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 >>
I pulled into the gas station to fuel up. There was a guy there asking to wash windshields for a dollar. He was developmentally disabled. As he approached me, he compassionately said, "How are you today, maam? Are you having an awesome day? I sure am." His cheer was contagious.
He continued, "Can you help a guy out? I will wash your windshield the best its ever been washed?" I said, " Yes, please go ahead."
So, he washed them all including my mirrors and, they were sparkling clean.
I gave him two dollars and a Smile Card. He said "What is this card"? and I said, "It's a Smile Card and you have to to do something nice for someone today". He understood immediately. And then told me that he wanted god to bless me.
He made me smile. and, I guess since he made me smile and uplifted me, perhaps he had already paid it forward without even knowing it.
One of my heroes told me of how she likes to secretly leave little treats for people at work with a smile card. So, I started doing that too. I found these really great snacks made by Larabar called “cashew cookies.” That was usually my go-to. Sometimes, I’d leave a book or a DVD that I liked for my co-workers on my way out. It was kind of cool, because everybody got it! Nobody tried very hard to find out who or how. They just kept doing it again and again. I got 3 of the smile cards given back my way. One of my best friends at work had her birthday a couple weeks ago. If you meet her, you would know that she’s an exceptional human being. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I know. On top of that, she’s very smart and always has good ... Read Full Story >>
I have always loved our local library and every couple weeks, I've started to stop by on my lunch break. As the weather has gotten colder I have noticed that the library is more crowded during the day and not smelling very pleasant. It seems that the library is a popular place for our local homeless to gather to get out of the bad weather. I am glad that there is a warm safe place for people to get out of the bad weather, but I also wonder what it is like for the librarians who work there every day. Recently, on the way back from a business meeting, I stopped at a bakery and picked up my favorite treat -- a Napoleon. I love the bakery's Napoleons and was looking forward to enjoying the treat when I got back to my office. That day, I also stopped by the library ... Read Full Story >>
I stopped at a convenience store on the way home from my monthly trek to the surgeon for a medical procedure. I usually stop and get myself some candy and a pop as a treat for surviving the torture. This time I noticed an elderly woman getting a bag of ice and went to walk around so as not to be in her way. Right then, she paused her work and gently asked, "I can move, if you'd like to pass through." "No, I'm fine. I'll just go this way. But can I give you a hand?" "No, that's alright." And so, I went on inside the store. As I got my candy, I turned around to see if there was anything else I needed and I saw the ice-lady again. "How are you doing?" I asked her. "Okay. Just have to pay for my ice and get home." "How many bags ... Read Full Story >>
After my son's soccer game, he ran over to me and said, "Mom, do you have a smile card?" I said, "I think so." He is telling me to hurry up. We run to my purse and start digging through the million and one pockets and pouches. At last, I found one.
"What do you need it for?" I asked him.
He responds, "It is for Dad. I did not want my cookie and I know how he loves sugar. So, I quietly put it in his pocket while he was talking and now I want to add a smile card!"
His action and request melted my heart and filled me with joy. Not to mention his Dad, who was brimming with joy as he bite into his warm chocolate chip cookie!
This will bring a whole new level of tagging to our household. Secret Spy Operatives are now on the move! Stay tuned for more. :)
The other night I almost ran my car out of petrol so I took the next exit off the highway to pull into the nearest petrol station. I only had $20 cash on me. As I pulled in, hadn't even turned the car off, there was a young man walking towards the car next to me. He spoke with the driver of the car and the driver shook her head "No" and then he approached my car. Usually I would be cautious and let my "He looks shady and possibly a con" opinions control my actions - but not tonight. I put aside my opinions and listened to him openly. It turns out that he was traveling to a funeral, another 100kms away, and needed some money for petrol. He was in a sort of a stunned silence, when I said, "Sure." Then I added, "But there's one condition." With a ... Read Full Story >>
It happened so suddenly. She said she wasn’t feeling well, so she took a shower, drank some tea, and went for a nap just before dinner. By 5PM, she had passed away. “That’s insane. I just saw Sushila Auntie last week. She’s fine. I mean, she’s my mom’s age. There must be some sort of mistake,” I thought to myself. No mistake, unfortunately. Sitting in the living room at Narayan Uncle’s house to pay our condolences for the passing of his wife, the thoughts in my head wouldn’t stop. That’s my Narayan Uncle sitting there. He’s been around forever. And next to him would always be Sushila Auntie. I just saw her last week. All I gave her was a perfunctory, “Hi”. Why? Because she was always there. Yet, there is so much more to the being “there” than one realizes, because once that’s gone, things seem strange and askew. I knew nothing ... Read Full Story >>
After seeing so many folks are caught by the unexpected rain -- people waiting by bus stops, waiting under awnings of stores, and so on.
