I left flowers on one neighbor's porch today and freshly picked cherry tomatoes on the other's. Karma works immediately sometimes. A different neighbor called me later in the day, and offered me delicious Asian pears off of his tree. I love it!
I decided a few months ago that I was going to treat myself to a 4-day getaway from Los Angeles and visit Chicago. I turned in some long-saved frequent flier miles for the airplane ticket, but had to shell out cash I really couldn't afford for the hotel. I found a travel website where a discounted promotional 3-night stay was purchased from a recently opened hotel. About three weeks before the trip, I had to regretfully cancel and only then realized the room, while transferable to another person, couldn't be changed to a later date and wasn't refundable. For the next two weeks I tried selling it on Craig's list with no success. Five days before the "big weekend" I gave up trying to recoop any money and decided I'd contact some acquaintances who live in Chicago and offer someone a free "staycation". After trying a handful of people all of ... Read Full Story >>
Thirteen years ago, we lost our home in a fire.The firefighters were amazing, the first thing they did was toss our child's first year album (she was 13 months at the time) out the front door with smoke and fire everywhere. How did they know? They are truly compassionate heroes.
After the fire, I would bake brownies and take them down to the fire station with our daughter. We have been friends all these years. It has been quite a while since I have baked for them, and today was the perfect opportunity!
As I walked into the firehouse, I was greeted by a firefighter with the warmest smile. He was so touched by the gift and welcomed me in. He wanted to know how our family was and hoped we would meet again.
I often run into one or two of the firemen who saved our lives that fateful night. We are family, and I am always touched by how caring and loving we can be with each other, if we are open.
I'm in Boulder, Colorado, and am one of the fortunate ones without much flood impact on my home. Today, I went over to a friend's house to help with the cleanup there. The house is less than a block from one of the creeks, and the flash flood broke a basement window, filled the basement up to eight feet, rushed up the stairs to the ground floor, and flooded that floor as well. A crew of her friends had been pulling up carpet and moving furniture all morning when I arrived. She asked me to help move damaged items out of a back room where carpet was already pulled out, and start getting the layer of chocolaty mud out. With one other helper, I got busy shoveling and scraping; once we got the heavy layer off, I started running the wet vac. There was a three-foot square of tiled floor in front ... Read Full Story >>
I just started teaching at a new school after teaching 17 years at other schools. It has been somewhat difficult to fit in and become acquainted with the new staff.
Instead of feeling left out, I wrote every teacher on my hall a personalized card with stickers and all. I also sent a card to my principal, librarian, and counselor. I had my students deliver them, setting an example to them about kindness.
I have challenged them to complete kind acts the month of September. I have had a few compliment others. I have even had one student run in a charity race to raise money for the humane society.
While on a walk on the bike path, I noticed an older man riding his bike stop ahead of me and leaning over his handlebars. He appeared to be in pain.
As others just continued past him, I stopped and asked if he was okay. He said he was, and I said I was concerned since he looked like he was in pain.
He told me that he was and told me about how he had by-pass surgery not long ago and the doctors said it would be good for him to bike.
Once I was convinced he would be okay, I continued on. He road past me, thanking me for stopping.
It wasn't much but it felt good to do so. Even though he was a stranger, I was willing to stop to assist. This is my small act of kindness story for today.
I was on my way to my parents' on my motorcycle and saw a middle aged man carrying a heavy sack on his shoulders and walking with great struggle. I passed him, then paused, and turned around to stop near him and offer him a ride.
He lifted the heavy sack which had a lot of scrap iron and sat on the pillion. Immediately he asked me my name and after I told him, blessed me aloud. We rode on.
In five minutes, we were stopped by a traffic cop who demanded to see my license. There were many cops who were stopping everyone on that road. My ride got down with his sack and got back on after I was through with the cop.
We reached his destination. He got off and thanked me again. After reaching home, while parking my motorcycle I saw that the iron pieces in the sack that he had placed on the pillion had made deep marks and almost torn the seat in a couple of places.
I smiled and took it as a reminder he had left behind so that I do not forget what the pillion is for.
I go to the local grocery store and Dollar Tree once a week for my weekly shopping. Each time, in each store, I somehow end up with a very full shopping cart.
About a year ago I made a personal choice after being part of a 30 Day Gratitude challenge here on KindSpring that whomever was behind me in line, I would offer to allow them to go ahead of me - no matter how full their basket was.
