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 >>
A few years ago, this southern Alabama town experienced unusually frigid weather, cold enough to knock out the power for days. My husband, braving the cold, was on the way to the grocery to resupply our perishibles, and passed a police officer. He was standing in the middle of a fairly remote and windblown intersection, directing traffic. He thought of the officer again when he'd completed his errands, thinking of how cold he must be, stopped at a convenience store and bought a large cup of hot chocolate or coffee, it escapes me now. But, when passing the officer again, he rolled down his window, passed the cup to the officer, and thanked him for his help. My husband's description of the expression on the officer's face was that he was surprised, and grateful. What a simple, easy way to practice these thoughts we have.
When I decided to be a part of the smile card experiment, the first person that came to mind to target was Lara, a fellow member of my research group and a mentor. I couldn't think of the perfect thing for her yet and on top of that found out that it was her birthday 2 months back. The next day, at a local deli, inspiration struck when I saw their freshly baked honey wheat bread. I picked up a loaf and headed to lab. Unfortunately or fortunately, Lara wasn't in her office, so I put a note on the loaf reading: Lara, Happy Belated Birthday! I really like this honey wheat bread and thought you would enjoy! An hour later, she comes by and I innocently tell her someone left a package for her. She reads the note and immediately looks at me, "Did you leave this?" I try my best to ... Read Full Story >>
This is about an incident which took place couple of years back. I used to frequently visit an old age home run by the little sisters of the poor in our city Hyderabad. A.P. (India) There I met a gentlemen by name Kurien who happened to be a Keralite in his late eighties. He served the Indian army and retired. He has one son who is well educated and also married. He just does not bother to take care of him nor respect him while he is in the house. Mr. Kurien got dejected with the life in his house and decided to move into this old age home here in Hyderabad. We both began to share a lot thoughts whenever we met and slowly it was a daily affair that I used to spend some time with him discussing what he was doing in the army, ... Read Full Story >>
When I was 21 yrs old, I was dating a girl whose parent's friends were going through a divorce. They had a 6 year old daughter and unfortunately their separation was just before Christmas and we both knew how upset the little girl was. Her dad was not living in the house and wasn't planning on spending Christmas with them. So my girlfriend and I wrote little notes like, "On the first day of Christmas, my secret Santa gave to me...." and put a gift each night on their porch for the little girl. We started this about 2 weeks before Christmas. Well into the first week, my girlfriend's parents heard that someone was leaving gifts on the porch for this little girl and wondering who it was. Of course....we didn't. :) As we got closer to Christmas it was getting more difficult doing what we were doing without getting ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, I was running a little late on my way to my first day at a new job in East London. I had injured my achilles heal a couple of days before and didn't want to put too much pressure on it by running to the tube station so I decided to jump in a cab just to get to the station. The cab driver was really warm and friendly and happened to ask me where I was off to. So, I told him how I was on my way to start a new job and was running a little late to get to the tube station. En route, about half way there, he realized that the road was closed ahead and told me that as a result this is as far as he'll be able to take me. Of course I said no ... Read Full Story >>
My wife and I were at the bookstore the other day and we were helped by a young woman in finding a book, and something about this woman just told me she needed to get tagged! So my wife wrote a beautiful note addressed "To the woman in the light green sweater and curly, brown hair" with a quote that said "Sometimes our joy is the reason for our smile, and sometimes our smile is the reason for our joy," along with a small box of Godiva chocolates ... We gave it to another employee who read the whole thing and left it for her to come back to. Now they say that in giving we receive, and maybe it was a coincidence, but minutes later, I ran into one of my best friends from high school, who I hadn't seen for about a decade!
We were recently at a concert. The young artists were playing their hearts out but unfortunately, the audience was largely empty. Moved by the artists, my wife felt we ought to do something to support them. Something, anything. The guy next to us, an Italian youngster named Arthur, had become our friend in applause. We just knew that he felt the same way, because at the end of the concert, all three of us stood up to give our own version of a standing ovation for these budding artists. After the concert, we go outside to the front desk and ask the little girl behind the CD-counter. "What is your favorite item? This t-shirt or this CD or this card?" The little girl was also part of the ten-person band; she was the daughter of the lead singer. A little shy, she shrugs her shoulder with ... 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.
