Locksmith story ... from last afternoon. A friend of mine loses her purse and all the keys in it. She didn't have any copies of her key, so her white, 4-door car is idly stranded outside my house. I called up a locksmith, to create another key (apparently they can do it in ten minutes -- so much for the illusion of security). In thirty minutes of my phone call, a young man in his thirties rolls through with "Grant" written on the left side of his shirt and "AA Locks" on the right side. He asked me for proof of registration for the car and I told him it wasn't my car. After some hesitation he called his boss on the cell, to check if that's ok; eventually he said yes, figuring that I wasn't really the type of guy who would car-jack a 1992 Toyota Corolla. :) There's a ... Read Full Story >>
About a year back, I got off the train and was waiting for my ride to come pick me up. Suddenly I felt the inspiration to write a poem. I looked around and found a pen, but no paper. There was not even a scrap of paper in site. Bummer! So I sat there for a moment in a predicament, alone with the stunted inspiration. Then looked around a little more. It turned out that in my wallet I had a dollar bill. Looking at it a little more thoroughly, it became clear that there was very little writing surface on the dollar. But I could write something... So I took my pen and wrote something like this: "This is a very special dollar - given to you with love. Do not keep it. Do not spend it. Pass it on. Give it to someone else with love, and watch ... Read Full Story >>
Last october my mother became sick, I got scared we was gonna loose her so my husband and I made a very quick decision to leave our business and home to move 280 miles where my mom was. We left everyone without saying goodbye, fearing no one would have understood our reason. We were in a financial bind too, our electricty had been shut off and rent was behind. We have two young boys. We got scared and just left. Left our home, our friends that we loved and 85% of our belongings. Two of our friends were very worried about us, calling leaving messages and sending letters. We felt so bad for what we had done. I finally realized what we had done and were doing was very unexceptable, our friends deserved an explanation. So I called, and when asked how we were doing I just cried. We ... Read Full Story >>
Where I lived I noticed a widow that struggles so much to take care of her three children.
She goes out early in the moring and comes back late before the children will have something to eat.
In an envelope I drop a smile card and N4,000.00, which I think will be able to feed them for some time. I left it at her door post.
The following morning she came out calling everyone around saying "God had sent an angel to bless me with some money that will be able to take care of me and my children for sometime".
A friend of mine in Chicago sent me an e-mail with her description of an uplifting event that she witnessed... "And talking about beautiful...yesterday I was witness to such a heartwarming random act of kindness. It will forever be imprinted in my mind. I had to run downtown to help Bonnie out for a few hours (it was not part of my original plans for Monday). On my bus ride back to the train station, we were in gridlock traffic right by the opera house. As I stare out my window a handsome young man (25ish to 30ish) walks out of the side door of the Opera House. It's cold and windy outside. He has on a heavy army-issued jacket and a scarf wrapped around his neck. As he's walking towards the bridge there are three homeless men with their cups, each sitting maybe 15 feet from one other. The young man ... Read Full Story >>
Each week, I give my elderly neighbor a ride to the store, when I am going. She keeps trying to pay me, and I keep refusing. I tell her that it doesn't cost any more for her to ride with me. Last week, she brought an envelope saying, "I have something for you." I said, "If it has money in it, I don't want it." But, she laid it on a stand. Later, I opened it to find a 'thank you' card with $10.00 in it. That night, I stopped at her house to give some extra fried chicken that I had. I took a plain card, put the $10.00 in it along with a 'Smile' card, and when leaving, left it stuck in her storm door. The next day, stopping by to return my dish, she said, "Look, I know you put that letter in my door this morning, ... Read Full Story >>
I traveled to Ethiopia last year with my business partner and president of OLA's Exotic Coffee & Tea. We are a coffee company that imports coffee from Africa and traveled to Ethiopia to visit the coffee plantations and speak with the government about investing. One day our entourage traveled about 4 hours from the capital to visit the Yirgacheffe coffee region. There we were looking to survey some coffee processing plants to possibly purchase. It rained heavily that day and there was a flash flood in a nearby village that we had to travel through to reach the farm. After we surveyed our last coffee farm, we climbed into the 4 cars we traveled in and began the long journey back to our hotels. As we were leaving though, through the rain and soggy conditions, Ola our CEO waved his hands to stop the cars. ... Read Full Story >>
As a single mom, it is often hard for me to provide those little "extras" my children seem to want.
About four weeks my 11 yr old son came home from school to inform that the musical instrument he had made from recycled products was chosen to be sent to the NYS Green Nation Recycling Competition in Albany.
There was a note from his teacher informing that my son was invited to attend the competition but that parents were expected to fund this two day event for their children.
