I work for Bell Mobility.
Recently I had a customer in my store who was fairly aggitated about his monthly bill. We talked for a good 20 minutes, not about the bill, rather his theory that there was no good left in this world.
The instant the words slipped from his mouth, I was thinking to myself 'gotcha!' While he wasn't looking, I slipped a smile card into the envelope for his bill with a the words 'think not of all the misery in this world, but of the beauty that remains.' He didn't notice, which was perfect and left my store.
Two hours later, he drove back (through a terrible storm might I add) and walked into the store holding the card in his hand and a big ol' genuine smile on his face. He said, 'This is exactly what the world needs... more kind people like yourself.' He gave me a hug and off he went.
I watched him leave the parking lot outside and sighed in relief... ah, nothing better than a good days work.
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 >>
It was Neil's 10th birthday party. After a dozen close friends super-soaked each other with water and stuffed themselves with food and cake, this sunny August morning party would be about a different kind of fun -- fun of giving. Today, we decided to "tag" people with free car washes. First up were the signs. Taking all the art supplies and glitter and fancy colored pens, the kids sprawled all over the ground to create couple of large "Free Car Wash" signs; no matter how hard they tried to color inside the lines, these signs had "we are kids" written all over it. Soon enough, we gathered up the sponges, towels and soap and headed to the driveway. "Free Car Wash," we practiced our cheer on practically every car that drove by. To get our act together, though, we rolled in one of our own cars on the driveway. ... Read Full Story >>
I came home from work one day to find some business cards and a card holder in the street. Not much, but I figured the person might want them so I called the number only to find out the person was a seasonal employee. No worries, I thought I would just throw the cards out since they didn't seem to be of much value. A few hours later I saw a police car driving down the street, which is unusual. As I went out to see what was going on I saw an envelope on my front porch. It was a package of food stamps or food checks for mothers with young children. There were enough checks to last through October or November and interestingly the name matched the name from the business cards. I called the office that issues the checks, but they were closed so I called one ... 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.
Here's an idea that brings lots of smiles-- go to your neighborhood crafts store (I went to Michael's), pick up some polished colored stones, hand-draw some smiles, and leave those smile-stones with the following poem at coffee shop tables or just about any public venue. Look a Smile Stone straight in the eye and you'll smile back not knowing why It's something about their lopsided grins, their lack of noses and of chins A twinkling something that's not-quite-art touches your heart Like snowflakes and fingerprints no two are the same But why? You ask- What's the point of this game? Somebody's hand drew those smiles for you To find and to keep and to give away too For when the smile fades from the stone Then you'll find it within And this is where you get to begin To share that smile where there's a lack All ... Read Full Story >>
My SMILE cards came in the mail last night. YAY! And I have been so excited to use them!
I read a story about taping a card with the right change on a vending machine and I thought i'd try it out...
I sat at my desk and tried to secretly get my card and money ready, but people kept coming in and I wanted to keep it anonymous so I had to keep hiding my card and money. I felt like i was a spy on a secret mission!!!
I finally got it done and went to the kitchen, which had around 10 people in it. So I had to stay and drink about 4 cups of water until no one was there!!! So funny!!! (at least I am hydrated!).
I stuck the card on with the money and ran out as quickly as I could... my heart beating so so so fast!!! I never thought being secretly kind could produce this kind of adrenaline!!!
I will go and check on it soon... I hope someone has been blessed and feels as good as I do now!!!
The Japanese man points to my airplane seat, right as I head to the bathroom. He didn't speak much English, so I just signal that I'll be back in couple minutes. When I return, we play charades to see if he wants to swap his aisle seat with my window seat. "Yes, yes," he says with a child-like glee. I am more than happy to oblige. My window shutter has been down for couple hours of the flight already and I am hardly planning on making any further use of it. Right before he changes seats, he folds his hands and bows as a gesture of gratitude. It's touching when someone is thankful for something that takes almost no effort on your part. Before he can even get settled in, he slides up the window shutter and curiously looks outside at the clouds. He's happy. I can just tell. And that he's happy, ... 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 >>
Saturday I was with my 8 year old son and we were in Boston at the Boston Commans. There was a manyelling out "spare change." He was a homeless man.