Two days before Mother's Day, I was at a Walmart with my wife, getting some gifts, and I saw a nice gift set of lavender-scented lotions and other stuff (Hey, I'm not supposed to know exactly what all comes in those sets :-)) And so I thought what the heck, I'll get one and we'll find someone to give it to. So we're paying for everything, and the woman behind the counter is this cheery, middle-aged woman who remarks "Getting a gift for Mother's Day, huh? Nice set," or something. Somehow that set showed up for only half of the price, $5 instead of $10. Strange, I thought. We finish paying, and we move over to the side, and I'm thinking I should just give her that set! We pull out a smile card and as she's helping another customer, I tell her, this is for you, and give her the set ... Read Full Story >>
Hi I'm 12 years old and I recently saw a movie called 'Pay It Foreward'. It was all about doing random acts of kindness.
On mothers day today we had a bunch of roses in our church that went out to all the mothers. There were a few extra so i took the extra ones home with me and placed them on people in my neighborhoods doorsteps. Then when i was delivering newpapers on wednesday one of my neighbors had seen me drop of a rose at their doorstep, ran up to me and gave me a huge hug.
That had made my day, that sometimes people just need something small like a rose to make them happy!
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 >>
We recently bought some furniture from a shop, and they really worked hard to make sure it reached us within 2 days. So I just thought I’d buy a box of chocolates for the salesman, who really did a good job on selling us on it. I walked into the store, and Daniel sees me, and I can tell, there's a little bit of apprehension in the air, as I’m guessing that most customers go back to complain. He says "Hello, Sir! How are you doing?" And I'm holding the chocolates in front of me, and so I tell him, "Good. I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful furniture, and working with us to make it happen. Our whole family loves it, we've even taken pictures and sent them to other family and they love it too. Thanks for going the extra mile for us! These chocolates ... Read Full Story >>
In the middle of lunch, we get a phone call. "Sir, I've got a special package for you." "Special package? Um, ok, I'll come down to get it." "This is for you," the slim, twenty-something guy says with a mischevious smile. "Who is it from?" "It's from an anonymous friend." Actually, in all my excitement I couldn't tell if he said "friend" or "friends" but it didn't matter. With radiant joy for having kind friends, I took a peek inside the box. "Thank you." The kid rushes off as if his 007 mission is accomplished. Inside the box -- guess what? T-shirts. Lots of them, I think about 25-30 of them. Each t-shirt had the same kind of "smile" written on it, the way each smile card has, and a happy face. ... 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 >>
Last-weekend, my kids along with few other kids from the neighborhood volunteered to help me wash my car. We embarked on our car cleaning mission when my 10 year old came up with the idea of washing other people's cars as well. It was pretty hot outside and I had no plans to continue being in the bright sun. She further wanted to give lemonade to passerby's for free. I had seen little kids serve and sell fresh lemonade for a small cost (may be 25 cents) but not free. I felt fuzzy and decided to help her out. She promptly asked me, "What if we make this a smile car wash mommy"? I couldn't hold back my tears and encouraged her and the other kids to go inside the house and get creative and come up with ideas. While I kept myself busy in drying the car, the ... Read Full Story >>
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 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.
When I was in hospital and just given birth to my first child a lady use to come in and dust and sweep. I would say 'Hello' and she would never answer. I did this repeatedly and no answer. I thought she may have been deaf. I was told that she was mute and had been because she had been in a concentration camp. She had recovered but some children threw 'crackers' at her window letting off very loud 'bangs', and she never spoke from that day on. On the day I was going home and I asked her if she would be my friend. No answer. I left her some magazines and told the staff to give them to her. I had left the hospital with my husband a new born child. Then I realized I had forgotten to ask the doctor something. I went back with my baby ... 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!