So I decided to stock my car up with "Smile Umbrellas." Oh, they're quite ordinary; in fact, I bought the cheapest ones I could find at the dollar stores. The idea is not that they will last any great length of time, but that they will give someone an unexpected kindness.
I came home wetter than drowned rat, but happy as a clam. :)
"Penn Station," I told the cab driver. The young, heavy-set man peered at me through his sunglasses and motioned me to get in. "I've got to get to JFK airport by 2:30PM. You think I'll be able to get there via LIRR or should I cab it all the way?" I ask him, as I get comfortable in the back seat. "Hmmm. You should be okay. Yeah, you'll make it. It will be much cheaper to take the train," he replied in a mild South Asian accent. "Thanks," I told him. Given his engaging nature, we naturally started a conversation, which went from the weather and quickly veered into the struggles of a cab driver's life. "How long have you been driving cabs?" "Three years." "You like it?" "It's really hard work. Not all people are so nice. I get tired, but what can you do? You have to pay the bills." ... 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 >>
While I was shopping at the Family Dollar Store I noticed a young mother with her daughter struggling to pick out items she needed because she counting money in her hand. She got behind me at the check-out counter. As I began to pay for my items, she began to put a few items back after realising she did not have enough money left in her hand. She had shampoo and I saw her put the conditioner back. The lady looked like she hadn't bathed in weeks and her child was also really dirty.
My heart really went out for this poor lady and her child. I paid for my items and then I passed the clerk a $10.00 bill and a smile card. I told her to wait until I left the store and then to give the money and the smile card to the girl behind me. I hope I made a difference in a small way.
I was in Macys a few days ago with my mom, aunt, and my sister. Usually, I am one of those people who does not like to go shopping with my family. I get all grumpy and get in a bad mood. However, I decided this time to suck it up and join them. My aunt and I were looking for some things to buy for our family when I noticed two chairs on the side. One of them had a little girl sitting on it with her family nearby and the other one was empty. So, I decided to sit down. While I was doing my own thing, I noticed that the family was not in front of the girl anymore. I saw the girl get up and look around for her family. She came back and I saw her in tears, crying. I knew that she lost her family and ... Read Full Story >>
They went on top of my dresser. About four weeks ago. Some went in the console of my car. A couple were swallowed up in my wallet which I'm quite certain still has my high school ID card. I'm 35. And there they stayed, all around me yet somehow completely hidden. Which, of course, they weren't. I just wasn't looking. I had forgotten to look. More truthfully, my "looking" had shifted from "how can I help?" to "what do I need?" I need more money. I need gas for my car. I need a job. I need some clothes. Some new running shoes. I need fulfillment, dammit! O, Happiness, where have you hid? Just when I am most in need, most lost, most miserable, you go and hide, Happiness! How dare you! I NEED these things, material and otherwise and they will deliver unto me joy, freedom, ease and happiness for all ... Read Full Story >>
Hello, You dont know me or do you? I cant tell you who I am so just call me Ms Secret Smile.
I have volunteered to send smile cards and I sent out my first batch this week. It was a challenge for me because I am not in the best finacial condition but I wanted to partake so badly. So I committed myself to send smile cards for as long as I can.
There was someone who stood out in my shipping list. The address was litterally around the corner from my home. I had an idea. I was going to give this person 20 of my own smile cards on top of the 10 she would receive from HelpOthers. I also gave a card to her explaining why I bought the cards personally and it was all wrapped up in a ribbon with a smile ballon waving in the air. I placed it in her mail box and rang bell the bell until someone opened the door. With speedy footsteps, I ran away from the home hoping to escape before they came out to look.
