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 :)
My 8-year-old daughter is experimenting with kindness and smiles. She has been making her own colourful smile cards in all the colours of the rainbow and often takes them to school or stuffs her pockets with them when we go out to run errands. She makes them very carefully and takes great pride in her work :) Last Sunday, I took the kids grocery shopping with me. My daughter packed her pockets with about 20 of her homemade smile cards. She was hoping to see John, who is an elderly man who gives out samples. We see him from time to time and he is so happy and friendly, that we can't help feeling good talking to him. John wasn't at the store on Sunday, so my daughter decided that it would be a good idea to distribute her smile cards to all the store's other employees. As much as I have ... Read Full Story >>
When I first heard about Smile Cards through my pseudo room-mate, I thought it was a brilliantly novel idea - making someone smile and then asking them to do the same for one more person. I tried tagging some people with the cards and only then realised that it is tougher for us by nature to really do something nice. But then once you start, our own expectation rises and what we would have considered nice early on would then become a norm, and thus challenging oneself to go beyond that. I then got the opportunity to ship these Smile Cards to other people like me who wanted to share the smiles. I thought this would be great to do because not only was I 'volunteering' my time, I was also helping make a difference without leaving the confines of my four walls, and so I jumped on the idea. ... Read Full Story >>
Aikido, translated as “the way of spiritual harmony”, is a Japanese martial art. While it is a powerful system of self defense, the greatest benefit of Aikido training is that it provides a means to better yourself and become a happier, more balanced person. There is a piece of calligraphy authored by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, that reads “True victory is victory over oneself”. This concept and Aikido itself is suitable for people of all ages. For the last year or so, I have had the privilege of being an assistant instructor for the “Kid's Self Mastery” classes at my dojo; helping to teach children ranging in age from 5 to 10 years old. The classes themselves consist mostly of games and exercises allowing the students to learn Aikido, teamwork, respect, kindness, and other skills in a way that's fun to them. They also have “Mat Chats” in which ... Read Full Story >>
Last night after work, I took the bus home. Now this bus ride was different then usual. The difference was that people seemed to be helping others at every chance they could! The bus was filled with people as usual and we took the usual route home. There is a blind lady who always gets on the same bus as me. We were just about to leave the bus station when a lady on the bus suddenly noticed that the blind lady wasn't on the bus that day and told the driver. When we looked out the window, we saw her sitting over in the corner all by herself. One lady passenger jumped off the bus and ran to help and guide this blind lady onto the bus. As we were driving along each stop and picking up passengers, a girl in her 20's got on at one stop and asked the bus driver how much the bus ride ... Read Full Story >>
About a month ago, while in the drive through at Starbucks, I noticed a woman in a car behind me who appeared to be having a bad day. There were two kids in the back who looked to have too much energy at 8am on a Sunday morning. The line moved slowly and at one point while pulling forward, the woman behind me bumped my car. I could tell this worried and concerned her. The entire time that I waited in line for my coffee this woman didn't smile. Looking back at her I could tell she was looking at the side view mirror wondering "Why me? Why today?" When I pulled up and paid for my coffee I requested that the Starbucks barista give the woman behind me a Smile Card and paid for her muffin and latte. Just 30 mins ago I was again waiting in line at the Starbucks. I heard a car door ... Read Full Story >>
I returned from a lovely holiday with my family and sang in a number of different concerts around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions in New Zealand. It is always such an honour seeing the joy on people's faces. One concert we sang at was at a local rest-home/retirement village. It was nice to see 100 elderly people so happy after we, "The Short Sistars," had sung. It was so wonderful to see so many happy faces, all saying they want us to come back and sing again soon. So next Uni holidays the managers have invited us to come and perform again. When our music fills the air, I love seeing these elderly people, who aren't in the best of health, and the beaming smiles appearing across their faces as if they feel at peace, maybe :) Then spent the second week down in Palmerston North..Visiting my sick Grandma in hospital everyday and looking after ... Read Full Story >>
I recieved my new Smile Deck (a deck of cards with a unique kindness idea on each card) from HelpOthers.org. I have distributed a few of the cards (asking, of course, that they be returned to me as soon as the mission on that card is completed). I have not yet heard back any stories from the cards I sent out but I look forward to hearing them and to sharing them here with all of you. :) I drew one card myself. It was the Ace of Spades. The task on the card was to make signs about conserving water and distribute them in public places. I used 'Word' to make the signs. I put a pretty picture of a leaf with water droplets on it at the top and then listed 5 easy practical ways YOU can conserve water and then printed off a few copies. I posted one in the laundry matt near where I ... Read Full Story >>
