I plan to put one in each of my sisters lunches with a special surprise snack and note of love. I will then give them 4 more cards to encouarge them to take part in their own acts of kindness, while I use the remaining cards with random acts when I see a need. I hope encouranging my sisters when they are young will help them and their friends discover a joy of helping others that they will carry on throughout there lives.
Every since I was little I loved doing things for other people. As I got older I began doing random things for people. For example, during holidays, such as Christmas, I would make out an extra card along with the ones for my relatives. Then I would go and find someone in the grocery store and just hand it to them and walk away! It was so much fun. Although I admit, the first time I did it I was so nervous. I didn't know who to give the card to. So I said a little prayer and knew that the right person would just appear...about that time an elderly man ran into me with his shoppping cart!! It was an accident, and he apologized a million times! We smiled and he walked away, and I knew that he was the one! Later I found him in a different isle, ... Read Full Story >>
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 >>
My "You Don’t Have Any Choice but to Do Something" moment ... I owned and ran a book publishing company for many years. During the first Gulf War when we were all watching cruise missiles fly through he air on television and telling ourselves this was a “good” war, I was struck by a small column in a local newspaper that mentioned seeing 'Random Acts of Kindness' graffiti on a freeway overpass. The rest of the story is long and fascinating but I resolved to publish a book of people’s stories about Random Acts of Kindness in their lives. At the time no such thing existed. There were no books of inspirational stories (I know hard to believe now since the Chicken Soup series has beaten it into the ground) but I was worried the book would not be understood so in a moment of panic I stuck a marketing tag on ... Read Full Story >>
Got on the plane in Minneapolis for the two hour and nine minute flight to NY. Spent the first nine minutes of it talking to the young curly-brown-haired passenger with long sideburns. In the first three minutes of talking to him I noticed on the back of his hand a ball-point-pen tattoo. One word. "Lost". And for some reason that touched me. In the same inexplicable way that "Help Wanted" signs in store windows do sometimes. That people would be so honest, so open about their vulnerability. I wonder what he is going through. This fellow passenger with his friendly manner who freelances for the magazine "Popular Photography" and moved back to his hometown in Lawrence, Kansas from NY- because even though there's a lot you can do in NY there's a lot that you can't do there when you're broke. And now he's learning how to do video editing and trying to ... Read Full Story >>
I was at work and it had been snowing all day. I peeked outside about an hour before leaving work and I was terrified to see that every square inch of my car had been blanketed in about 8 inches of snow. I stayed in the office a few minutes after 5 trying to figure out how I would get the snow off of my car in heals, a skirt and no window scraper! I finally sucked it up and walked outside. To my surprise as well as relief, my car was completely clean of snow. My windows were scraped, even the headlights had been cleaned off! "Who did this?" I was puzzled, but so grateful! The next day at work, I prodded everyone I knew to find the culprit, but no one could tell me....they all denied the good deed. The following day, a co-working named Brian said "So, were you wondering who cleaned off your car?" I knew then that Brian was my little snow angel. He said, "Yeah, my car was heating up, I needed something to do for 5 or 10 minutes." He brushed it off as if it was an act of boredom, but I know that he has a kind and pure heart and what he did was an act of kindness.
Back in the day when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, I was studying to become a firefighter. I was a volunteer fire aide with the city of Milpitas, and was studying at mission college. As a firefighter, you're constantly thinking of other people and trying to help children. That's the mindset, at least for someone trying to get into a fraternity of brothers that is the No. 1 most difficult job in the country to get! One night after going to class I was heading home and decided to stop off at a burrito place. This was in a part of San Jose that wasn't very good. It was dark, and it was obvious that I wasn't in a place that I would normally go to. Well I got my burrito and started to head for my car when I was approached by a homeless ... Read Full Story >>
“Everyone says the flowers smell good but I don’t smell anything. Nothing. Do you smell them?” she asks, in her heavily accented voice. After walking around a busy street looking to do a random act of kindness, I had stumbled into this flower shop. Even though my mind was busy devising possible scenarios, I had a gut feeling that something was going to present itself. A little startled by the flower lady’s question, I tell her that “the flowers smell ah-mazing and perhaps you should take a break once in a while so you can enjoy them too.” Before I realize, I find myself in the midst of a conversation about her life -- she got laid off from United Airlines a few years back, took the unemployment money and traveled the world for a year. Then, she ran out of money and came back to work at the ... 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.
