A few days ago I was really frustrated because no one seemed to be free for some random acts of kindness. I had wanted to go out and do something big and was about to give up all together when I realized that I could easily do something just as meaningful right from my computer in about 15 minutes. I logged on to Facebook (which is an utterly addictive yet pointless website :)) and sent a message to each one of my friends. Most of them were along the lines of, "Hi! I'm having a random acts of kindness day and I'd just like to wish you a beautiful day!" I had been a bit nervous that it would look corny but after I did it, I felt great! And I felt even better still when I came back that night to find an unexpected 70 or so replies! They ... Read Full Story >>
A long time ago, I was a waitress in a pancake house that stayed open til midnight. One evening around 11:30, a couple came in. There was no one else in the restaurant, so I started chatting as I poured the coffee. It turns out that the womans mother was in the hospital and it was only a matter of time before she passed. We talked how hard it was to watch a parent die and how we both hoped that she wouldn't be in pain for too much longer. She asked if the restaurant would be open the following evening and I assured her that it would and I would be waiting for them with a hot pot of coffee. For 5 more evenings, they retured. I wouldn't let the cook turn off the grill until they showed up. He wasn't happy about it, but after I told him the ... Read Full Story >>
As I was walking along the river this evening, enjoying some hot chocolate with the sun shining down on me on this nice spring day, I was in the mood to do something nice for a stranger and started to look around for an opportunity to do a random act of kindness. Two minutes later I was approached from across the pathway by a complete stranger. I wasn't sure why he was approaching me, when from out of nowhere he started talking to me really aggressively and harrassing me. I could tell he was probably drunk or high or who-knows-what so I just stayed calm and kept walking ahead. There were hundreds of people sitting on benches nearby and walking along the South Bank with me, so I wasn't really worried. As I tried to walk along he kept saying offensive things to me and trying to get my attention. ... Read Full Story >>
What would it be this morning -- a warm Blueberry Lemon? Banana Nut? Cranberry Orange? Oatmeal Raisin? There is always a warm muffin or two tucked into a white napkin and placed next to the morning newspaper, waiting for me once I open my front door. Who is the Mystery Muffin Giver? I try to wake up early to see if I can catch him/her in the act so far I've been unsuccessful. But no matter what, I've got those goodies and a good read to dwell on! [Now for the background story!] My Mom lives in a Retirement community and she moved in after my Dad passed. She loves it. Most of her neighbors in the apartments are widows just like her and they keep each other good company. In this community, though, while lunches and dinners are prepared in the dining room, there's no breakfast. Now, my mom is an early -- and ... Read Full Story >>
He almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson." Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old ... Read Full Story >>
[An Invitation From 2004] It's that time of the year again. Yup, V-real's birthday ... this Friday, January 9th. As you probably know, V-real isn't much into celebration of particular days more than others. But we have a creative way to bend the rules for his 25th. First of all, can you make it to our house this Friday at 7:30PM? I know it's really short notice but hey. ;) Secondly, in the spirit of thankfulness for your friendship with V-real, would you be willing to do an act of random kindness for someone, somewhere, somehow? Then, on his birthday, we'll blow some candles, eat cake and share stories of our experiences ... as a gift to him. It's a unique request, but V-real's a unique guy. Because of my unending gratitude for having him as a brother, right after I got my first job, I used to get him everything ... Read Full Story >>
Last month it was my nurse's birthday. She has been caring for me since August 2006. Through the months, we have built an amazing bond. She has been there for me, and has helped me over so many hurdles its unbelievable. She's my rock in every way. I wanted to do something special for her birthday, to show her how much she means to me. Being confined to my bed, I can't go out shopping for a gift. So I was left to use my imagination and the materials in my room. But I was determined to make an unforgettable gift. I found an old shoe box, and got a bunch of my old girlie magazines, and spent 4 days cutting and pasting carefully selected items onto the box, creating an intricate collage. Each piece reflected in some way or another, our friendship. To finish it off, I put a photo of us ... Read Full Story >>
This past weekend my daughter and I were at a grocery store shopping for some goodies in preparation for visiting my mom and grandmother.
As we were standing at rack trying to decide what to get, I looked up an saw an elderly gentleman pick up a tomato and weigh it. He then began counting coins in his hand to see if he had enough.
My daughter and I both looked at each other. We understood and smiled. She said, "How much?" I said, "Um, about 20?" She agreed, so I pulled out a $20 bill, walked over put in the gentleman's hand and closed his fingers.
He looked at me astonished and speechless, as his eyes began to water.
I looked him and gently said, "Enjoy. And have a pie on us."
We picked up our shopping goodies, left the store with big smiles, and felt blessed to have run into that old man.