I stopped at a huge yard sale and was looking for that hidden treasure. A blouse caught my eye, and as I approached the "cashier" I heard her say, "Well, can't you get some more money from someone?" I looked over and saw that her comment was directed at a child holding a nice looking pair of shoes in one hand, his other outstretched palm displaying a few coins. I was instantly annoyed that the lady was witholding a pair of unwanted shoes for a few more cents. I remembered my smile cards, and asked "how much are they?" . "Two dollars" she replied. "Oh, here ya go," I said, handing the boy two dollars and a smile card. As I walked away I heard her say to the boy, "Can I see your card?" I decided to buy the blouse and when I went to pay the lady was clearly chagrinned. "Where did you ... Read Full Story >>
I was at Karma Kitchen, a gift economy project, when a volunteer asked if anyone could use some free drink coupons for a particular airline. I enthusiastically accepted, knowing that even though I don't usually drink, I could use those free drink coupons to "tag" someone with a smilecard. I loved the idea of "tagging" someone with a smilecard and a free drink coupon on an airplane! Fast forward a month or two later, when my girlfriend and I were on a flight to Las Vegas as the first stop of a trip to the Grand Canyon. I had several drink coupons and smilecards ready, and it was just a matter of figuring out the "Who" and the "How" of tagging someone on an airplane, while still trying to stay completely anonymous. As luck would have it, we had an awesome, amazing, hilarious flight attendant, who was very, very funny (he really could have been ... Read Full Story >>
This is my first time posting a story on helpothers because I have not had the opportunity to use my smile cards yet, but yesterday on Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to use them twice :) Yesterday morning was thanksgiving and my husband and I were getting ready to head to Atlanta to spend the holidays with family. I was outside packing the car when I noticed a car sitting at the corner of the lane with the flashers on. There was a line of cars behind honking and getting very aggravated but the man at the wheel was just sat there. I called out to my husband and asked him to go see if the man needed help. My husband rushed across across the busy intersection and asked the man if he was okay. The man sitting there had simply ran out of gas, and could not get intouch with anyone to help him and he didn't have a gas can. My husband called me ... Read Full Story >>
Thank you so much!! I had sent a request for 30 smile cards for all my Christmas acts. In the request I said that if it's not possible for them to send me these cards I totally understand because after all I do live a long way down in New Zealand. I didn't hear anything more and just happily accepted that I won't be receiving any smile cards. Last night I arrived home to find a package with about 278 smile cards inside!! This arrived a few weeks after I placed the request...I couldn't believe it!! That was something I sooo wasn't expecting! I was so overwhelmed, thinking is this a mistake? Here is what I use my smile cards for.... - Whenever I send out cards or presents in New Zealand or around the world I always include a smile card inside. I have sent out quite a few cards out to quite a number ... Read Full Story >>
At 2:00am this past Friday morning, I received a text message from a friend, asking if I had any Smile Cards in Spanish. I immediately replied back saying I didn’t have any smile cards in Spanish. However, I also asked her why she wanted them specifically in Spanish and if smile cards in English would be acceptable. To my surprise, she said she had been one of the few selected by her high-school to go on a service trip to Nicaragua. She was going to spend four weeks in the villages teaching English to children & teens between the ages of five and eighteen. She wanted to share the concept of Smile Cards and kindness. By now, I was totally rocked and excited with hearing the news! :) So I decided to stop texting and call her to get more information about her service trip and ask when she was leaving for ... Read Full Story >>
I went into a local cafe for breakfast one quiet morning with a friend of mine. I grabbed a smile card as I left my car, not knowing quite what I was going to do with it. During the meal, I noticed a woman sat by herself, absorbed in a book, at the table next to us. I walked over to the waitress, asked how much the woman's check was, and handed her the money and a smile card with the instructions to give the woman the card, with the paid check, but to make sure not to tell her who had done this. When the woman left, the waitress came to the table and told me that the woman was shocked and very happy, said she really needed someone to do this for her, and couldn't wait to pass it on. But what really touched me was that the waitress said the owner of the cafe had ... Read Full Story >>
Today it is 39 degrees and supposed to be raining. It would have been the perfect day for me to act upon my Kindness Idea. I was the lucky winner of the December Kindness Idea's Contest on Helpothers.org - where they give you $100 to carry out your kindness idea. My idea was to purchase umbrellas for shelter on a rainy day and small towels to wife your face and hopefully bring a little smile into your day and hand them out to folks who find themselves caught out in the weather unprepared. Once I received the check for $100 I ran right out and purchased umbrellas and towels. I laundered the towels and wrapped them around the umbrellas and banded them with a smile card. I placed them them in plastic bags to protect them from moisture, dirt and grime! Then I waited on the rain!!! Lately we’ve had plenty snow…but no rain. Yesterday the rains came! Where were the ... Read Full Story >>
I teach a sixth grade religion class, and today I played the Smile Deck game with my students. They each left with two kind acts to complete and were very enthusiastic as I handed them regular Smile Cards to go along with the Smile Deck Cards.