What I have discovered is that younger people, under the age of 40, immediately take my offer up, people my age, 55+, need to have the offer given 2-3X and people over the age of 70, it is very difficult for them to accept my offer.
But every week, in each store, I offer and my offer is accepted - eventually This started as a conscious Act of Kindness that is now a habit. Which I feel is the idea of KindSpring, practice a kindness 'til it becomes a habit, then move on to another kindness.
Every Thanksgiving my family and I, along with others, prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals for the people in our small mountain community. My husband and I also bring meals to shut-ins, people that never leave their homes for various reasons. After we passed out boxed meals in a senior housing apartment building. After delivering to some individual apartments, we went to the central dining room and placed the boxes filled with turkey, ham, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy and green bean casserole in front of each seat. People invited us to stay, and thanked us, but we had other deliveries and had to leave. As we started to exit, I turned around and saw them all watching us. Impulsively, I asked, "Would anybody like a hug?" They lined up. There was so much warmth in each hug. My eyes filled with tears and my heart with love. I now visit occasionally to chat ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I invited my elderly neighbor over for lunch. She accepted but with the heavy rain that we have received she decided this morning that she preferred to remain inside today.
I was still moved to share a delicious meal with her so instead of giving up, I decided to go ahead and prepare the lunch and then fill a basket with a tin of her favorite chocolate chip cookies and a small potted plant.
I took the lunch to her and she was delighted. She enjoyed and so did I and it reminded me of the special times spent with my late maternal grandmother, who I miss dearly! She and I would get together over a cup of coffee and some type of homemade goodie and have the most wonderful conversations. It was wonderful to remember Grandmother with a smile while sharing a smile with another sweet lady. What a nice afternoon!
Yesterday I helped a very busy friend clean out her car. We vacuumed and steam cleaned the upholstery. She was so happy and relieved to finally have it done!
Today was International Coastal Clean-up Day. So, my husband and I spent a very rainy morning picking up trash on the beach.
It seems like such a drop in the bucket (even though it involved many buckets) but it was a satisfying experience and one we will continue regularly on our own.
I highly recommend this experience. It may change your perspective on all things plastic!
It is raining very heavily and roads are flooded. I know an elderly couple who stay in a tent made of plastic sheets. The old man begs and old lady cooks from whatever he gets home. I thought about their plight and went to their tent carrying some food with me. they both gratefully accepted it.
The old lady asked me, "How did you come in such rains? Are you alright?" I was touched by her concern for me when she and her family are in such danger and facing hunger. Later my friends and I went with supplies to last them for sometime in case rain does not stop.
Happy weekend, RAOKtivists! It's Kindness Ninja Saturday!! My sweet class of 23 second graders absolutely love sneaking out of our classroom and performing acts of kindness. We call ourselves the Kindness Classroom and we are Kindness Ninjas! The Kindness Ninjas' favorite RAOK was hiding bottles of bubbles around the playgrounds.
The past two Fridays, the Kindness Ninjas have made positive post-it notes for their friends as well as for some anonymous recipients. A big ninja snuck around after school and put some of these on teachers' classroom doors!
So....take it from the Kindness Ninjas...
Be kind. Be nice. Be sweet. And, never forget that together we can be the change we wish to see in the world!
I moved into my current home when I separated from my husband. This was the first time in my life - at the age of 41. I rarely used the dining room, living room, spare bedroom/office and basement. I heat and cool these spaces. I pay for the square footage. And my house is considered SMALL! I would often entertain the idea of putting the space to use - by taking in foster kids… but I work a lot and travel for work often — not really conducive to single parenthood. I could take in people fleeing intimate partner violence… but I work a lot and travel for work often - not really conducive to be awoken in the middle of the night or to be a consistent and reliable place for people to “land.” So I continued to struggle with this question. I also have (wait for it) 6 ... Read Full Story >>
I took five dollars out of my wallet and paper-clipped them together with a KindSpring smile card. Setting off on my run, I looked for an ungated front porch with a freshly-delivered newspaper on it. I tucked the money and card inside the paper, and I was on my way.
I hope this surprise will remind someone today that life is brighter than the usual grim headlines!
I was stopped at a red light when I noticed a homeless guy walking towards me. This man had a sign that read "not much needed just hungry".