Wow! I got seriously tagged with an act of anonymous kindness last week. Actually, its more like seriously pummeled with kindness. I spent 26 days at a meditation retreat, mainly to begin the process of self purification through self discovery...I guess you could call it a renovation of the interior walls of my mind. As I walked back into my studio home on Sunday, WOW, a few folks had decided that they would self-purify my home and renovate its interior walls as well. The place has been tiled, every corner has been painted, fridge has been stocked, light switches have been replaced, new furniture has been added, and an infinite amount of love has been poured into every inch of that space. On the table in the middle of my room was a flower pot with one smile card attached to the stem. The coolest thing I found was one ... Read Full Story >>
When I was on CBS's Survivor - Africa all I had with me were the clothes on my back and my one luxury item of choice: a hackey sack. My hackey sack was my most prized possession, the one item that took me temporarily away from the Survivor game and home to the familiar... and I gave it away. It may sound silly, but it was a tough decision - a real moment of personal truth. I was with a group of other Survivor contestants distributing HIV/AIDS testing kits to a small village in Kenya when I met Milton. Milton didn't have any of the luxuries I had growing up- no TV, no bike, no PlayStation. But Milton's eyes were full of laughter, and they lit up when I produced my hackey sack. I knew exactly how Milton felt, and that I would be leaving my beloved hackey sack with him ... Read Full Story >>
A good friend of mine lives about 1 hour away. I called her last week and found out that she wasn't doing too well. Nothing big, but just bummed because a lot of things fell through which would make the following year a little more challenging. After hanging up with her, she was put on my smile list, but I couldn't think of what to do, but opportunities present themselves when you're not even looking. A few days later, some friends and I happened to be in her city eating at a restaurant with fabulous desserts. As we pored over the dessert menu, I got it. I turned to my friends and asked them if they wanted to join in on a game of tag. After explaining the idea, they were up to take 15 minutes more after a long day to make someone's day. ... Read Full Story >>
Recently I graduated from high school, and as a gift I recieved a huge bouquet of carnations; 40 to be exact! I had so many that I didn't know what to do with them. The next weekend my niece and nephew came (ages 4 and 5) and we took every single carnation and tied a smile card to it's stem. We then went to our local Dillions Store and I gave each of them one flower at a time. I explained that these flowers would make other people smile, and then they could take the cards and do something nice for someone else! They loved the idea, but I wasn't sure if they fully grasped the idea. Furthermore, I thought that they possibly might get to shy at the last minute, but boy was I suprised! My nephew ran excitedly through the doors of the store and found the very ... Read Full Story >>
I used my smile card the other day! It was awesome!
I went to get a carwash and bought a car wash for the anonymous person who came after me ... as i was waiting for my car, I saw a turqouise car drive up, and I thought that must be the person I'm randomly connecting with! It was so cool!
I felt like I was actually giving something to someone else purely out of generosity, and it felt good inside...I kind of felt like I was part of a church group when I was explaining what I wanted to do, to the confused cashier, but she eventually understood the concept.:)
Anyways, so that was great and my car was clean! Just wanted to share the good feeling with you and thank you for the idea!
I was catching a flight from Calcutta to Madras and had arrived at the airport rather early. Have always thought of airports as rather happy places- everyone at the beginning or the end of a journey- or both- such a sense of adventure in the air- and warmth- because people travel to see people and you know as you look around that that's someone's daughtersonhusbandwifefriendgrandmotheruncle cousinnephewhathaveyou and someone on the other end is going to be So Very Glad to see them. So until I saw the young couple sitting a few seats away from me, and noticed that the woman was crying-I'd never stopped to think that though airports are places of Adventurous Arrival they can also be about Difficult Departure. The young woman was crying, the young man was- not. He looked distinctly connected to her and decidedly uncomforting (and yes that is judgemental of me but so be ... Read Full Story >>
While going through a time of great sorrow and grief over a loss, I left my apartment and went to the 99 cent store to pick up two things I needed. Although these were not important items, I needed to get out for a while.
Having picked up the two items, I wandered through the store in a state of depression or shock, picking up more and more stuff, filling my arms. I was juggling these items, not willing to walk to the front of the store for a cart, not really thinking I needed one.
I heard a voice in the distance, far removed from my frame of mind, saying, "Lady, Lady." I turned around to see this man holding out a basket to me in both hands. He said, "Lady, Lady, please stop suffering,” and he gave the basket to me for the burdens I was holding on to. All I could say was, "That was so sweet!”
Then the man was gone, and the other shoppers were frozen in time watching what went on. They added, "Yes, that was so sweet.” In an instant, that one act of kindness changed my heart and mind, and he was long gone without even my being able to say thank you. The moment came and went, and it changed my day.
A few weeks ago, my mother, brothers and I went to Wal-Mart to get some things for my upcoming trip. It was pretty late, and the store, although huge, was very empty. However, as we approached the checkout lane, I noticed a lady wearing a baseball cap over her bare head. She looked tired, and it was pretty obvious that she was going through chemo.. .that, and my mother approached her and asked her. You see, a few years ago, my mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer. It was really hard for all of us, exspecially since we were in the middle of my parents divorce. But she got through it...but I always remember how stressful that time was. So when I saw that lady, I turned around, back out of the check out line, and headed to the flower section! I found the prettiest bouquet of pink (breast cancer survival ... 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 >>
I always seem to lose or toss sunglasses in my car. I noticed I did the same in my boyfriend's car recently. We both joked about them, but then we pulled up to a man at a street corner. It was a bright day and he was hoping someone would offer him some food or a bit of change. Instead, we gave him a pair of our sunglasses - the sun was so bright and he looked like he was a regular there.