My son said, "Dad can I give him a dollar and one of your smile cards." I said you sure can Jared. I been teaching my son to be very loving and caring. So when the homeless man took the dollar and the smile card he said to Jared, "this is the best spare change I ever got because you made me smile with this nice card thank you so much. Have a nice day." And then he turned
as he was walking away and said, "keep smiling."
I looked at Jared and he looked at me and we were both smiling together and Jared said dad I feel so good that I made that poor man smile and I told him me too honey and I am very proud of you. Then Jared gave me a big hug and said,
"I love you dad." So the thing I loved the most out of this story is from one smile card we ended up getting three smiles the homeless man, Jared, and me John.
Thank you so much SmileGroups have a wonderful day from your loving and caring Jared and John.
Last week, my friend was leafing through a bunch of clothes when he found a crumpled up note. Right then, he turns to me and says, "I don't know what amount this is, but it's yours. Pay it forward, leave 'em a smile card and lots to smile about." That bills ends up being a ten-dollar bill. All week I've been wondering what to do. Saturday morning rolled around and I had to drop off a couple of bags of clothes at Goodwill. I had been to this particular Goodwill store before and as I'm driving, my mind wandered to the people working at the store. There is a large room at the back of the store for dropping off items and there are always people in the room sorting through the dozens of bags left for donations. I thought to myself, that's not the most ... Read Full Story >>
Here's a story my mom recently emailed our family. I thought I'd share with the group! Per your invitation card instructions, I decided to do my first truly anonymous act of kindness as my baby-shower offering. For Junior, I wanted to crochet a receiving blanket and I just learned crocheting. Then I realized what you had asked for was an anonymous act of kindness. I decided to do it for someone unknown. I got white yarn and started crocheting with as much good wishes and blessings as possible for an unknown baby. It came out beautifully with a center area of shaded blue. And I myself felt a little bit attached to it by the time it was completed! But I remembered what you had asked for. So I asked a friend to accompany me. She had no experience of this sort either. First, we decided to ... Read Full Story >>
I was renewing my library card the other day, and overheard the transaction of the user being assisted by the adjacent clerk. If not outright homeless(he carried with him two large bags of possessions), the scruffy man was clearly going through an extremely hard time. It seems that he was unable to check out a book because he had an outstanding $3.00 fine on some books he had turned-back late. He told the clerk there was no possible way for him to pay the fine. I reached over and slipped the man three dollars. He paid his fine and thanked me profusely: "I don't know how I could make it through a night on the street without my science fiction." That is not the story. Here's the story. As he was getting up to leave, I was in the process of fishing through my wallet for a photo ... Read Full Story >>
Being in the high school Band isn't always easy. Hours of practice go into making the show(s) perfect! (Not including if your football team makes it to districts, and so on.) You need a lot of dedication and I realize that because I am in the band. Every day in August from 8am-12pm we have 'band camp' practicing for the upcoming football season. This past week was one of our last regular season football games and it was COLD! During our break, I was standing in line at the concession stand for a hot chocolate when a band member from the other team approched me and told me how nice our band looked, and then began telling me about how cold she was and how she's not used to being this cold during football season because their team never went far into the season. Being next in line, I ordered ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday, while at a bank machine in a very poor part of town, my husband and I found a wallet. We opened it up to look for ID and the first thing we saw was a picture of a toddler sitting on Santa's knee. We knew we had to find this father. We found his drivers licence and gave him a call. His wife answered the phone and told us he was out looking for his wallet. We left our phone number and 10 minutes later he called. He told us because of the poor area of town his friend told him he could say good-bye to the wallet, he would never see it again. He was so grateful, he offered us $100 as a reward. My husband and the gentleman made plans to meet and as my husband was getting ready I gave him one of the smile cards. My ... Read Full Story >>
Although I walk through the world with a folio of smile cards in my wallet, and try to be ever-vigilant for opportunities to use them, it always seems that I am the recipient of anonymous kindness much more often than the benefactor. Here's a story about one such incident which happened just yesterday: We arrived at Chennai Central early; our train did not depart for another 45 minutes. I took the opportunity to find a tailor to perform a simple repair for me. Across the lane from the side of the station stood a building typical of those found in India cities, containing a warren of tiny shops – perhaps several hundred of them. These buildings would look like any of the zillions of faceless, multi-storied, style-bereft concrete abominations that proliferate in the metros, were they not covered with scores-and-scores of small peeling signs — most painted directly onto the façade, at ... Read Full Story >>