I didn't have any cash, all I had was my own lunch I had packed for myself. I rolled my window and said I have a banana, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bottled water- it's yours if you want it. He smiled and said Thank You.
I was scared at first that maybe he was looking for something different than what I had to offer, but he walked over to his crate, sat down and ate the food. I pass him every day and everyday he smiles and mimes "Thank You".
After a short vacation with my parents, I returned to the country where I'm volunteering and I was missing my parents terribly. The next day, I was back at my desk and what a surprise awaited me! The smile cards I had placed an order for had arrived while I was away and were waiting for me on my desk! My day instantly lit up, I was at peace! Thoughts of how to go about sprinkling the world with kind acts began dancing in my head. The next day I took a small purse and a smile card with me with the intention of giving it to someone who really needed a surprise. Martha is a lady who cleans our office, gives us tea, food, etc. I found her in the office that morning touching her head in exhaustion as she ended a phone call. Turned out, one of her children ... Read Full Story >>
One cold morning I went by McDonald's on the way to work to get a breakfast sandwich. I noticed two men with their backpacks standing at the front of the store. By their appearance, they didn't seem to have much other than what they carried in their backpacks.
I ordered my breakfast sandwich and then ordered two extra. As I went around the drive-thru toward the front of the building, I asked them to come over to the car and handed them the two extra breakfast sandwiches.
I smiled and said "God bless, stay warm". They smiled in return and those smiles made my day.
Today I have been tagged! I have spread kindness and given things away and bought lunches and dinners for families. Today I was the receiver of an unexpected kindness.
I have a sick dog and I woke up today to find a mess that I had to clean. Not feeling the energy to even make coffee this morning. I got into my car and drove to Dunkin Donuts.
While trying to turn into the drive thru, more and more cars got ahead of me. Not that I was in a hurry mind you but I just thought "I'm going to sit in this line! ARG!" When I reached the drive thru window a smiling lady handed me my coffee and said "The car ahead paid for your order."
Really?!! Of course at that moment I paid for the car behind me! I left feeling GREAT and SMILING. The car that was behind me in line pulled behind me in traffic. I saw through the rear view mirror that she had a big smile on her face.
It is truly amazing how one simple act of kindness can change the entire day.
After being inspired by a video of a young Pakistani man celebrating his 22nd birthday with 22 random acts of kindness, I mentioned to my girlfriend Tamara that I'd like to do the same for my upcoming 55th birthday in December. Well, she grabbed onto the idea and made it happen. We wore goofy reindeer antlers to make people smile, placed cheery stickers on the shirts of children, cleaned up a park, passed out delicious Mexican hot chocolate to those in the park--many of whom appeared homeless, offered bottled water and compassionate listening in the shopping mall, played rock/scissors/papers with a bored 10 year old boy who was waiting for his sisters to finish shopping, and more. The highlight for me occurred at the end of the day when we were passing out carnation flowers in a retirement home after their dinner. At first I found myself questioning my motives and how it would be received. It turned ... Read Full Story >>
The cashier rang up the "Life" magazine issue celebrating the 75th Anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz.." She remarked, "Oh, how I love the "Wizard of Oz!" I wish I had a copy of the movie."
We exchanged pleasantries on how we both enjoyed the classic film. "Have a blessed day!" the cashier said, handing me my packages. I thought, "Yes, I will give this kind woman my copy of the Wizard of Oz."
When I returned home and checked my DVD library, I was surprised to find that I had two copies! The cashier was delighted with my gift of the movie. I was doubly blessed in realizing the generosity of the Universe, for I was truly willing to give away my only copy.
My elderly neighbor, who is housebound, has always enjoyed watching birds. Since she is no longer able to get close to nature, I brought the birds closer by hanging a hummingbird feeder from a hook off her home's gutter edge, where she could see it well.
Now that the hummingbirds have migrated to warmer climates for the approaching winter, I will replace the hummingbird feeder with a sunflower-hearts seed feeder, designed for perching birdsonly. That way, there will be no mess and my neighbor can enjoy the various birds, such as chickadees, finches, etc. We are so blessed to be able to share these gifts with our feathered friends. Their wings uplift us to much joy!
I go to a small local gym and I heard a young mother at the front desk sharing that she is a school teacher and her husband is out of work, therefore she can't continue her membership because she needed the money to pay her bills.
