After church this Sunday morning, my daughter and I went to a local restaurant for late breakfast.. An older woman was seated next to us at an adjoining booth. What drew my attention is that when she came in and seated herself , she walked straight toward us with a smile, as though she was going to sit with us and knew us, but then turned to her table and took a seat by herself. I thought to myself that I should have invited her to sit with us. When we were done with our food, my daughter and I left our booth (the woman was still seated at her table) and whispered to the waitress to put the woman's breakfast on our tab. The waitress seemed surprised at what I was doing for a stranger. So I told her of a card I had received the previous day from a complete stranger, ... Read Full Story >>
I was stopped at the traffic light and a homeless man was pacing up and down along the divider. It was a scorching hot day. 'This will make him smile,' I thought, and I turned my car towards a frozen yogurt shop. I grabbed a cup and filled it with couple of flavors and came to the counter to weigh it. I wanted to add some toppings but my change was not enough for that, so I asked the lady if she would take a $100 bill. She said she wasn't allowed to accept a bill that large. Alright, I thought and paid for the yogurt. As I was about to leave, she said, “Ma'am, don’t disappoint your child. Please add their favorite topping.” I turned to her and said, “Thanks for your offer but this is not for my child. It's for the homeless man across the street.” She smiled with surprise and said, “Oh! ... Read Full Story >>
"Aabid Surti is an odd character. A few years ago, the angular, bearded author was invited to meet the President of India to receive a national award for literature at a ceremony in the capital, New Delhi. He politely declined. Absorbed in writing the first draft of his new novel, he cited the reason that he did not have time. But what he has made time for every Sunday for seven years now, is going door-to-door in Mira Road, a non-descript suburb of Mumbai, with a plumber in tow, asking residents if they need their tap fixed for free! As a distinguished Indian painter and author, Aabid has written around 80 books but no story so moved him as the truth about water scarcity on the planet. “I read an interview of the former UN chief Boutros Boutros Ghali,” he recalls, “who said that by 2025 more than 40 countries are expected to experience ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, I took my brother's puppy to the pet store to spread some kindness. My mom and sister have been watching him while my brother is at work and when I went to pick him up to go to the store my mom gave me money in case I saw something cute to buy him. As we walked around the store, I looked at various options but started to feel uncomfortable. Here was a whole store devoted to pets with everything you could imagine, while some humans struggle to survive and others die for lack of basic necessities. The puppy and my family's other dogs already have plenty of toys and everything else they'd ever need. I decided not to buy anything. When I told my mom, she said to save the money for myself. She won't take "no" for an answer so I graciously accepted and decided to use the money ... Read Full Story >>
I stopped at the local dollar store the other day after a fitness class to buy a candy bar. So I get the candy and get in line behind a woman who looked about twenty years old. She had two small children with her and quite a lot of items in her shopping cart. She handed her credit card to the clerk but the clerk told her it had been declined. The young woman insisted she had paid it off the day before. The clerk replied, "Maybe it hasn't got through the system yet. Do you want to call someone?" The young girl got out her cell phone and was looking through it. Meanwhile, they open another counter to check me out. I was walking out to my car when I thought, "Okay! You're always wishing you could help someone. Time for you to do it!" I got back out of ... Read Full Story >>
At least once a month one of my little kindness kids Rachel and I try to have a father/daughter date night. Last night we were out for dinner together after doing some fun things. We talked about some of her kindness activities she did at school for their 100 Acts of Kindness challenge her class had. It was great to listen to the little things she and her classmates did to spread kindness. Many times on our date nights we try to do an act of kindness of our own, as she is often my sidekick on our kindness adventures. My latest Smile Deck card is one about anonymously buying a stranger's meal so I asked Rachel if we should find someone in the restaurant and buy their dinner. She loved the idea so we chose an older couple sitting behind us. I had a few Smile Cards on me (as always!) ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday around 9:30 am, as I was going towards my car, I noticed something box like on my windshield. At first I thought I may have gotten a ticket from the cops, but as I approached closer, there was a box of delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies and a smile card! Thank you anonymous angel! Later in the day, I had to make a run to my local library to pay off some overdue fines and pick up a book that I had on hold. I decided to keep few cookies for my parents to enjoy, and took the rest for the volunteers and staff at the library. I approached the clerk at the counter to hand them the box of cookies. "A small gift and token of appreciation for the staff and volunteers. Would you mind putting them in the break room?" I asked. She replied, "Oh wow! Thank you! Why don't you at least ... Read Full Story >>