My wife opens the doors and says, "Man, that lady must be having a really bad day. She was really rude." After a slight pause, she adds, "What she really needs is someone to tag her." "Well, let's do it!", I proposed in an excited tone. "Who is this lady anyhow? Any ideas of what she would like?" Two minutes, later: Operation Mid-Day Chocolate to Lady Behind the Counter. I get a box of new chocolates from the refrigerator and think up a note to write about. As my wife was walking to an errand earlier in the downtown area, she said the usual "how are you" to a homeless man -- Ronnie -- on the streets; oddly enough, the man responded, "Could be better .... but can't complain." While returning, she saw him from a distance and thought of ways to "better" his day. With her usual smile, she ... Read Full Story >>
About a month ago I learned about “smile cards,” which can be found at www.helpothers.org. Smile cards are “an experiment in anonymous kindness,” as stated on each card. Each card, when used in the spirit intended, serves at least two immediate purposes. One, it becomes the physical marker of an event of anonymous kindness. This is important because, physically persisting, it can serve as the template for the perpetuation of the idea of itself: new acts of anonymous kindness. As an object carrying an explanation of itself, it also will serve as a reference point for the recipient of the anonymous act of kindness who, besides being grateful may well be befuddled. Anonymous acts of kindness verge on the incomprehensible to most of us in this culture. The mere idea remains a little shocking. Imagine how disorienting it might be to receive an anonymous act ... Read Full Story >>
Well.....I just couldnt WAIT to try out my smile cards. Last week I set out on my nightly outing -- to a meeting, and then to spend some time with my best friend. I told him I wanted to use my smile cards. First stop, the Dollar Store. I bought 2 nice candle jars with thoughtful things written on them. Next up, 7 Eleven. We parked and looked for someone to give a candle and card to. A woman had just gotten gas and was walking into the store. I hurriedly got out and ran over to her car, put the candle and card on top where she couldn't miss it, and ran back to my truck and waited. When she came out, she saw it, looked around, and acted like she was afraid to touch it! Another man getting ... Read Full Story >>
I always wanted to try this.
I talked to a buddy of mine and he reminded me of a night class that he had. I always wanted to tag a group of people and so I decided I would tag his class.
Everyone knows from student life that when you have a night class, for some reason or another, you always get hungry! So this class was from 7pm to 9pm, with about 25 students, and I decided that I would buy some pizza for the whole class.
I walked in after the class had started and delivered the pizza. A bit puzzled, the teacher asked the class who ordered pizza and I explained that I was bringing it on my own will. Everyone looked a little bit stunned, in a good kind of a way. :)
She really wanted to give me a tip, but I told her that the only tip I would accept is if they all did something nice for somebody else. I also made sure to leave them Smile Cards and they were all definitely moved by this gesture.
I'm new to the Smile Cards, but here's my first experience with the cards. I work in a school and after all the kids are gone for the day a sweet young lady Claire comes in to clean the school classrooms and offices. I'm there late once a week and I often chat for a few minutes with her. She always makes me feel so good because she's not full of herself and instead she wants to hear about me or will talk about her children. Our conversations are always great. Last week she wasn't her happy self and told me how her husband had lost his job of 15 years and that she didn't know what they would do without his income. I wanted to cheer her up some how, but couldn't think of anything at that time. Later that week I was in a department store I noticed all the pretty summer clothing ... Read Full Story >>
Finally, It was a good wait. After expecting my smile card for a long time and finally got it, the joy I felt overwhelmed me and I guess that openned me to exactly what to use it for. Where I worship I am a lead teacher in the kids kingdom (the way we call them) and those kids are very special to me. It's a quarterly afair and I was in my last quarter. So I thought to myself after taken this little saints for a whole quarter; teaching, correcting, helping, admonishing and putting them through in life as they grow up to mix with the rest of the world, I thought it wise that since am leaving, let me do something simple but special for them. And so I designed a certificate of honour to each kid according to their areas of strenghts, bought them pencils, chocolates and the smile cards. ... Read Full Story >>