My son was estatic, but what was I to do. I didn't have that kind of money, this trip was going to cost $300!
Well, my son immediately began do odds jobs for family memebers so he could earn some money towards the trip, and I began to work as much OT at work to put a little extra in as well.
We prayed every night that somehow we will raise the money for my son to attend.
Last we got a telephone call from a member of the Deputy Sheriff's Association in our area, and this wonderful group of men and women have come together to sponsor my son so he can attend this event!!!!!
My son is truly blessed.
I love to do the random things like pay for the person behind me in the fast food drive thru.... This week after church we decided to go out to eat with our kids in tow. Our family consists of 6 children, some adopted. We went to a local restaurant. We were seated next to a family of 4 children, and I noticed the young mother had a bandana on her head and appeared to have a hair loss issue, it immediatly touched my heart. I told my husband I want to pay their bill. He looked around, I think he was looking for a lonely person in the corner, then I pointed to the family next to us. When he did a head count I thought he was going to have a heart attack. Our income is stretched as it was and here I am suggesting we pay for another bill. After ... Read Full Story >>
I have a five year old son and two 18 month old twins and especially at Christmas time I wanted them to truely understand what the act of giving was all about. So I made a list of people that were less likely to recieve gifts or love and let my five year old chose who we would give gifts to.
He chose homeless people. We purchased some large inexpensive gift bags and filled them with canned goods, used warm socks, new toothbrushes, bars of soap, candy bars, and many other surprises, but to my surprise my son came in with his piggy bank and said they could have his money. We filled several plastic bags with coins and I slipped in a few dollar bills, and we put all the bags in the trunk of the car.
It was several days before we saw a homeless person pushing a cart down the main blvd. and fortunately my son was with me and we pulled over and gave the bag to a man who started to cry when we wished him Merry Christmas. I have never forgotten the look of gratitude on his face and neither has my son.
We have now done this for three years on my sons request.
He took it out from around his neck and leaned down a bit, his eyes looking straight into mine. "Would you mind?" he asks. Looking at him through his eye glasses, I smile and say, "Of course not, Lee. It would be an honor." And with that, I was garlanded -- probably for the first time in my life -- with a simple necklace. Lee is the epitome of a happy-go-lucky guy. He used to be a trucker, I think. If there were one word to describe him, it would be happy. Or joyous. And what a pure heart. In one of those fits of unadulterated compassion, he just felt like giving me something. So he takes off his own necklace and offers it to me. It was far from an ordinary necklace. In a small town of Oregon, Lee met a Japanese-American fellow selling small hand-made, glass items. While conversing with ... Read Full Story >>
It was a typical winter morning, just a couple of weeks before Christmas 2005: While most people were warming up their cars, my husband got up early to ride his bike the four kilometres to his job at Mr. Lube. When my husband arrived at work, he parked his bike outside the back doors as he usually does. After putting in 10 solid hours of labour, he returned to find his bike was gone–stolen. The bike, a purple kona 18 speed, was our only source of transportation. Trevor used that bike to get to both his jobs, putting in 60-hour weeks to support his young family. But the bike was not only used for work. It was also used to get groceries, saving us from having to walk long distances from where we live. I was so upset that someone would steal his bike that I wrote to ... Read Full Story >>
One of my favorite tags has been to pay for the person behined me on a bridge toll, and to ask the toll booth operator to give them a smile card.
I've always wondered what kind of ripples that would generate ..
Today a friend told me a talk he heard at a local Zen center. The speaker, an accomplished woman with many ongoing projects was describing how sometimes when she gets overwhelmed with responsibilities, she will roll up the windows to her car and scream. One day she was doing this right before reaching a tollbooth and found out someone had paid for her. As she described it, this completely turned her mentality around and literally made her day. It also made the day of my friend who heard the story today and decided to share.
That bridge is one I frequent.