One student was able to complete one of her acts that day itself, when class ended. She held the door for those leaving the building, handing out Smile Cards to those who would take them. It was uncomfortable for her at first (12 years old is an awkward age, at best), but she got the hang of it and started to enjoy her 15 minutes as 'Door Woman'!
I am excited to hear about how the other children's acts of kindness go.
I hope that my take on the ways we can “take care of God's creation” will sink into these kids, and they will carry forward the idea of embracing kindness as a meaningful part of life.
This is just the beginning for me!! Thanks for the forum of inspiration!
There is a saying in India - "Jab bhagawaan dheta hai to chhapad phad ke dheta hai." Roughly translated it means, "When blessings come, they come in a downpour." This is how I have been feeling since I have been the recipient of a series of tags - from multiple sources. First, I received an envelope with a beautiful hand-drawn image and inspiring message. Then another envelope, with a whole bunch of smile stickers. A day ago it was this huge box containing some cute stuffed dolls, plastic smile coins and smile balls and yet another inspiring note. And today it was yet another box from across the pond with a lovely photo frame and a wonderful note. Not only have these gifts cheered me, my husband has also been having a great time opening them and being amazed at the thoughts behind them. He still has not been able to wipe the ... Read Full Story >>
My wonderful Aunt Helen Louise recently passed away very unexpectedly. I have been trying to stay positive during this time. Today was an especially emotional day, so I decided to try and keep myself busy by doing a little 'treasure hunting' at my local Goodwill store. Whilst I was browsing, I saw a young girl trying to ride a bicycle. Her grandmother and grandfather were steadying it for her. Her grandmother was very encouraging and it made me smile to see the look of determination on the little girl's face. I browsed through the racks but didn't find anything I wanted to buy. I was on my way out of the store, when I noticed the bicycle parked at the checkout counter. A light bulb went off right away in my mind, and I asked the clerk if the bicyle had been paid for. She told me that the little girl's grandparents were going to buy it ... Read Full Story >>
This weekend I went grocery shopping. The cashier I chose was talking to the ladies in front of me and then something they were talking about reminded her about sending relief for a co-worker. She quickly took care of that and called the person to tell them help was on the way. When it was my turn to checkout she chatted with me too. I had prepared a little Smile Card package that I normally use in drive-throughs before coming inside the store just in case I found someone to share it with. Well I knew she was the one. I could tell she really cared about people. When we were all done with my transaction I said, "This is for you," and handed her the items. She looked at it and said, "Thank you! I really needed this today!" Then her eyes filled with tears and she gave me a hug! I told her, "Now, ... Read Full Story >>
I submited a kindness idea to Helpothers.org $100 kindness contest and I won. Armed with $100 and a mission - WOW! What an amazing week I just had! It started out last weekend - the first goal was to fill 20 “Smile Baggies” to give out. I had so much fun all Saturday picking out the items to buy. I'm a single mom of a teenager, so the opportunity to buy something without worrying about whether it would hurt our monthly budget made me feel like I had won the lottery! I picked out some practical items – a post-it note pad, pen, hand sanitizer wipes, and breath mints. But since it was a “smile baggie”, I also got some fun stuff too – microwave popcorn, hot cocoa, bubble gum, a smile stamp, and a small bottle of bubble bath. I spent Sunday night bagging all the goodies and attached the following letter to each bag: "HI! This ... Read Full Story >>
My second lot of Smile Cards arrived last week, and I have been trying to think of uses for them. Today, before I headed into town for a job interview, I decided to grab a handful and try to use as many as I could throughout the day. The weather was awful, it was pouring with rain, and I would've loved to buy umbrellas for people. But being unemployed, I didn't have the money to spare. So instead, I decided to think of free or really cheap ways to make people smile -- after all, even the little things count. I knew I'd also have to deal with my shyness, or just create anonymous acts of kindness, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept! Before leaving my house, I filled a bag with some items that I no longer use and prepared to drop it off at a charity shop in town. ... Read Full Story >>