The 93 Dollar Club

REDWOOD CITY, CA - Imagine this: on Aug 11 shopper Jenni Ware gets 207 dollars of groceries at Trader Joe’s and realizes only at the checkout line that she has lost her wallet. Carolee Hazard, in line behind the distressed woman, graciously offers to cover the tab! Jenni goes home and sends Carolee a check for 300 dollars, and suggests that her benefactress treat herself to a massage with the leftover cash. Carolee turned to her online Facebook community for advice on what they thought she should do with the 93 dollar gift. The idea Carolee choose was to donate the surplus to a local food bank. Carolee not only sent in the money that Jenni had given her to Second Harvest Food Bank, but matched that amount herself. So did a Facebook friend. And another. And another. Kids have pitched in 93 cents. And since the story has been on Facebook’s ... Read Full Story >>

11.3K Reads

A Lesson in Sharing Kindness with Humility

I had made up my mind a long time ago that I would not give a homeless person money, because I could never be sure what that money would be used for.  I did not want it to support any unhealthy habits.  Instead, I decided, I would buy them a sandwich, a cold drink on a hot day, a cup of coffee, whatever I could manage. I was out and about running errands recently and saw a homeless man, with his shopping cart full of his only possessions, asleep outside of a Starbucks.  My parking meter was about to expire, so I dropped another few coins in and went into the Starbucks.  I decided I would buy this man lunch.  I purchased a sandwich and soda. Just as I was leaving the store two policemen were approaching the man.  Apparently the shop owners had complained of his vagrancy and the police were ... Read Full Story >>

10.6K Reads
  • Posted by elk312
  • Nov 29, 2009
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A Gift From An Old Man With No Legs, To A Young Man Without Shoes

It had been a long time since I had been to Jacksonville, Florida. I had driven to town hoping to see the old barber shop where my hair had been cut as a child.  The orphanage would bring us kids downtown for a free haircut by the new barbers being trained. As I wondered around, I was a little disappointed when I saw the old buildings that I had known as a young boy were now gone.  Every one of them had been replaced with new high-rise buildings.   As it was very early and hardly anyone was on the street, I parked my truck and decided to try and locate a telephone to see if the Florida Barber College had moved to a new location.  Hopefully it was sill in business.  As it was rather cold, I put on my coat and began searching for a telephone.  After walking about a ... Read Full Story >>

12.0K Reads

Unexpected Thoughtfulness of a Stranger

A couple of years ago, when my son was just starting to toddle, I found myself at the local Sunday bootfair.  My son and I were wandering up and down the field, when we saw a table that had some toy cars on.  I said to my little boy that since he had been such a good boy, he could choose one of the 50p cars and I would buy it for him. After some deliberation, he chose a car and it was only when I went to pay that I realised that I had 46p or a £10 note.  I tried to pay with the £10 and the lady asked if I had anything smaller.  I tipped out the 46p into my hand and said that it was all the change that I had.  The lady at the stall only gave me a glance as I held it out to ... Read Full Story >>

7893 Reads

Teenager Fills a Neighbor's Empty Cupboards

When I was 13 years old I used to babysit for the lady next door. Every 2 weeks she would pay me $80. I always looked forward to getting paid so I could go to the mall with my friends on Saturday and spend my money that took me two weeks to earn. One Friday evening I heard my Mom on the phone with our neighbor  and I heard her say a few times, "Oh that is horrible,"  After my Mom got off the phone I asked what was wrong. She said that the neighbors had no food in their house and the she didn't know what she was gonna feed her daughter.  Her husband had spent their money on beer and got angry after he came home because his wife asked for money to buy groceries.  He began to pull dishes out of the cupboards and threw them at the wall. So, on top of not having any groceries, ... Read Full Story >>