When my father married my mother in 1943 he gave my mother a 1937 crown coin and told her to keep it in the back of her purse and not spend it. This would mean that she always felt that she was protected and would always have money if she really needed it. When I was married in 1970 my husband who had heard this story, obtained a 1937 crown for me and I have always kept it in my wallet, and I have always had enough for my needs. A friend recently fell on hard times, partly through external circumstances and partly through poor planning. Friends and I have loaned her money, paid her bills, even given her food, tried to teach her budget techniques, and none of it has been a solution, she has just slipped deeper and deeper into financial trouble and depression. Last week she looked pale ... Read Full Story >>
I was a first year college student in a Graphic Design course and I'd like to tell you an interesting story that happened to me a few months ago. You see, I live in a "seedy" (an abundance of illegal activity) apartment building whose residents are a large diversity of minorities, most of which I have never met, (I don't even know my neighbors name), and we all have to use the laundry room on the third floor. The dryers in the laundry room are old and usually require more than one cycle to fully dry even a small load of laundry. One evening I found I had only one loonie left for the dryer (they only accepted $1 coins) and so opted to leave my wet clothes in the dryer all night knowing that my clothes would still be damp in the morning and that they were the only ... Read Full Story >>
Lucia is 8 years old and in November '05 she wrote a contract for the whole family to sign. "We will all agree to getting a puppy dog on April 15 2006." She had been asking for a puppy for about a year already! It was inevitable now! We signed, the five of us, but did inform her that she needed to start saving money to be able to buy the puppy and so she did. At least once a week she would sit down to count, penny at a time, how much she had collected. In change she raised about US$80 dollars. April came, we had a few adorable options in mind but on the first week of the month, we received a communication letter from her school about a girl needing multiple organ transplant and this letter made Lucia change her mind. She informed us she was taking her ... 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 >>
My friend Leigh, unemployed and broke, found a sealed envelope with $200 in it while cleaning his house. Since he hadn't found it before, he figured he really did not need it. He gave it to me (I was working) so I could buy a new CD player and have music in my life. I protested. He insisted. Now, every year at Christmas I give $200 to someone I know who could use it. Along with the money I give them a one-page story: Leigh's Light My friend Leigh is a very special man. Even though he has had more than his share of struggles and has rarely had enough money, he spends much of his time helping others to realize their dreams. He is a poet, a dreamer, a planner, a thinker and an all-round good-hearted person. One day, cleaning out the basement in which he was living, he found a small bag ... Read Full Story >>
After several months of having only one income suporting our household, we had been struggling to make ends meet. One day, I took all the cash I had for the next week ($60) and went to buy groceries, as the fridge and cabinets were empty. I kept a running tab in my head of everything I was buying, even rounding up to the nearest dollar to make sure I didn't go over what I could afford. Once the food and basic items we needed approached $60, I went to checkout and somehow the total came to $65. On the off chance that I had room on a credit card, I tried using two of them...both declined. Getting very embarrassed, I asked the clerk what I could deduct that was about $5. Everything in my cart was important and it scared me that money was so tight. I didn't know how to decide. ... Read Full Story >>
A few months ago, while driving home from work, I was thinking about my long tiring day at work and worrying about my other half, and would he be OK when I got home. My partner of 6 years, was lying in bed at home, sick and facing a long illness and possibly death. That day several clients had paid for thier jobs and one of them even paid extra, since he was very pleased with our graphics & photography work. On the way, I stopped at a gas station (slightly out of my way) to gas up my car before heading home. When I went in to pre-pay for my gas, I saw a man with his his son ahead of me in the line. They were a little dirty from working & painting at a local job site. The clerk behind the counter seemed annoyed and not interested in ... Read Full Story >>
At Manav Sadhna, a non-profit organization in India, it’s a common site to see people come in asking to see Jayeshbhai (one of the Founders). One day, I was milling around when I saw an elderly man come in using a walking stick. It was obvious that the man was blind and as I went to him to offer my assistance, I found out that he was blind in both eyes. The man’s sons did not take care of the man, so he lived with his brother’s sons. Everything was fine at home, but the man did not want to be a financial burden on others. He wanted to support himself through his own sweat and effort. He could do the rope work for wooden bed frames and knew such a business in Palitana would do well. In order to start this business however, ... Read Full Story >>
We live in a small flat in Ranip (in India). While all the families in the society live in flats, many families’ economic prosperity is not much better than many living in slum. One such family lives behind us. A couple lives with their son and the husband’s brother and mother in a small inherited two room flat, that is 8 feet by 15 feet in size. The entire household subsists on the daily wages of the daily wages the male earns from doing labor work (20 – 50 rupees/day). During Diwali, like all the other families, the wife was cleaning the home. Since they did not own a table, she stood on a tin box to clean the fan. Losing her balance, the tin slipped from underneath her and she fell on the back of head and had a brain hemorrhage. ... Read Full Story >>
Hello. I'd like to share a bit of kindness and the use of the Smile Cards my son who is 12 got to witness and be part of.
My son and I went out to eat and there was this table of older ladies (like their once a month get together--they must have been into their
70's or more and dressed up) next to us. Well, when my son and I were leaving, I decided to do something good. I told the guy at the counter that I wanted to pay for those ladies meals. He looked at me funny. Asked me if I knew them. Nope--I certainly don't. He looked at me again, asked again and again I said nope. Don't tell them I'm doing this, just give them this "smile" card.
He said "not so many people so generous now a days" So, I paid for their meals (a whopping 20 bucks) and me and my son left.Then he asked me to see the card we left--and he wants some.