Later that afternoon, on our way home, we pulled up at the same corner to see him wearing my sunglasses. We had the window down, and between lights he thanked us and mentioned that he hasn't enjoyed a beautiful day in so long.
My daughter's birthday is May 29. She was 6 by then. As it was Monday, we prefered to celebrate it earlier, i.e. on Saturday 27 May. This was easier for me as I'm free on Saturdays. On Thursday the entire family was busy packing the presents and putting funny pins on them. I promised my litte princess that I would wake her up early in the morning and distribute the presents to her classmates. I woke up at 05:30. After I took a bath, I planned to wake her up ... but.... as I came out from the bathroom, I realized that an earthquake struck. I screamed to wake my husband up and asked him to carry my daughter; and ran out of our house. We were watching our house swaying from outside. It happened for just 3 minutes, but... the piano thumbled down, tiles came down, some cracks appeared ... Read Full Story >>
I recently went to the bank to cash a check that I had. I really didn't want to go, but I knew that I had to so I decided that I would make the trip to the bank worthwhile and fun!
I grabbed this smiley pen that I had been saving and smile card and I attached it to the pen along with a post it note that said "Keep the pen, smile, and pass on the card!"
When I got my money out of the tube that the bank sends back and forth, I slipped in the pen and cards, so that the next person that came to cash their check, would get more than just money...they would get a bank smile!
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 was leaving my office late Saturday morning...a little bit grumpy because I had to get up early and go to work on the weekend, and was now running late for the next of my zillion obligations for the weekend...and the worst part was I had no time to eat a proper lunch. I was complaining about all of this to my husband on my cell phone, while I turned around from locking the door behind me, and then I spotted him. A man lying in the grass asleep. I said to my husband, "I'm sorry I've just been complaining. Thanks for listening. I have to go." I went back into my office, found a box, and went to my desk. I took every bag of snacks and protein bars I could and placed them in the box. Then I went to my mini fridge and put in two kinds of ... Read Full Story >>
"Do you need a vase for your purple carnations? " asked a gentle voice and I woke up in my hospital bed. It was one of those few rare moments when no one else was in the room with me and I had slipped into slumber. "Yes - these are from a special friend" I managed to say looking at her for the first time. She was a janitor and while clearing the trash can, she had chanced upon the flowers. But why would she care? And she said 'purple carnations' precisely. I asked her if she likes flowers. Her eyes lit up and she spoke in excited bursts. She LOVES flowers and in her garden, every flower that blooms each day gets a special hug and bye from her before she leaves for work. My God! I told her that I've been getting a lot of flowers and after appreciating the boquets ... 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.
A good friend of mine... i swear she must be the happiest most loving person I've ever met, convinced me to go out with her on valentines day since we both didn't have dates or boyfriends at that time. I went to grab her at her house, and she had construction paper and markers all over. We made what must have been 200 simple valentines saying simply "happy valentines day" and "have a wonderful day"... which then we drove out to walmart. (in our little town, walmart is the place to go late nights) then we put one on everyone's car in the parking lot.
It was such a sweet thing. I imagine it brightened someones day, plus... it was so much fun making them, and running around putting them on people's cars.
Strolling down the streets of New York can be jarring reflection about the state of humanity -- a business man in suit and tie tries to optimize his time by walking and reading newspapers at the time, a thirty-something waitress zips by with her restaurant apron half off and is intently looking at that handheld blackberry; a high school girl is on her cell phone cussing at someone in her Brooklyn accent. Trying to catch my subway train to Penn Station, I felt the New York Minute rush also. Until I notice an albino man ahead of me, walking very purposefully, taking very small, slow, intentional steps. He was blind. For every step he took, he would swing his stick couple of times to get the lay of the land in front of him. I passed him in no time, like everyone else. But then, ... Read Full Story >>
About a dozen college kids gathered around me after a talk on the 'spirit of service'. The theme of the talk was small acts of selflessness; they will not only make someone smile but also shift your entire perspective on life. That instead of obliging the receiver with your act of service, it is actually your privilege to get an opportunity to be kind. For some, these are common sense ideas but college students generally don't think about these things. When you're in college, you're more worried about YOUR grades, YOUR job interviews, paying off YOUR loans, meeting YOUR significant other and so on. In our commercialized, image-driven world, it's only natural to take care of your things before you serve others. So here I am -- a dozen folks asking me how to 'Be The Change', a stack of smile cards in my left hand and a commemorative bouquet of flowers ... Read Full Story >>
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 was pumping gas today at a Rotten Robbie and a construction-worker type of a guy walked near me and asked, "Mind filling a gallon?" Well, that is a new one for me! Just when he asked, my tank was full. I took his small container, filled it and gave it back to him. He said, "Thanks, man" and walked to his old pickup.
I then turned, hooked up the pump to the machine and in the display it asked, "Receipt?" and I pressed "No". Suddenly I started laughing. I always say yes when asked if I want a receipt because I use it for tax purposes (I am a consultant and I can tax deduct my official use of my car). But today I said no for no reason - and I realized that the last gallon makes the whole transaction anonymous!