7568 Reads

Walking a Mile in a Homeless Man's Shoes

This was a wonderful experience. It happened about three years ago and it has had a strong impact on me. I would like to pay tribute here to two men I do not know personally but whose actions gave a new meaning to the words kindness and generosity. I was walking down a busy street in the financial district on a cold, windy day in early winter. A barefoot homeless man, probably about 60, was begging for change on a street corner. A BMW pulled up on the other side of the street and stopped and an immaculately dressed executive stepped out of the car.  He was a tall, slim and imposing gentleman with silver harid, he was probably about 60 yrs old.  He was wearing a blue pinstriped business suit, deep red silk tie, white shirt, mirror-shined black shoes,  silver wristwatch, black overcoat, leather gloves, the works. Dapper, dignified, distinguished. He walked briskly and puposefully across the street ... Read Full Story >>

39.1K Reads

Bobby's Dime

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. Try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend." Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be ... Read Full Story >>

4163 Reads

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 >>

6548 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 >>

5896 Reads

Pay-It-Forward Chain Reaction at a Restaurant

My four grown children were all home visiting this weekend so we decided to go out for brunch.  The centre of attention was my toddler granddaughter.  She had never had pancakes before so we were excited about her trying them. We always try to make our family meals special so this time we decided to order every kind of pancake they had and asked that they be served on one big family-style platter! We each took turns digging in and also feeding it to the baby, who loved them.  There was a lovely environment at the table and lots of smiles.  As I was looking around the table, enjoying this wonderful scene, a gentleman at a nearby table caught my eye.  He was eating his breakfast alone quietly, in the corner.  He frequently looked over and smiled as my granddaughter continued to entertain us all.  Suddenly, I had a great idea. I dug ... Read Full Story >>

40.3K Reads
  • Posted by mbeal10
  • Feb 14, 2010
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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 >>

5811 Reads
  • Posted by cabbagepatch
  • Feb 26, 2010
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A Little Girl With A Big Heart

I heard a great story this morning about a young girl with a very big heart. A friend was telling me a story about her customer's daughter.   The daughter goes to an expensive private school where she has a friend, who is on a full scholarship at this school.  This friend has very limited means and her mother is an immigrant from China and her father is an alcholic.  Although the girl's mother works very hard, they can barely make ends meet.  This girl is very bright and gifted at music and that's how she got the scholarship from this school.  The stipend also includes an allowance for things like lunch, school uniform and music lessons.    The daughter became friends with this girl and would secretly talk to her at lunch (secretly, in order to avoid the other kids teasing her).  On her birthday last month, she invited her new friend to her birthday ... Read Full Story >>

11.3K 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 >>

4438 Reads

Turning Fear Into True Compassion

This is a true story that happened to my friend Rekha... Rekha maintains an exercise regime that includes a brisk walk every morning around some gardens in our neighbourhood.  One morning, she was walking earlier then usual, daybreak was only just beginning to set in and it was still relatively dark. As she was walking, a cyclist came up to her, snatched her handbag (containing her keys, phone and credit cards) and sped off with it! She ran after him shouting "thief - thief".  A man further ahead must have heard her, or seen what had happened.  He was washing a car and had a bucket of water with him.  He grabbed the bucket and threw the water on to the cyclist. The cyclist, caught off guard, drove off the pavement and his bike fell over.  The other people in the park rushed over and surrounded him.  My friend Rekha was worried that the people would ... Read Full Story >>

47.3K Reads

Quiet Acts Of Kindness In Her Hour of Sorrow

I work at a Care Center where most of the people are elderly. About a year and a half ago a 59 year-old lady came to us who had cancer. She had to have her right leg amputated and she didn't have a family to take care of her after the operation. This lady was a quiet lady who mostly stayed to herself. But in the afternoons, when she was feeling well, she would go visit the other residents in the home. She would visit a lady who was blind and read to her. She would go into the room of a young girl with severe cerebral palsy and sing to her. In her quiet gentle way, she would go about the Care Center doing good. She passed away last Wednesday and after her passing, stories are coming forward of her quiet acts of kindness in her own hour of sorrow. We never know what impact ... Read Full Story >>

6236 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 >>

5398 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 >>

4862 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 >>

4570 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 >>

6984 Reads