My sister is on the other side of the world. I'm volunteerting in India while she's at home in Canada. While I can't be there physically to celebrate her birthday, I wanted to spread some love to mark the day. I set off to the market to get ingredients for cookies when I saw an old man carrying a long rod with a weight on one end and a large tray holding food which he was selling on the other hand. Perfect! I went up to the man and took the rod off his shoulder and walked with him for the next half kilometer, talking to him and his grandson who appeared after a few minutes. The grandfather and boy are the only regular income generators in the family. The boy and granddad go out after the boy gets back from school. After walking and talking to the wonderful pair, as I left ... Read Full Story >>
My SMILE cards came in the mail last night. YAY! And I have been so excited to use them!
I read a story about taping a card with the right change on a vending machine and I thought i'd try it out...
I sat at my desk and tried to secretly get my card and money ready, but people kept coming in and I wanted to keep it anonymous so I had to keep hiding my card and money. I felt like i was a spy on a secret mission!!!
I finally got it done and went to the kitchen, which had around 10 people in it. So I had to stay and drink about 4 cups of water until no one was there!!! So funny!!! (at least I am hydrated!).
I stuck the card on with the money and ran out as quickly as I could... my heart beating so so so fast!!! I never thought being secretly kind could produce this kind of adrenaline!!!
I will go and check on it soon... I hope someone has been blessed and feels as good as I do now!!!
What people appreciate the most is the people. That’s what we learn at the annual "Walk for Hope" each year. Sure the quotes are great. This year they were even hand made and literally took over three months to create. The activity stations are great too, they give the walkers a chance to pause, interact and reflect. But year after year, people always say that the best part of the walk is interacting with all the people that are there. What a concept, just your mere presence becomes a gift at the walk for hope. Just by choosing to walk, you are giving a gift to another walker. The people that come to the Walk are pretty unique I would agree. They participate in both the moments of silence and the warm-up exercises by the Laker Girls. They wish to make the ... Read Full Story >>
It's a late night on the streets of New York. Larger-than-life size billboards come alive with their glitz, trying to make you want things that you don't really need. Up ahead, I notice a homeless man who doesn't have the things he really does need. Ironic. "Gift size chocolate bar, one dollar, one dollar," he says while showing a candy bar to people walking by. He's rejected. "Just one dollar." Rejected again. "Candy bar, candy bar for you," he shows it to a child walking with her mom. The mom jerks her kid away and moved further. They say that homeless are used to taking rejections, but seeing the charades ahead of me, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. As I stand next to him, shoulder to shoulder, I pause to see if he will try to sell me ... Read Full Story >>
Saturday I was with my 8 year old son and we were in Boston at the Boston Commans. There was a manyelling out "spare change." He was a homeless man.
My son said, "Dad can I give him a dollar and one of your smile cards." I said you sure can Jared. I been teaching my son to be very loving and caring. So when the homeless man took the dollar and the smile card he said to Jared, "this is the best spare change I ever got because you made me smile with this nice card thank you so much. Have a nice day." And then he turned
as he was walking away and said, "keep smiling."
I looked at Jared and he looked at me and we were both smiling together and Jared said dad I feel so good that I made that poor man smile and I told him me too honey and I am very proud of you. Then Jared gave me a big hug and said,
"I love you dad." So the thing I loved the most out of this story is from one smile card we ended up getting three smiles the homeless man, Jared, and me John.
Thank you so much SmileGroups have a wonderful day from your loving and caring Jared and John.
Last week, my friend was leafing through a bunch of clothes when he found a crumpled up note. Right then, he turns to me and says, "I don't know what amount this is, but it's yours. Pay it forward, leave 'em a smile card and lots to smile about." That bills ends up being a ten-dollar bill. All week I've been wondering what to do. Saturday morning rolled around and I had to drop off a couple of bags of clothes at Goodwill. I had been to this particular Goodwill store before and as I'm driving, my mind wandered to the people working at the store. There is a large room at the back of the store for dropping off items and there are always people in the room sorting through the dozens of bags left for donations. I thought to myself, that's not the most ... Read Full Story >>
I knew my neighbor and her husband had recently separated and she was struggling. She hadn't shared with me her struggles, but I just knew it couldn't be easy money wise as they had 4 children, one being blind, and they were struggling financially before the separation. She had not been working before they separated as her youngest child was blind and not yet in school. It was summer time and school was about to start. As I was shopping for items for my granddaughters, I began thinking about her children and how she would be able to get them items they needed that year. I went to the store and bought a gift card and sent it anonymously to her address. When I checked my mail a couple of days later, I saw her down the street as she checked hers and opened the envelope. I couldn't tell her reaction because of the distance between our ... Read Full Story >>