I have been smiling all night wondering what she thought.
Yesterday I upgraded my cell phone at the Sprint store and got the new Rumor. I love it. While I was standing there, I was thinking to myself, "These people are providing GREAT customre service, I wish I could tip them or something." I was so geeked about my new phone, it didn't even dawn on me that I could tip them with a smile card and some cash and say "Go get yourself a coffee or something." But another very happy customer in the store did it for me by leaving $5 on the counter. The employee said, "Sir, we can't accept tips," and the customer responded, "I'm not taking it back, it's yours!." So, like Wonder Woman, I swooped over and said, "Here, have one of these!" and I whipped out a Smile card. I handed the card to the other customer and said, "Give them this. It's an experiment in anoymous acts of kindness. If they can't ... Read Full Story >>
Today my son and I drove to a town just over from our own. We had errands to run there. He wanted to buy a game for all the hard work he put in this year in school. He was diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder but still managed to be on the A/B Honor Roll for half the school year. We are so incredibly proud of him! This child of mine has the most loving heart. Off we went to the mall. We got lunch in the food court and just enjoyed talking to each other. He looked over and saw a young man in an Army uniform. He asked me if he could give him a smile card. We had made our own. All they say is "Smile... Pay it forward." So he marched right up to that young man and said, "Thank you!" and handed him the ... Read Full Story >>
Today I received my very own set of Smile Cards from HelpOthers.org. Yay! I opened my envelope with great excitement and found my promised ten cards along with a larger card with ideas printed on it. Immediately I started planning my next kind act – the cards truly have an inspiring effect! It was then I realized the value of these cards and of websites such as HelpOthers.org. Not only does it inspire you, but receiving these cards, knowing that there are others out there with the same aim to be kind to others as I myself have, really made me smile! And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? In other words, the Smile Cards have already done a great deal: they made me smile! And in the future I hope each and every single card I hand out will make someone else smile too. I’d like to thank HelpOthers for offering ... Read Full Story >>
False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared. - Charles de Montesquieu I volunteered to fulfill Smile Card orders & my first shipment of “to-be” mailed Smiled Cards arrived on Monday. I was very excited & immediately inspected all the contents. My darling husband quietly watched me, not wanting to interrupt my moment, but I could tell he was curious. I told him I would be helping to spread kindness by mailing Smile Cards to members. “That’s great!” he said. Probably thinking, “There she goes again with another one of her causes.” I showed him all the contents I was to mail, and he mentioned how it was an awful lot to send. “Did HelpOthers provide you with stamps?” he asked. I held my breath, worried that he would be upset when he found ... Read Full Story >>
One evening in July, a few friends and I decided we would get together to brainstorm an idea for a local Smile Card event in London -- something we could do as a group to share smiles anonymously and cultivate kindness in our hearts. We came up with a few suggestions and then picked an idea that got everyone excited and moved ahead with planning it – we were going to bake and decorate 200 cupcakes, buy a bunch of sweets, make some fun smile posters and give it all away at Hyde Park! Our little team of 6 people spent a month planning every fine detail from inviting friends to get involved, baking cupcakes ahead of time, buying supplies, getting t-shirts that say SMILE and a banner with a giant Smile Card on it and visiting the park ahead of time to find the perfect spot for the event. A special thanks ... Read Full Story >>
My life currently requires a fair bit of travel but I was definitely surprised by my latest flight as when I walked in I realized that my ticket was in 1st class! This is seldom the case and so I thought it must have been a courtesy upgrade due to frequent travel.
I was traveling with my colleague and remembering a story I had read a few months ago, I quickly decided that I was going to offer the seat to someone else. I mentioned this to my colleague and his response was to do the same! So together, he and I made our way through the plane, Smile Cards in hand, looking for an unsuspecting person to tag. Towards the back, we found a couple unsuspecting young folks and offered an upgrade. They jumped at the chance :)
Once we sat down in our new seat, the woman on the other side of the aisle looked at me and asked 'why would you give up comfy seats to strangers so you can sit back here?' I responded, 'So I could see a couple people smile, and they're not strangers, they're family!' She liked that answer :)