Last week, I was out at the beach with my friend and her sister. We had a great time wading right into the ocean, going on the merry-go-rounds, shooting water balloons and eating popcorn and cotton candy. It was like being back in one of our high school carnivals! That was when I saw two little boys in grubby shirts. They didn't have shoes on and their hair looked totally dishevelled. Most likely they were popcorn of candy vendors, but one can't be sure. I saw them emptying their pockets, looking at some food stalls, starting to count the spare change in their pockets. Something about this scene really went straight to my heart. Just across the beach is this really big mall where people spend thousands of rupees buying branded goods. Man, the inequality in the world is enormous. I didn't want to offend the small boys by handing them money. So I ... Read Full Story >>
Being a single mother, working a few jobs and trying to finish my schooling leaves very little time for a social life. So when I had a date with a guy I had met, I was super excited! I had a sitter who my daughter loved to play with and kissed her goodbye. I started off in my jalopy of a car. The thought to get gas crossed my mind, but I ignored it, wanting to be punctual. I was cruising down the freeway when I realized there was no way I would make it and should pull off at the next exit to get gas. Well that next exit was quite a few miles and as I got off my car sputtered to a stop. I restarted it and it went another block, so I could see the station now! With the car dead in the lane I became ... Read Full Story >>
Life has been stressful lately due to recent financial constraints among other things, so I decided to treat myself at Jamba Juice near Northgate on my lunch hour. Ahead of me was a 30-something, tall, good looking chap who, after putting in his order, turned to me and said to the cashier "and put this lady's order on my tab." Talk about knocking me over with a feather! I was speechless and open-mouthed for a moment but quickly revived, thanked him and put my order in. He said that he just felt it was the right thing to do and every once in a while you have do something nice for a stranger. No, he wasn't flirting or trying to pick me up. He was just a nice person who was feeling good and wanted to pass on his good energy ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, while shopping I reached for a cart at the same time as another woman. She immediately let go of the cart and said " you carriage has arrived, madam". She gave the cart to me.
I was so shocked and I said "that was a random act of kidness". She said, "yes it was" and at the same time we said " helpothers.org." we laughed like crazy and shared the basket.
Few months ago, a friend of mine handed me an envelope. Intrigued, I opened it and found a dollar bill.. A dollar? For what? My friend launched into an animated articulation of how he received a gift of $20 and he decided to split it up and give a dollar to 20 of his friends to do random acts of kindness. Multiply all the goodness that comes with an offering twenty-fold! Last week I was walking in a nearby downtown to keep a baby entertained while the rest of the family watched a movie. The downtown is really small so we ended up pacing up and down the same street many times over. There was this small ice cream shop, half-way between 2 blocks, that kept drawing me. I saw two girls, about fifteen years, doling out cones and cups with a great smile and attitude. The line was long and so ... Read Full Story >>
One rainy cold day, I decided I didn't care anymore if it had been raining all week, I just wanted my car clean. Besides, if it was nice and I had it washed, it surely would rain anyway! I went to the carwash around 1 p.m. and sat there a minute before a young attendant came out. He seemed somewhat dejected. After I pulled out of the carwash, I didn't get far before a thought occurred to me -- I had a bag of homemade cookies; they were meant to be for a friend but knowing the compassionate nature of my friends, I figured he would understand. So I immediately made a "U'ey" and pulled back into the carwash. The attendant seemed even more surprised to see me, again! With a big smile, I handed him the cookies and the card that said "SMILE, you have been tagged" and he got a huge smile ... Read Full Story >>
A few weeks ago, I went to my usual retail therapy session at the local Target store. On my way to the front door, I noticed that there was a car parked by the front doors facing the wrong direction but with the passenger door open. A woman came out of the driver side and waited by the passenger door, and out came a frail little old lady walking very slowly and using the shopping cart as as walker. As she got closer to the passenger door, the driver took her by the hand to help her in the car and then I noticed that she had this look of uneasiness looking at the cart as if thinking, "Oh great, now what do I do with this?" She had to put the lady in the car, drop off the cart in its place, go to the other side of her car, drive out ... Read Full Story >>
Road crews are always out working, especially in the summer months. While most of us groan when seeing the signs that say, "Road Work Ahead" or "Be Prepared to Stop", I saw someone use the opportunity to initiate a random act of kindness.
The stretch of of road I was traveling was under construction all summer, and this driver seemed to fit the "daily commuter" profile. On this particular morning, as he slowly advanced from one flagger to the next, he stopped and handed them a white bakery box and a to-go style cup of what I guessed to be coffee or hot cocoa.