I recently posted an article that was written about my class’s Random Acts of Kindness Project and was also shown on our county’s website. A county employee read the article and was so touched by it she pledged to do five random acts of kindness that day in honor of our class! She sent the children stickers that day. The next day she sent them lollipops. A few days later she sent a CD she made, entitled "Random Acts of Kindness Songs." I was so touched by her generosity and effort that I decided to have the kids make something for her. I took Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Kindness Garden" poem, printed it on cards and had the children make fingerprint flowers to decorate the cards. We sent two dozen of these to our new friend and asked her to share them with those around her. She sent an email back saying her ... Read Full Story >>
Any other year, my acts of kindness would have come with the hope of someone acknowledging them or saying thank you. I'm big on "Thank you's". My kids have written their own since the age of three for any gift they receive. I love thanking others-- acknowledging coaches, teachers, and anyone who does something nice. I guess it's because I always had looked for that thank you in return. This year has been different. Maybe age has made me wiser. Maybe it's softened me. Part of it is this website. Since joining this site in January, I've done acts of kindness in a more mysterious, secretive way, without expecting a "Thank you" of any kind and finding comfort and peace in that. :) When I did my 46 not-so-random acts of kindness for my birthday this month, I did so with the intent of not receiving any comments, "Thank you", or feedback. The next day ... Read Full Story >>
Some New Yorkers mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks by going to a memorial service or observing a moment of silence. For the past 10 years, Jeff Parness has been helping others. Every September, Parness brings hundreds of volunteers from New York to help another disaster-stricken community in the United States. "It was our way of saying, you know, New Yorkers will never forget what people from around the country and the world did for us in our time of need after 9/11," said Parness, a 2011 CNN Hero. "So that's how the mission started. It was just to pay forward the kindness that we experienced." Over the past decade, Parness' nonprofit, New York Says Thank You, has assisted victims of wildfires in San Diego, tornadoes in the Midwest and Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Many of those who receive help are so inspired that they travel across the country the next year -- ... Read Full Story >>
A few of us friends got together for a random acts of kindness event at a flea market in Dubai.
We collected items from our homes, our neighbors, and our friends, which could make good gifts. Then we put up a bright and chirpy stall at the market, put all our gifts on display, and took a lot of people by surprise!
We had a gratitude board too, where people pinned up their answers to the question, "What are you grateful for?"
And we had a basket full of kindness ideas for people to pick up and, hopefully, put into practice!
It was a beautiful, beautiful day!
This was actually a few days back. But I got the biggest thrill out of posting a RAK on the soda machine at my work. Who wouldn't like a free soda or water?
It was fun being sneaky to not "get caught" and even more fun imagining the person finding it. Was it the cleaning lady? Was it the grumpy guy down the hall? I enjoyed daydreaming about the mysterious recipient!
Every 3 months, a former neighbor of ours who moved to Florida sends us a huge carton of grapefruits & navel oranges. It's way too much for just the two of us to consume, so we leave bags of citrus on various neighbors' doorsteps with a SMILE Card in the bag. Today my husband was the "citrus-fairy" who dropped off the bags. :)
I was gifted with a wonderful opportunity last night. One of the people in our Facebook neighborhood group posted some pillows for sale that I knew my youngest daughter would love, so I requested to buy them from her. She only wanted $4.00, which I thought was very reasonable for the 4 pillows. We set up the porch pickup for later in the evening. When I got there, I put a $20 in her mailbox and sent her a message that I didn't have change (true, though had I really wanted to I could have gotten it), so to treat herself and her daughter to a little something. Once she discovered what I did, she messaged me back, offering to put the change under her mat for me to pick up. I asked her to just pay the kindness forward sometime, and that would be the only 'change' I need. She promised ... Read Full Story >>