Later on, I approached the front desk and asked them to sell me a gift pass for 60 days. I told the Receptionist to give it to the young woman with smile card and that I prefered to be anonymous.
In the card I wrote " Angels are watching over you". I didn't see her reaction but I hope I helped this young lady a little bit.
In our class we have formed an NGO called "Recolectando Felicidad". We decided, for our second project, to spend time with kids from different schools. Instead of bringing them toys or material things we decided to play with them because we feel that playing with them, giving them love and making them smile was way more valuable. The class formed small groups, with three or four people each, to take care of the different games Our group was in charge of the play dough modelling activities. The day before visiting "Rayo de Luz" (a local school for children with learning difficulties) we met up to make the dough. We used flour, water, salt and food coloring, to make sure the dough would be safe for children. We made 4,5 kilograms of dough in six colors: pink, teal, yellow, purple, black and white. The next day, we went to the school. We invited the ... Read Full Story >>
This is a story of kindness given to me,its simplicity, yet its depth, and my gratitude for it.
On my way home from work one afternoon, I stopped by the grocery for something to fix for supper. I'd had a trying day and was feeling down and uninspired.
As I started round the corner of an aisle, I encountered an extremely short, elderly lady who burst forth with THE most beautiful smile imaginable,as she looked directly into my eyes!
This gift was so powerful, I found myself spontaneously smiling back; my spirits were lifted! I found inspiration for what to prepare for supper AND, I tracked that little lady down to tell her how she had "made my day".
The gift of a genuine smile is POWERFUL! This happened many years ago; but I'll never forget it and it has made me generous with my smiles as I pay-it-forward.
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!
Printed out my first batch of Spanish Smile cards in Spain this week. I gave out many of the cards over the past year while living in NYC, and now that I am in Spain teaching English for the year, decided to continue spreading the love!
The first card I actually privileged a friend to give out, who put it in the pocket of an article of clothing at a popular local department store. We wont know if or when this one gets discovered!
The next card, I left today in the coffee machine of our break room. We recently got a new fancy automatic coffee machine that all the teachers love. I dont drink coffee, but I thought, "what better than to leave 60 centimos with a smile card on the coffee machine in the morning for someone else to discover?"
So, I did, and later on I checked and it was gone.. I have no clue who got it and who had a free coffee today, but I plan on spreading lots more love and kindness around my school in Southern Spain!
"Kindness, I've discovered, is everything in life." - Isaac Singer Sometimes, all it takes is a small reminder to open our eyes to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. Lucky for us, we get those reminders every day! For the last 365 days, we have been inspired by innumerable acts of kindness that have touched the lives of thousands of people all over the world. The following stories are some of our favorites from this year. Enjoy! 3,762 Miles Walked and 100 Tons of Trash On an unassuming weekday evening, Jane was at home… as usual. As her thoughts swung between what she was going to do with her life and their dinner plans for the evening, she was unexpectedly interrupted by an urgent call from her sister “get over here! Turn on NBC and check these guys out, they are just like you…” One facebook message and a phone interview later, ... Read Full Story >>
For my 60th birthday, I challenged myself to do 60 very deliberate acts of kindness for 60 consecutive days and write about my experiences each day. Now I am no stranger to going out and doing things, but this is the first time I have ever been focused and paid attention to 'Kindness Acts' to the degree that was required in coming up with what I was going to do each day, preparing for it when I needed to, and then writing about it for 60 days Here is what I want to share. In my experience, there is no such thing as a 'kindness act' There is no separate 'act' that can be called Kindness. I believe our true nature IS kindness and that when we are not acting out of fear( which is what manifests as self interest, greed, material competition, and not- enoughness) we act out of love. In ... Read Full Story >>
I helped a lady today. I saw her get up from where she was sitting and struggle to walk. She was heading towards the supermarket where I was with my trolley and my youngest son. Seeing her made me stop. It made me realise how grateful I am to have my mobility and health. Seeing her struggle to walk I wanted to help but didn’t know how. What can I do? I thought. I had no idea, so I asked her. I went up to her and said ‘Can I help you in any way?. Her whole face lit up. Someone cared. She asked me if I could get her a trolley and bring it to her which I did and she was ever so grateful. Couldn’t stop thanking me. I wanted to do more and would have done her whole shop for her if I could have. So all I could ... Read Full Story >>