Being a few cards behind this driver, I got to see first hand the reaction of the road crew workers as they enjoyed the unexpected treat and kindness. What they usually get to see are the grumpy faces of drivers who didn't plan ahead and now find themselves possibly being late to wherever they're headed. But here they were, feeling like a million bucks.
And all it took was a little pre-planning and a few dollars!
For some months now, I've been purposely choosing the longest lines to stand in -- supermarket, movies, cash register at stores during holidays so as to "develop" patience. Then, if someone looks stressed, like a mom with kids or something, I give my place away and move back to the line or longest line. What goes on is my mind races. I start blaming -- clerk for not being faster or organization for not having more checkers, or the lady with the coupons, the man who's visa card isn't accepted. I judge the people in front of me. I notice what a rush I'm in and question why I'm doing this. My monkey mind starts to consume me, racing with endless stream of such thoughts. I often fail to do this process, just getting carried away by my todo list and my internal stress or "forgetting" to do it. But sometimes I ... Read Full Story >>
Last week I was visiting my best friend in Cincinnati. One morning as we walked to breakfast, I spotted a piece of paper on the street and it turned out to be a $10 bill! I was determined to use it as a special treat and carried it around for two days as we brainstormed ways to spend it. Since we are both huge fans of Dairy Queen, we decided to head there after dinner on my last day in town. His blizzard and my sundae came to $5, so when the employee handed me $5 bill as change, I turned around to the lady (and her son) behind me and said, "Here, this is for you!" Seeing her startled reaction, I told her, "I found $10 the other day and since we've already received our treat, you guys should enjoy the rest!" She was very gracious and took the money and ... Read Full Story >>
This is a story about a wonderful little snippet of life I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in. I write about it here, not to toot my own horn, but to give others an idea of how easy it is to perform a simple random act of kindness, and what a positive effect it can have. I was standing in line at our local Wal-Mart with one item in my hand at the express lance check out. The lady in front of me was a fragile looking senior citizen. Since I had been widowed fairly recently, and was still walking around in that pervasive fog that is a combination of ennui and sadness, I was so self-absorbed in my own little world of gloom that it wasn't really registering in my brain that the little old lady was having trouble getting her items out of her shopping cart ... Read Full Story >>
On Sunday 30th of September 2007 over 70 beautiful people in my life (family and friends) staged a Random Act of Kindness Project in our local community. We distributed over 600 SMILE cards on the day and the project is now set to be an annual event! The day was perfect and we had plenty of volunteers. Over 30 businesses and individuals sponsored and donated and supported in one way or another. The day started off with a brief welcome from me, followed by a poem written by my 9 year old son about Random Acts of Kindness. He read this out aloud for all volunteers to hear which surely got everyone into the spirit of things! My gorgeous fiancé Steven took the reigns and lead the day. We surprised our community with a free car and window wash, coffee, balloons, sweets, biscuits, gift vouchers, BBQ and lawn mowing. We also fed the homeless, visited local rest homes ... Read Full Story >>
Today has been a great kindness day for me. I brought an extra banana on my drive into the office and gave it to the homeless man at the corner. I bought coffee for the hurried woman in front of me, who smiled and had a little bit better day if only for a few moments. I sent 5 thank you notes to people who have done simple things for me in the past few days. And my daughter and I made smile rocks and sent them to a special friend in need.
How does this pertain to you? Because every single one of my acts today was because of something I read here! A special friend made a difference for me today when she sent me a great note and some karmabucks. A special thank you to her for making my day today!
Your comments, stories and kind acts make all the difference, even when you don't know it. Your words touch more hearts than you know and cause others to pass it on. Keep it up everyone! I am a better person having had my life touched by you all. I plan to continue following your lead and look forward every day the inspiration you provide to me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
Sometime back our lawn mower broke down beyond repair. We got someone to mow the lawn for us from time to time but that was getting a little costly. Then a young boy used to come down to our house every so often to do some odd jobs to save up for a bike, so we gave him the job of mowing the lawn with his mum's permission & lawn mower! But, being young, the boy had more interesting things to do, especially after he saved up enough money to buy himself a new bike!
As the days went on, our lawn was getting longer & longer, even with the drought. The other day I went out to the front garden & I couldn't believe my eyes -- the lawn had been mowed! I reckoned it was our kindly neighbour, but when my hubby went to thank him, he said it wasn't me. So, it remains a mystery who was behind this anonymous act of kindness. I truly love those kinds of mysteries...
To all of you mystery helpers around the globe, bless you with love, joy, peace & everything else.