For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of going abroad to do something worthwhile, a voluntary thing, either working with kids or animals... and have been spoiled for choices with the kind of organised things you can pick, different causes, different countries. It's very expensive though. And I was puzzling over how can I be able to afford the flights and costs and everything. And impatience took over me. I thought "I can't wait to do something, I have to do something worthwhile NOW!!" So I just got up off my bed, went downstairs and started making sandwiches and put some crisps and some biscuits and an apple into about 6 little disposable picnic bags, called a couple of friends and told them my idea - "we're going into the city to give this food out to the homeless!" My friends loved the idea and we ... Read Full Story >>
I had to come on to UC Irvine's campus to accompany a friend to a meeting. In the parking lot, I enlisted him in my scheme with a Smile card and short explanation. We were each supposed to make 1 person smile, pass on the card, and meet up to share the story of what happened. He was dumbfounded and at a complete loss of ideas for what to do. To top it off, we were in an upscale shopping area of the campus surrounded by young, smiling, mostly affluent people. "No worries," I said as I pulled out my laptop to look for a wireless signal that we could use to hunt for ideas. The only problem was that there was no empty tables to sit at. That's when we spotted him: an older man by sitting by himself while enjoying a drink and a cigarette. "Excuse me sir, ... Read Full Story >>
The third round of flooding came at night. Residents kept vigil all night, waiting and watching the water level rise. Would it enter their home? As the water rose, people moved to the street, but still they wouldn't sleep. The water level continued it climb upwards, displacing more people as the hours passed. The stores were closed and traffic on the street minimal, but activity was in the air as people moved to help their relatives and neighbours.
A distance away, a man heard the news. He jumped on his scooter and instead of heading to the flooded slum, he drove in the opposite direction to Lal Darwaja (7-8km away from the slum), where food stands were open.
Dus chai dedo (10 chais please).
Packing the chai for travel, he then jumped back on his scooter and headed to the tekra. When he found the family he was looking for, he handed out chai to them and those around them before even asking how they were. They simply looked at the man and smiled. At 3AM, a cup of chai was exactly what they needed.
I was at a business meeting, and I had to run downstairs to pick up some documents. As I was hurrying to catch the elevator back upstairs to my meeting, an elderly woman stopped me and asked me to go on the elevator downstairs with her.
She explained that she was terrified of elevators and asked/begged if I could go with her downstairs to the street level. At first, I was going to ask her why she was afraid, and the doors were opening. I canned my question, just got on the elevator and went downstairs with her, and pointed which direction she should go. I got back in the elevator and went upstairs. My colleagues were a bit inconvenienced, but our meeting proceeded without a hitch.
Sometimes it takes a little time to be kind, sometimes you have to give up your priority to help someone make it to the street.
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 >>
My wife and I were at Disneyland taking the shuttle back to the hotel, when this boy -- I guess he must've been 4 or 5 years old -- gets on the shuttle bus with his pirate sword and eye patch.
He was looking real tough in his gear so I decided to yell out to every one on the bus, "Stand back! There is a pirate on the bus."
As fast as the words came out of my mouth the boy pulls off his eye patch, drops his swords, and yells back, "No, no, no. It's just me. I am a little kid, not a real pirate." Everyone on the bus had a great laugh.
The next day his mother saw me in the hotel lobby and stopped me to thank me. She told me that I had made her son's day and that he talked about scaring the big guy on the bus all that night.
P.S. I am 6'3" 280 lbs.
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 >>
Recently, my Mother underwent a surgery to repair a valve in her heart at UCLA Medical Center. During the first couple of days she was in the hospital, my Dad was telling me how wonderful the nurses were in the ICU and how they took such great care of my Mom and made sure she was comfortable at all times. I told him it would be great if we could think of a fun way to show our gratitude -- in the whole process of going through a major surgery, the nurses are often the people who get overlooked the most and aren't thanked enough for the compassion and care they give to each patient. My Dad had a great idea -- he asked me to bring along some cute decorative tins of chocolate from London for all of them. When I arrived at the hospital, I had my first opportunity to tag Kara, ... Read Full Story >>