I know that the title is little curious. But the scary homeless man is even more curious. I have lived in Mayport Florida for about three years. Every day, leaving work, coming home and running errands, I pass this homeless man with two shopping baskets full of his treasures. Except for about 2-3 months of the year (and I'm not sure where he goes during that time), he is always around, never to be missed. Anyhow, the reason I call him a scary man is because my son and I are often together when we see this man and he's always talkin to him self and staring at people with an awkward look. He talks loud and much of what he says does not make sense. With his two carts filled to the top, he's there just talking away. It's intimidating. My wife and I are always talking about his misfortune and how ... Read Full Story >>
Another glorious Saturday afternoon in Central Park found six members of our Lemonade Brigade ready to collect more smiles and give out some just-because lemonade! Week one of our experiment in kindness went so well that we decided to set up our gift-economy lemonade stand at the exact same spot as we did last week. As usual, our blown-up smile card poster started drawing in the crowds before the lemonade was ready to be served. Pavitra has become a seasoned professional in the art of lemonade-making after just one week, and worked tirelessly to make sure the mouthwatering lemonade kept flowing. Ria, our 2.5-year-old Ambassador of Smiles, had on another one of her adorable outfits and this time came armed with a bubble-making gun to entertain the passersby – who could resist that? And the rest of us were brimming with energy and the anticipation of connecting ... Read Full Story >>
I am visiting my oldest daughter and 2 grandsons in Coconut Grove, Miami Florida, and walking home from a wonderful lunch in the Grove with my 4 year old grandson on my head. Tonight is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in the Jewish religion, my family is all together - life couldn't be better. I notice a shiny new cellphone lying on the curb, which someone had obviously dropped. We were a block away from the busy area of the Grove, and I thought for a moment - "If I leave it, someone could pick it up and not return it, or maybe the owner would return and retrace their steps to see where it might have dropped." On the other hand, I thought, "If I pick it up, for sure they will call and have their phone returned." So I picked it up, walked the half ... Read Full Story >>
I received my Smile cards and was looking for a chance to use them. I was in the Albuquerque airport on my way back to Colorado and decided to get some ice cream.
As I was paying, a young woman came up and placed an order. I pretended to count my change and generally waste time until the clerk told the woman how much she owed. I quickly fished out the money, gave it to the clerk, handed the very surprised woman one of my new Smile cards, wished her a good day and left! The smile on the clerk's face and the confused/changing to surprised face on the woman was so much fun and I hope the Smile card is now out there circulating!
For years I had always taken my change out of my pocket each night and placed it in one of those water cooler jars. I would use the change every so often when it got full. As nature would have it, I got older and the glass jar got fuller. I changed my process to taking the change and putting it in a small container. Then every so often I would take the change to my bank and have it put on a visa card which is what I carry around in my wallet for "Smile Emergencies". So the other day I was in line at Home Depot and a lady with way too many kids for one person to watch at one time was in front of me. She was buying some curtains and various plants and house hold items. She was telling the kids to stand still, be ... Read Full Story >>
I live in a small town in the north of Australia. It's not much and it's only starting to be a little more known because some scenes in the movie "Australia" are being filmed there. However, before the movie and resident of my town would tell you that it's famous for Mindil. For people who don't know, Mindil is referring to the Mindil Beach Markets which are held on Mindil beach every Thursday and Sunday night in the dry season. So that's the basics you need to know. I was down at mindil on Thursday night last week in the last few days of my holidays. It was busy and there was lots going on. I had recently received my 70 smile cards all the way from America. I was excited and ready to paint a smile on the face of Mindil. I went prepared. Bright coloured clothed, rainbow shoelaces and ... Read Full Story >>
I was recently transfered from one department to another. So I decided to give a token of appreciation to my old boss. Then, I realized that I still have some smile cards and decided to make their day in a slightly more elaborate way. As a thank you for everything she had done, I made some jewelry for my old boss -- a beaded colors stones necklace! Then, I gave the secretary a gift as well -- a brown beaded necklace. And finally, the volunteer recruiter, a brown beaded bracelet and matching earrings. All ladies were so pleased and grateful that I made their day. The recruiter was so touched with the gesture that she now wants to incorporated the smile cards into the volunteer department, so other volunteers can do random acts of kindness too. I am so happy to have given the gifts to the ladies and attach the smile cards. Because ... 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 >>