As some of you know, my 30th birthday party is coming up and I have themed it a 'Random Acts of Kindness' party where we will be doing various things to bestow kindness upon others. My best friend, who cannot attend because she lives in South Africa (I'm in Australia) has chosen to participate in the event anyway. She has given me the best present possible! I felt so good when I received her email. Not just because of the beautiful comments she made, but also to see that my random acts of kindness idea has even reached the other side of the world and will make a difference to people so far away. It's absolutely inspirational. Here is her beautiful email that I would love to share with you: To my dear friend, Jackie, Since we met in July 2003, you have been a wonderful inspiration to me and a great friend. ... Read Full Story >>
I struggled through St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport with my toddler and a heap of coats and carry-ons to catch a 6 a.m. flight. After making my way through the security line, I landed by the gate with my laptop still hanging out of my briefcase and my sock-footed son trying to make a run for it. I stared longingly at Starbucks. It was only 15 yards away, but it might as well have been 15 miles, since a loudspeaker kept warning that leaving your bags unattended was not allowed. Then I noticed a well-heeled woman observing me. As she walked toward me, I was sure she was going to reprimand me for being such a disorganized mess. But instead she leaned over and said, “How do you take it?” “Huh?” I said, confused. “Your coffee, how do you take it?” I stammered out “cream and sugar,” and watched in shock as she waited ... Read Full Story >>
Many years ago a kind farmer bought a tank of gas for a stranded mom with 2 children. He wouldnt accept any money and just smiled, waved and said pass it on to someone else. And so a few weeks ago as my husband and I were filling up our car with a coupon for 99 cents a gallon, I went in to pay and got into a long line. I could see up ahead a young man who was having some kind of problem and realized he had misunderstood the coupon and thought it was 99 cents to fill his small truck. Everyone was saying, "99 cents a gallon is unbelieveable - they cant give the gas away." He was embarressed and was just calling his wife when I got to the counter. He said to his wife, "Just come down cuz I dont have that much on me." I ... Read Full Story >>
This was a story I wanted to share with you, from a woman who helps the homeless. I am a mother of three and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.' The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of ... Read Full Story >>
You think everyone would have something they dislike about their job - with the notable exception of the people at State Bank and Trust in Fargo, N.D., CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports. "What do you hate about this company?" Hartman asked some workers. One said: "I haven't found anything yet." Another: "No, this is a good place to work? "What do I hate about management? They're just too nice!" One worker said. Another worker said, "They care about their employees." The conclusion: Take this job and love it! Another worker's reaction to Hartman's question, what do you hate about working here, was: "I have to go home." State Bank chief operating officer Michael Solberg said, "That's our mission statement: happy employees, happy customer." What, is this McDonalds? To accomplish the company's mission, Solberg says the bank gives a year-end bonus of about 5 percent of salary. They contribute 15 percent of salary to the 401-K, and do a full ... Read Full Story >>
While shopping at my local Walmart I noticed a young girl ahead of me. She had with her what looked like a newborn infant in the cart along with diapers, formula, and other food items. This young mother wasn't the average mom shopping at Walmart. The pierced nose and tongue might have discouraged others from helping her. The cashier rung up her items and the girl gave the cashier her credit card. The credit card was declined and the girl looked at the cashier embarassed and horrified. The cashier gave the girl the option of keeping her items in the cart while the girl went to get the necessary money. I wasn't sure if this was the person I was supposed to help, after all there seemed to be a lot of stuff in her cart, and I am a single parent myself. The girl left, supposedly to go get ... Read Full Story >>
This is a random act of kindness that happened to me on Sunday morning, as five of us got off of the 19 MUNI at Hyde and Fulton Street in San Francisco. It was at two in the morning, and we had just finished clubbing it up at a Persian Club and were trying to find our way back to Berkeley. There must have been this look of fear on our faces and in our voices as we were trying to figure out where the AC Transit stop was. As we nervously chattered amongst ourselves, a homeless man a little ways away yelled at us, “What you lookin’ for?” Ignoring him, our voices trying to figure out what to do got a little more frantic. “Excuse me!, what are you looking for? Powell is up one street.” I finally said, after much internal debating, “No, we’re looking for the AC ... Read Full Story >>
I was on my school's campus the other day and there was an ice cream truck parked right in front of one of the main common areas of the school. Since I had primarily seen ice cream men drive their musical trucks around neighborhoods for elementary school kids, I never thought an ice cream man would circle our campus and come for us, overgrown kids, such as myself. I was intrigued and was prompted to investigate further. I was quite surprised when the sweet and rather chubby man in the truck called out, "free ice cream!". I questioned him just to confirm his words saying, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" "Free ice cream, you have your choice of these four frozen treats: the rocket pop, the chocolate eclair, the strawberry shortcake, or the drumstick ." After I got the confirmation that this guy is just giving away free ice cream, I talked with the man for a while. He told me that his dream had always ... Read Full Story >>